Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel Department of Prehistory, School of Geography and History, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
- Original tool makers
- Bone tools
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
In the Late Pliocene (2.6 million years ago), during the transition of the apelike australopithecines to the earliest representatives of the genus Homo, one of the most significant elements in the human evolutionary process appeared: the use of stone tools. The earliest archeologically documented technology consisted of unmodified cobblestones (hammerstones), modified cobblestones (cores), and the pieces detached from them (variously called debitage, flakes, and debris). Cobblestones were flaked in various ways. Flaking occurred along one edge (resulting in choppers and discoids) or along various edges (resulting in polyhedrons and subspheroids) [Fig. 1]. The pieces detached from these cobbles usually consist of fragments with one striking platform (that is, area of impact) and a sharp-edge perimeter (Fig. 2). This industry was called Oldowan based on the eponymous site in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania), dating to 1.8 million years ago, where it was first described by Mary Leakey. However, the oldest evidence of stone tools can be found in Gona in the region of Afar (Ethiopia), dating to 2.6 million years ago.
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