Chipped/flaked stone: the earliest, most common and technically complicated lithic
Ground, pecked and polished stone: is often associated with advent of agriculture and
Early Stone Age Industries
Achulean 1.6 Mya-200,000 BP
Flaked Stone Tools
First flaked stone tools appear by 2.6 Mya
Key site locations: Gona and Omo (Ethiopia) and Turkana (Kenya)
Classified as Oldowan Industry- small, crudely shaped tools
At least 3 different hominids MAY be associted with Oldowan Industry between 2.6-1.5
Kada Gona, Ethiopia
3000 surface and excavated artifacts from 15 localities, found in fine-grained sediments
of a dry riverbed 2.52-2.6 Mya
Ar/Ar dating on a volcanic ash later nearly 2m above the tool-bearing deposit
determined that the Gona artifacts are more than 2.52 million years old.
2.6 Mya date was obtained for mineral-rich sediments below the artifacts using
2 high density locatlities (EG10 and EG12 from East Gona) provide evidence of the
capabilities of the earliest stone tool makers. Assemblages show sophisticated understanding of stone fracture and control similar to
later Oldowan assemblages. (ca. 2.0-1.5 Mya)
Large fossilized animal bones with shattered ends (for removing marrow) and cut marks
made by sharp stone toold, found near previously recovered Australopithecus afarensis
The bones are ca. 3.4 Mya
Impossible to tell from the cut marks whether homonins were making stone tools or
using naturally sharp rocks.
Lack of adequate rock material in the immediate area where the bones were found
suggests hominins carried stones around with them from one place to another.
Human status of the bone markings is very controversial, others state they are from
trampling or non-human predators.
Who made the Earliest Stone Tools?
Fossil hominid record 2.6-1.5 Mya is sparse, with most remains attributed to:
Paranthropus (boisii and robustus)
Homo (habilis and rudolphensis, ergaster and erect