Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The Oldowan, often spelled Olduwan or Oldawan, is the archaeological term used to refer to the stone tool industry that was used by Hominines during the Lower Paleolithic period. The Oldowan is significant for being the earliest stone tool industry in prehistory, being used from 2.6 million years ago up until 1.7 million years ago, when it was followed by the more sophisticated Acheulean industry. Oldowan tools were therefore the earliest stone tools in human history, and mark the beginning of the archaeological record of stone tools. The term "Oldowan" is taken from the site of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where the first Oldowan tools were discovered by the archaeologist Louis Leakey in the 1930s. However, some contemporary archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists prefer to use the term "Mode One" tools to designate Oldowan tools, with "Mode Two" designated Acheulean ones and so forth.