The early stone age is the oldest of the stone age person. It has been associated with three centuries, ie, Olduwan, Acheulian and  Sangoan cultures.


It is believed to be the oldest of all human cultures. It has been associated with the earliest tools ever made by man. The name OLDUWAN originated from the site of Olduvia gorge of northern Tanzania, where the first categories of these tools was first identified. The oldest OLDUWAN tool is from the site of lake Turkana in East Africa and dated to about 2.6 million tears B.P. These artifacts are believed to have been made by early hominids calls Australopithecus or southern ape man.

The tools consist of fables, flakes and choppers. They were probably used for cutting, skinning of animals, digging of roots for eating. Sites associated with this culture are mostly found along river valley, lakes, planes or other relative locations suggesting that these early hominids prefer such locations for hunting purpose.

In the Nigerian regions, tools classified as OLDUWAN have been discovered in sites like beli in Taraba state, wherefore cutter and Peebles were inabundant  form and because they were not found in a stratified contents, they could not be dated. Other known sites that are associated with OLDUWAN culture were Nubusa in Niger state and Yelwa in Sokoto state.

Generally, the artifacts of these cultures are crude, simple and under-standerdized. A lot of controversy has arisen as to whether one can actually call these tools OLDUWAN because one, they are not associated with the fortune of the early man. Two, they are few in number and three, they were not found in stratified contents and so they were not dated.

The context in which these tools were collected in the Nigerian regions is entirely different from that of the first site in OLDUWAN gorge in northern Tanzania where they were associated with fossil remains of Australopithecus or southern ape man stage. Tools of the OLDUWAN culture we’re made through the process called block and unblock method.


The name acheulian was derived from the first site of st. Acheul in northern France, where the characteristics of Achulain tools were first discovered. They were mostly discovered by ficial tools, I.e  tools with 2 cutting edges. They were thought to have been made inimically by the block-unblock method. This techniques was later substituted by the soft hammer techniques., in which bone horns or woods were used to fashion stone tools. The tools of this culture were more standardized and refined than the OLDUWAN tools. They were apparently used for cutting, skimming of animals and digging of roots. In the Nigerian region, sites associated with this culture are more wide spread. They include Mai Idontoro, Pingel of Jos plateau and Not in Kaduna state, Ugwe Ile Uturu in Anambara state. This culture have been dated to about 300 years B.P at Nok site. Man at this time was believed to be a hunter and gatherer. 

The early prehuman responsible for this culture was called homo erectus. Although no site in the Nigerian region has yielded this evidence (homo erectus), the Acheulian period was thought to have witnessed the earliest evidence of the use of fire.


the term Sangoan was derived from the site Sango Bay of east Africa, where the characteristics tools were first discovered. The tools belong to this culture are generally crudder and heavier than those of the Acheulian culture. The nature of the tools had generated a lot of controversy and debate among archaeologists. Some attributed it to cultural degeneration, while some believe it was due to adaptation to include wooded environment of the Nigerian region.

The tools belonging to this culture are mostly found along the Jos plateau and along some river valley. Some were discovered in Jebba, Yelwa, Abuja and Keffi/Nasarawa areas. Available evidence suggests that homo erectus was responsible for this culture. The issue of the presence of Sangoan culture had been questioned due to the fact that the tools belonging to this culture found in our area of study do not bear typological similarities to those identified in eastern and southern Africa where the Sangoans had been extensively studied. The collections were unstratified and they were not dated.


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