- Acheulean industry
Stone-tool industry of the Lower Paleolithic Period characterized by bifacial stone tools with round cutting edges and typified especially by an almond-shaped (amygdaloid) flint hand ax measuring 8–10 in.(20–25 cm) in length and flaked over its entire surface. Other implements include cleavers, borers, knives, and choppers. The name derives from the site near St.-Acheul, in northern France, where such tools were first discovered. Acheulean industry was extremely long-lived (1,500,000–110,000 years ago) and is associated with both Homo erectus and archaic Homo sapiens.
* * *▪ prehistoric toolmakingAcheulean also spelled Acheulian,first standardized tradition of toolmaking of Homo erectus and early Homo sapiens (human being). Named for the type site, Saint-Acheul, in Somme département, in northern France, Acheulean tools were made of stone with good fracture characteristics, including chalcedony, jasper, and flint; in regions lacking these, quartzite might be used. During the Acheulean period, which lasted from 1.5 million to 200,000 years ago, the presence of good tool stone was probably an important determining factor in the distribution of early humans. In the later stages they learned to bring stone from distant areas and thus became freer in their choice of homesites. “Tool kits” that differ in tool types reflect the varying adaptations made by early Stone Age humans to different environments.The most characteristic Acheulean tools are termed hand axes and cleavers. Considerable improvement in the technique of producing hand axes occurred over the long period; anthropologists sometimes distinguish each major advance in method by a separate number or name. Early Acheulean tool types are called Abbevillian (Abbevillian industry) (especially in Europe); the last Acheulean stage is sometimes called Micoquian. Industries that existed at the same time and overlapped in geographic range, but specialized in flake tools and lacked hand axes, are known as Clactonian (Clactonian industry) (England) and Tayacian (Tayacian industry) (western and central Europe). Acheulean industries are found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia as far east as Calcutta (East Asia was characterized by a tool tradition called the Chopper chopping-tool industry).The earliest hand axes, such as those found with Homo erectus in Bed II at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, were crude pointed bifaces: chips were removed from both sides of a core by rapping it against a set “anvil” stone to form a sinuous cutting edge all around. In the next step a hammerstone replaced the “anvil,” and the whole surface of the core was flaked away to form an oval implement with relatively straight edges. Small flakes were sometimes removed from the edges to further straighten them. Later still, the hammerstone was replaced by bone or wood “hammers,” which removed smaller, flatter flakes and resulted in a smoother tool with a sharp, straight edge. A sinuous edge could be produced purposefully, resulting in a “saw.” In the late Acheulean, hand axes were pointed, and the butt end was often only roughly finished. Cleavers were large tools with one end squared off to form an axelike cutting edge.In addition to hand axes and cleavers, the Acheulean industry included choppers and flakes (flake tool). The latter were produced from a prepared core and could be used as knives without further change or could be chipped to make side-scrapers, burins, and other implements. Though bone and wood were probably also used as tools, little evidence of them remains, and no discussion of style can be attempted. At the beginning of the Fourth (Würm) Glacial Period, Acheulean industries were gradually replaced by (graded into) the Levalloisian stone-flaking technique and the Mousterian industry in Europe and the Fauresmith and Sangoan industries in Africa.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
industry — /in deuh stree/, n., pl. industries for 1, 2, 7. 1. the aggregate of manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, often named after its principal product: the automobile industry; the steel industry. 2. any general… … Universalium
Acheulean — (also spelled Acheulian, pron en|əˈʃuːliən) is the name given to an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture associated with prehistoric hominins during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia and Europe. Acheulean … Wikipedia
stone-tool industry — Any of several assemblages of artifacts that display the earliest technology used by humans. These stone tools have survived in great quantities and now serve as the major means of determining hominid activities. Archaeologists have classified… … Universalium
Abbevillian industry — ▪ archaeology prehistoric stone tool tradition generally considered to represent the oldest occurrence in Europe of a bifacial (hand ax) technology. The Abbevillian industry dates from an imprecisely determined part of the Middle… … Universalium
Sangoan industry — ▪ prehistoric technology sub Saharan African stone tool industry of Acheulian derivation (see Acheulian industry (Acheulean industry)) dating from the Late Pleistocene Epoch (about 130,000 to 10,000 years ago). It is more or less… … Universalium
Oldowan industry — Stone tool industry of the early Paleolithic (beginning с 2.5 million years ago) characterized by crudely worked pebble tools. Oldowan tools, made of quartz, quartzite, or basalt, are chipped in two directions to form simple, rough implements for … Universalium
Archaeological industry — An archaeological industry is the name given to a consistent range of assemblages connected with a single product, such as the Langdale axe industry. Where the assemblages contain evidence of a variety of items and behaviours, the more correct… … Wikipedia
Stone Age — the period in the history of humankind, preceding the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, and marked by the use of stone implements and weapons: subdivided into the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic periods. [1860 65] * * * First known period of… … Universalium
Clactonian — The Stone Age This box: view · talk · edit ↑ before Homo (Pliocen … Wikipedia
Oldowan — The Stone Age This box: view · talk · edit ↑ before Homo (Pliocene) … Wikipedia