Early Human Culture. Homo habilis Homo rudolphensis Homo erectus Homo ergaster. Evolution of Humans. Homo habilis (ca. 2.5-1.6 mya). Homo habilis was first discovered in 1959 in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
A nearly complete skull of H. habilis was discovered in 1972 at Koobi Fora on the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya. Its age is estimated at 1.8 million years and its brain capacity at 800 cc.
Other H. habilis remains have since been discovered at Olduvai Gorge. There is considerable variation among the specimens from this era found thus far.
Some anthropologists argue that the variations appear to indicate that several separate species of humans existed and competed at the same time in east Africa; other scientists lump all the individuals together in a single species.H. habilis finds
OLDOWAN TOOLS (left to right): end chopper, heavy-duty scraper, spheroid hammer stone (Olduvai Gorge); flake chopper (Gadeb); bone point, horn core tool or digger (Swartkrans) http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/stones.html
These crude hand axes and stone flakes could have been manufactured as needed or as opportunity arose. The fracture lines of stones create a sharp cutting surface capable of butchering fairly large animals. The photo above right shows a modern anthropologist skinning a calf with a stone tool made just as ancient Homo habilis would have done.
ACHEULEAN TOOLS (left to right): cleaver stone (Bihorei oest, France); lanceolate hand ax (Briqueterie, France); large hand ax (Olduvai Gorge).