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Title: The african acheulean: an archaeological summary
Authors: Sahnouni, Mohamed
Semaw, Sileshi
Rogers, Michael J.
Keywords: Acheulean;Human history;Homo erectus;African hominins;Handaxes;Acheulean ethnology;Social transmission
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology, 2013, 307-324
Series/Report no.: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology;
Abstract: This article argues that the acheulean is perhaps the longest lasting cultural–technological tradition in human history, dating from around 1.7 to 0.3 Mya and roughly corresponding to the time during which H. Erectus and H. Heidelbergensis lived in Africa. Unlike earlier Oldowan technology, Acheulean cores — handaxes, cleavers, and picks — were standardised, of predetermined shape and made on large cobbles and flakes. The extensive Acheulean archaeological record throughout Africa over 1.4 million years described is testimony to the success of this technology’s makers in different habitats, altitudes, and settings, but also to its apparent conservative cultural nature: a learned tradition passed on through thousands of generations of highly mobile hominin groups with small population sizes. Although there are differences between Early and Late acheulean technology, the makers of these tools may have undergone more significant changes with respect to the use of other technologies, strategic land use, and social life.
ISBN: 978-0-19-956988-5
Type: Book chapter
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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