Early Paleolithic Phase I: Early Acheulian & Developed Oldowan B (c. 1.4 MYA to 1.0 MYA).

The "Early Paleolithic" (also called "Lower Paleolithic") is a simplifying term OriginsNet uses for the era between the Oldowan and the Middle Paleolithic. The Early Paleolithic (EP) period saw the emergence of Homo ergaster and Homo erectus and the invention of Mode II Acheulian technology. In Africa, it is called the "Early Stone Age" and some sites have prepared core technologies, which do not appear in Europe until the subsequent Middle Paleolithic. Mode II Acheulian industry. Mode II technology is characterized by bifaces (also called 'handaxes'). Assemblages are known from 1.4 MYA at Peninj and Konso-Gardula and appear to have spread out of Africa into the Middle East, China and eventually Europe. Based originally on numerous bifaces found at the site of St. Acheul, France, the term is applied to stone assemblages with large bifacially flaked tools, including bifacial 'handaxes', cleavers and picks. The evolution appears to move from Oldowan core choppers to Early Acheulian 2-dimensional bifaces to elegantly 3-D symmetrical handaxes in later Acheulian periods.

In step with the Developed Oldowan B, the Early Acheulian stone tool technology emerged out of the Evolved Oldowan and Developed Oldowan A technologies around 1.5 million years ago. Early Acheulian sites include Peninj MHS and RHS, West Natron, Tanzania (c. 1.4-1.7 MYA) and Olduvai Gorge EF-HR, Tanzania (c. 1.3-1.5 MYA). Images below are from these and similar sites.

I propose a decoding of the spiritual analogues for the Early Acheulian technology: Notes Toward an Early Acheulian Stone Tools Logic Model: Constitutive Operations and Analogies of the Soul. The charts and images below find elaboration in this interpretation. Based on some seven cognitive operations involved in making these Early Acheulian bifaces, I suggest that these Early Acheulian artifacts could have been used to express the idea of ‘renewal, re-presencing, restoration, and reparation of the sustaining core-essence, of its wholeness as an orientatio of the core, upright and balanced, with an internal, inward reference point, arrived at through circumambulating the core and establishing symmetry, both mirror and opposites and acknowledging and working with the residue of the irreparable.’ The form of the Olduvai Gorge biface slide '#n' [below] could well have expressed such an idea, as could any of the other bifaces in this series.

Photographer © as noted

a)earlyacheulianmatrix b)earlyacheulianflowchart c)oldupbdIIdiscfig20 d)oldupbdIIawlsfig25 e)peninj16
a)earlyacheulian... b)earlyacheulian... c)oldupbdIIdiscf... d)oldupbdIIawlsf... e)peninj16.jpg
f)peninj9&10 g)peninj17 h)peninj18 i)peninj19 j)oldef-hrbiffig63
f)pening9&10 jpg g)peninj17.jpg h)peninj18.jpg i)peninj19.jpg j)oldef-hrbiffig...
k)peninj28 l)oldupbdIIbiffig30 m)peninj12 n)oldef-hrbifwynnfig29 o)oldef-hrbiffig66
k)peninj28.jpg l)oldupbdIIbiffi... m)peninj12.jpg n)oldef-hrbifwyn... o)oldef-hrbiffig...
p)oldef-hrbiffig61 q)oldef-hrbiffig62 r)oldef-hrbiffig64 s)oldef-hrbiffig65 t)oldef-hrbiffig67
p)oldef-hrbiffig... q)oldef-hrbiffig... r)oldef-hrbiffig... s)oldef-hrbiffig... t)oldef-hrbiffig...
u)oldmnkbiffig75 v)oldmnkbifpl20 w)oldtkbiffig87&88 x)oldtkloweroesfig84 y)oldtkscrapfig83
u)oldmnkbiffig75... v)oldmnkbifpl20.jpg w)oldtkbiffig87&... x)oldtkloweroesf... y)oldtkscrapfig8...

Return to List of Early Paleolithic Galleries
Home | About James Harrod | About the Center | Donations Welcome | Contact Us | Links & Resources