Oldowan and Acheulian tool cultures

Essay by mireen May 2014

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Student ID: 6527196

The Oldowan and Acheulean stone tool industries are believed to be the oldest and earliest tools that were used by the early Homo genus. The simplicity of these two stone tools shows that the early Homo genus was resourceful but 'technologically unadvanced'. (Wenban-Smith 2004:1) The Oldowan industry and the Acheulean industry are different from each other, yet we see some similarities as well, but both tool industries affected the behavioural adaptations of the Homo genus in terms of diet, habitation sites, ranging patterns and social behaviour. The use of these stone tools made hunting and gathering easier for the early Homo and expanded their diet, made them more intelligence and gave the early hominins a better chance of surviving.

The Oldowan and Acheulean tools were both used by the Homo genus and both have similarities and differences. The Oldowan tool was the earliest stone tool used by the Homo Habilis, also known as the "handy man".

(Boyd & Silk 1997:377, Museum of Anthropology, 2014) This stone tool was discovered by Louis and Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge and was dated as far back as 2.5 million years ago. (Scarre 2013:61) The Oldowan tool industry was a simple tool that was created from river stones that were flaked off at one side. There was variation of tools that were believed to be used for different purposes due to the remains found in archaeological sites. The Oldowan tools were not as complex as the Acheulean tool industry which was believed to be used by the Homo Erectus. The Acheulean tools were first discovered at St. Acheul in France and were dated as far back as 1.4 million years ago. (Haviland, Walrath, Prins & McBride 2007:168) The Acheulean tools were tear-dropped shaped and served as a hand axe. According to...