Stone tools in China could be earliest evidence of human life outside Africa

Stone tools discovered in central China could indicate humans left Africa hundreds of thousands of years earlier than previously believed.

(CNN)The story of human evolution may need a rewrite after 2.12-million-year-old tools were found in central China.

The most ancient of these tools -- a collection of hammerstones, pointed pieces and scrapers -- are some 270,000 years older than what was previously thought to be the earliest evidence of human life outside Africa, according to a new paper in the journal Nature.
And scientists believe there may be even older tools at the site -- in Shangchen, in Shaanxi province's Lantian county -- that can't be accessed because of farming in the area.

Finding suggests 8,700-mile trek

    The team that discovered the tools was led by Zhaoyu Zhu, a geologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.