Olduvai Chopper

Olduvai Chopper
Nickname: Oldowan stone chopper
Age: 1.8 million years old
Location of Discovery: Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

Early humans in East Africa used hammerstones to strike stone cores and produce sharp flakes. They used these stone tools for a variety of purposes, including extracting meat and bone marrow from large animals. Flakes were removed from the stone core, creating a sharp edge. Imagine using it to chop through the shoulder of an antelope.

This early stone age chopper is the oldest human-made artifact in the Smithsonian's collections.