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Olduvai Chopper

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. 

Oldowan stone chopper from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Image Credit: Human Origins Program, Chip Clark
Olduvai Chopper
Exhibit Item
Date of discovery:
Discovered by:
Species:
Site: Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Page last updated: September 14, 2018