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The Acheulean was not a neatly defined period, but a tool-making technique which flourished especially well in early prehistory.
Acheulean was a basic method for making stone tools which was shared across much of the Old World.
Later forms of early humans also used Acheulean techniques and are described below.
There is considerable time overlap in early prehistoric stone-working industries.
The age ended when humans began to make small, fine tools (Mesolithic) and finally when plant crops and have other types of agriculture (Neolithic).
In some areas, such as Western Europe, the way that people lived was affected by the Ice age.
They were made by all previous members of the genus, starting with relatively crude tools made by Homo habilis and Homo erectus.
In Europe, the large-brained Neanderthal Man (Homo neanderthalensis) made tools of high quality, and was in turn outshone by the many tools made by our own species.
It was the dominant technology for most of human history.
They lived by gathering plants and hunting wild animals.
The Oldowan is the archaeological term used to refer to the stone tool industry that was used by hominids during the earliest Palaeolithic period.
Oldowan tools were therefore the earliest tools in human history, and mark the beginning of the archaeological record.
The term "Oldowan" is taken from the site of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where the first Oldowan tools were discovered by the archaeologist Louis Leakey in the 1930s.
John Frere was the first to suggest in writing a very ancient date for Acheulean hand-axes.