Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


  • Nicholas PrimaveraEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_330-1



A term used to classify a class of stone tools that all share a distinct oval/pear shape.


The Acheulean class of stone tools is believed to have evolved from the Oldowan stone tools as far back as 1.76 million years ago. It has many qualities that make it different from the previous generation of stone tools, which include shape, and potential use. Furthermore, it is important to note that the Acheulean class of tools “were the dominant technology for the vast majority of human history” (Tattersall 2012).

The Acheulean Class of Tools and Their Importance

Approximately 1.76 million years ago, early humans ceased to use the Oldowan class of stone tools and adapted the Acheulean class of tools. This set of tools all share a similar shape, that of an oval or pear. An important difference between this class of tools and the older Oldowan tools is the supplementation of using some form of hammer made of bone, or wood to better...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SUNY New PaltzNew PaltzUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Haley Dillon
    • 1
  1. 1.Dominican CollegeOrangeburgUSA