Japan's oldest stone tools found

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MATSUE--Twenty stone tools believed to be the oldest discovered in the nation have been excavated from a mid-Paleolithic period geological layer, dating back 120,000 years, at an archeological site in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, researchers said Tuesday.

According to a team of experts, led by Prof. Kazuto Matsufuji of Doshisha University, that has researched the Sunabara remains, the tools are tens of thousands years older than any previously discovered.

The existence of stone tools dating back to the early and mid-Paleolithic period in this country was thrown into question in 2000, when a former deputy director of the disbanded Tohoku Paleolithic Institute buried stone tools and later recovered them, claiming they were unearthed from 700,000-year-old archeological remains in Kurihara, Miyagi Prefecture, and other sites.

Archeologists say the latest discovery could change the way the era is studied.

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