Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
Relating to the earliest recognized stage of Paleolithic tool culture, dating from around 2.5 to 1.5 million years ago and characterized by crude cores of quartz or basalt from which flakes were removed with blows from a hammerstone. Both the flaked cores and the flakes themselves were probably used as tools for such tasks as chopping, cutting, and scraping. Oldowan tools are associated with early Homo habilis sites at Olduvai Gorge, in Tanzania, and other East African locations; they may also have been made by late australopithecines. Oldowan tools show little change during the million years they were in use, and were gradually replaced by the Acheulian tools associated with Homo erectus.