The recent discoveries of sites yielding hominid remains and/or early industries in Africa and Eurasia reveal that early hominid expansion into the temperate regions of the Old World occurred earlier than it was commonly assumed. North Africa is likely the area which early hominids inhabited before their spread out of the African continent. Therefore, it is pertinent to approach the issue of the earliest human presence in this part of Africa. Ain Hanech is a key site to shed light on this issue. Comprising several localities, the site is dated to 1.78 Ma based upon palaeomagnetic and biochronological data. The recent excavations yielded a savannah Plio-Pleistocene fauna associated with Oldowan assemblages deposited in a floodplain environment. The Ain Hanech investigations point out to a very ancient human presence in North Africa, thus contrasting with the short chronology model proposed by some researchers.
North Africa, Algeria, Early hominids, Lower Palaeolithic, Oldowan