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Ain Lahnache Site

Ain Lahnache is located in the Eastern Hautes Plaines of Algeria, and more specifically, in Ouedi Boucherit, in the municipality of El Kalta Zarka, located 9 KM north of El Eulma - Setif. This site is considered to be amongst the prominent prehistory sites, and not only in Algeria, but internationally. Excavations confirm that it is the oldest site that records human presence in North Africa and the second oldest human presence in the world after the site of "Gona" in Ethiopia that goes back to 62 million years. This site was the subject of organized excavations carried out by Harris J.W.K in 1977 that resulted in an important discovery of 19 stone tools and five bone remains. This discovery indicated that the East African region is the home of the first stone tools used by humans, and the oldest examples of which date back to the aforementioned date. 

Researchers note that the remains of the Ain Lahnache site in Setif during the Paleolithic age, and exactly 4,2 million years - according to an international scientific group, composed of Algerian, Spanish, French and Australian scientists. This news was announced on November 28th, 2018, and published by the Science Journal on November 29, 2018.  It represents the oldest human effort in fabricating stone tools in North Africa, after finding stone pieces made of limestone, the shape of which resembles to a circular shape, and are characterized by their many sides and corners. 

In the beginning of the excavations made by Professor Arambourg in the region in 1931, about the existence of well-shaped stone remains amidst a site with fossilized marine sediments the ancient animal remains of which date back to the beginning of the fourth geological time, the excavations he organized in 1952 and 1953 over the valley rim's slopes, beneath which marine sedimentary pollutants became, over time, a horizontal arrangement that resulted in an important discovery that occurred for the first time in North Africa, representing animal bone remains like elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros indicate that the climate of the region was different from what it is now, and that it was very similar to the climate of the tropical region at the present time.

     Forty circular shaped tools were found during excavations in 1947, the size of a tangerine or an orange, or a small ball.  It should be noted that small multifaceted stone balls found in Ain Lahnache site, were most likely used as weapons and tools at the same time by primal man, who most likely was weak when facing ferocious and wild animals who go back to the third geological age. 

      In addition to tangerine-like stones, stone axes were also found in Ain Lahnache (biface stone axes), and are considered material testimony to the presence of North Africa in general, and Algeria more specifically, notably during the Paleolithic age. Excavators only made these discoveries (of handmade primal axes) after the removal of debris consisting of sediments containing small circle shaped stones.  No matter which of the tools discovered in Ain Lahnache - be it small balls, or bifacial tools, they in fact represent the oldest stone fabrication cultivated by mankind and used in their daily lives. Moreover, these tools are a stepping stone to the development of human thinking.  Continuous excavations conducted by professor Arambourg in the fifties, revealed leftovers and ash remains, which strengthens the possibility that Ain Lahnache was a site for human gathering and  mankind stability all the way to the upper palaeolithic age.