Share this entry

Share this page

Oldowan

Line breaks: Oldo|wan
Pronunciation: /ˈɒldə(ʊ)wən
 
/

Definition of Oldowan in English:

adjective

Archaeology
1Relating to or denoting an early Lower Palaeolithic culture of Africa, dated to about 2.0-1.5 million years ago. It is characterized by primitive stone tools that are associated chiefly with Homo habilis.
Example sentences
  • One of the hallmarks of this species was a teardropshaped stone tool flaked on both sides, the Acheulian handaxe, which was more specialized than the Oldowan tools of Homo habilis.
  • The efficacy of Oldowan tools was practically demonstrated by Kathy and Ray, who used them to butcher an elephant that had died of natural causes (Schick and Toth 1993, pp.166 ff).
  • The Dmanisi people had brains no bigger than the Oldowan hominids found in East Africa and used the same simple ‘pebble-chopper’ tools.
1.1 (as noun the Oldowan) The Oldowan culture or period.

Origin

1930s: from Oldoway, alteration of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, + -an.

Definition of Oldowan in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something