Oldowan

From Academic Kids

Oldowan is an anthropological designation for an industry of stone tools used by prehistoric hominids in the very early Paleolithic. It is characterized by the use of crudely worked pebble (chopping) tools, that were not constructed after any discernable pattern. The Oldowan industry is named after the site in the Oldoway (Olduvai) Gorge in Africa in which the first such artifacts were found. It was once thought that Homo habilis was the first hominid to innovate these tools, however Paranthropus robustus also seems to have innovated this crude industry, though to a less sophisticated degree (and probably later). Homo erectus also used the Oldowan tool case (or Oldawan, for later instances), but innovated beyond it to more sophisticated tools and weapons during its tenure on Earth. The first Oldowan tools found date back to about 2.4 million years ago. This is the oldest industry of stone tools.

These tools are often found to be so crude that they are difficult to tell from naturally formed materials. Though these tools were not particularly advanced by human standards they required more skill to innovate and construct than is observed in any current living primate of today, save man. The tools were made of pebbles of quartz, quartzite, or basalt which was chipped in two directions to form basic all-purpose tools capable of chopping, scraping, or cutting. They were effective for their purposes and demonstrate conscious deliberation not found in typical animals. These crude artifacts reflect the mentality of their owners; industrious and opportunistic scavengers. These were not weapons and the architects of the Oldowan industry were not yet a match for prehistoric predators. Whole dens filled with fossilized remains of Homo habilis skeletons (among other prehistoric prey) that were eaten by prehistoric cats have been excavated and identified by scientists.¹

Footnotes

  1. Ironically, many scientists drew the erroneous conclusion upon this discovery that it was the Homo habilis, the presumed mighty tool user, who was the predator that occupied such dens. Later it was discovered that the H. habilis bones had been stripped and chewed on, leading scientists to think that H. habilis was a cannibalistic species. Eventually more rigorous study revealed that poor H. habilis just couldn't run very fast and that the site in question wasn't an H. habilis den at all, but the den of a prehistoric leopard.de:Oldowan

et:Olduvai ajastu

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