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.
They are first developed out of the more primitive Oldowan technology some 1.8 million years ago, by Homo habilis.
It was the dominant technology for most of human history.
The earliest user of Acheulean tools was Homo ergaster who first appeared about 1.8 million years ago.
Some researchers prefer to call these users early Homo erectus.
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.
It reached its peak with early species of Homo such as H. Acheulean is the industry of stone tool manufacture by early humans of the Lower Palaeolithic era in Africa and much of West Asia and Europe.
Acheulean tools are typically found with Homo erectus remains.
Now it is realised that stone tools were used much earlier (3.3 million years ago) and that was definitely before the genus Homo had evolved.
It is not known for sure which species actually created and used Oldowan tools. Early Homo erectus appears to inherit Oldowan technology and refines it into the Acheulean industry beginning 1.7 million years ago.
They are found in Europe somewhat later, from about 1 mya (0.7mya for Britain).