Underground Mining is Over 30,000 Years Old!

The Nazlet Khater archaeological site has now been dated at about 38,000 years before present. Nazlet Khater is a series of eight archaeological sites where mining activities chert or flint, the raw material for the production of stone blades, were carried out about 40,000 years ago. It is located in Egypt at the edge of the Nile valley near the village of Nazlet Khater. Mining methods included small open pits, vertical shafts and underground galleries. Tools included stone axes called "adzes":

The flint was mined from a relict Nile River gravel channel deposit, located at the base of some 1-2 meters (3-7 feet) of aeolian sand. Atop the gravel deposit is a 10 cm (4 in) thick layer of calcrete. Three mining efforts were identified and associated with the Upper Paleolithic occupation: trenches, vertical shafts and subterranean galleries. A trench measuring 9x2 m (30x7 ft) had been excavated 1.5 m (5 ft) into the wadi. Vertical shafts were dug down to the channel lag and widened out to bell shapes at the base. The layer of calcrete permitted the relatively safe excavation of short galleries leading outward from both the bell-shaped pits and the trench.

it is often assumed that mining is a modern industrial activity. Nazlet Khater shows that mining dates to the earliest of human activities. Mining is thought to have been integral to to the development of early communal society through the provision of stone tools, which are vastly superior and longer lasting to wooden or bone tools and blades for many applications.