Olduvai Chopper

Olduvai Chopper
Exhibit item
Age: 
1.8 million years old
Site: 
Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Nickname: 
Oldowan stone 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. 

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