Oldowan Tools


The appearance of simple stone tools, widely known as Oldowan tools or the Oldowan industry, marked the beginning of our technological revolution. To our knowledge, these artifacts appeared around 2.6 million years ago in the savannahs of Eastern Africa. Today, the Oldowan is still the earliest, universally acknowledged stone tool industry. Simple flaked tools like choppers, scrapers, or rudimentary cutting instruments are typical for this archaic style of manufacturing. While crude from today's perspective, these tools gave a tremendous evolutional advantage to our ancestors. They gave us access to new sources of food and allowed us to process other raw materials, such as wood and bone. Consequently, over a period of roughly 900,000 years, the Oldowan shaped the technological landscape in Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The more advanced Acheulean industry (famous for the oval and bifacial shaped hand-axes) then replaced the Oldowan around 1.76 million years ago.

More about: Oldowan Tools


  • c. 2600000 BCE - c. 1000000 BCE
    Oldowan tool industry.
  • c. 2600000 BCE
    First known tool use (stone ones) by early hominins, discovered in present-day Ethiopia.
  • c. 2600000 BCE - c. 12000 BCE
    The Palaeolithic (or Old Stone Age) period, ranging from c. 2,6 million years ago until c. 12,000 years ago.