Tryon, Christian A. Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York, New York.
- Characteristic stone tools
- Associated hominins
- Age and distribution
- Social and symbolic life
- End of the Acheulean
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The Acheulean (alternatively Acheulian) is an archeological culture defined by its characteristic stone tools, particularly the handaxe, found in Africa and Eurasia from approximately 1.76 million years ago (∼1.76 MYA) to approximately 150,000 years ago (∼150 KYA) [see illustration]. The term is derived from the French village of St. Acheul, where numerous handaxes were reported in the nineteenth century. Handaxes associated with fossilized bones of extinct mammals found in northern France and England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were essential evidence in demonstrating the evolution of human and other animal communities. This marked a major break with the prior Western academic tradition of biblical interpretations of world origins.
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