Turkana - Lithic

Oldowan Stone tool - Core

Short Name: GaJh5.119

Period: Early Pleistocene

Culture/Industry: Early Stone Age

Localization: West Turkana

Collection Date: 1987

Collector: Hellen Roche

Provenance: Excavation

Material Culture: Lithic

Site Name: Lokalelei

Catalogue: # KNM-3869-1

2.6 million to 280 thousand years ago

Material Culture

Video Play


Description Summary

The Paleolithic (Early Stone Age) is divided into two technological categories called Oldowan and followed by Acheulean. Falling under the Odowan, Lokalalei tools are oldest stone artefact from Turkana West. It is highly likely that early stone tools were used in butchering animals. We don’t however know for sure if early hominins were hunters or scavengers but, researchers are able to distinguish between carnivore teeth marks on bones vs tool marks made at particular locations of a skeleton such as the tendons.

Early Pleistocene

Compared to previous periods, the climate of eastern Africa was generally colder, but more importantly, it was variable. There were significant swings between warm and wet and cold and dry. Similarly, the landscape frequently changed from forested to grassy. Animal life was in great flux with successions of organisms suited to survive in those environments. Hominids and their hominin descendants grew increasingly dependent on tools to survive the changing environments.