Australopithecus garhi is a gracile australopithecine species discovered in Ethiopia. The remains of this hominin are believed to be a human ancestor species, and perhaps the ancestor of the human genus Homo. The fossils were found in 1996 in the Bouri Formation. This is in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia's Afar Depression.
Temporal range: Pliocene
Asfaw et al., 1997
Earliest stone toolsEdit
Some primitive shaped stone tool artifacts closely resembling Olduwan technology were discovered with the A. garhi fossils, dating back roughly 2.5 and 2.6 million years old. The tools are thought to be older than those found with Homo habilis, which may be a direct ancestor of more modern hominins.
For a long time anthropologists assumed that only members of early genus Homo had the ability to produce sophisticated tools. At another site in Bouri, Ethiopia, roughly 3,000 stone artifacts had been found to be about 2.5 million years old in age. Australopithecus garhi may have been the species responsible for making and using these earliest stone tools.
- Asfaw B. & White T. et al 1999. Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominin from Ethiopia. Science 284 (5414): 629–35. 
- De Heinzelin et al 1999 (1999). "Environment and behavior of 2.5-million-year-old Bouri hominids". Science. 284 (5414): 625–9. doi:10.1126/science.284.5414.625. PMID 10213682.