Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Acheulean Tool Tradition

Stone-tool technology characterized by large, pointed, almond-shaped bifacial tools called hand-axes and cleavers, whose exact purpose is unknown. Smaller flake tools were also present, but in lesser numbers. Acheulean tools range in time from 1.5 mya to 200 kya; widespread in the Old World. The Acheulean industry gets its name from St. Acheul, a site in France. In African sites, where Acheulean tools are often found at sites with Developed Oldowan tools at the same level, the hand-axes are usually found near sources of water such as stream channels.

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