If you thought history was set in stone, you were most definitely wrong. A recent archaeological discovery - published in the journal Science - suggests humans first arrived in North Africa 600,000 years earlier than previously thought.
A collection of ancient stone tools in Algeria were recently unearthed, standing as evidence of human life in the North African country dating back 2.4 million years. Previously, the oldest known tools from the region were thought to be 1.8 million years old.
The tools, which could not have been made by Homo sapiens, were found in Ain Boucherit site in the northeastern part of the country. The excavations - under Ain Hanech project - have been underway out since 1992.
The discovery means the tools either expanded rapidly from East Africa or emerged simultaneously and independently in other parts of Africa.
"It highlights North Africa's importance in the evolutionary process"
The discovery puts East Africa's title as "the cradle of humanity" to the test.
"East Africa is widely considered to be the birthplace of stone tool use by our ancient hominid ancestors - the earliest examples of which date as far back as about 2.6 million years ago," the report stated.
However, the recently discovered stone tools suggest otherwise.
"The evidence from Algeria shows that the cradle of humankind was not restricted to only east Africa. Rather the entire African continent was the cradle of humankind," said Mohamed Sahnouni, who led the research, according to The Independent.
The discovered Oldowan-style tools - the earliest stone technology - included chopping and cutting tools used for processing animal carcasses. Alongside the tools, 19 animal bones were unearthed. Cut marks on the bones have been deemed a sign of prehistoric butchery.
"It highlights North Africa, and the Sahara in particular, as a major region of importance in the evolutionary processes leading to our own species," said Eleanor Scerri, an archaeologist from the University of Oxford, according to The Atlantic.