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The Olduvai stone chopping tool

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Olduvai stone chopping tool
  • Description

    Chopping tool; basalt; Oldowan. The removal of a large flake from the top of the cobble provide a striking platform for the removal of three flakes which form a well defined regular edge. A second less satisfactory edge has been formed by removals along the opposite side of the first striking platform. The rest of the cobble retains its natural surface.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 92.9 millimetres
    • Depth: 71.5 millimetres
    • Thickness: 88 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The cobble may have been used as a source of flakes for use in light duty tasks or as a chopping tool or both.

  • Bibliography

    • MacGregor 2010 2 bibliographic details
    • Leakey 1951 p.38; fig.2 (Specimen no.2) bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    2018 AHOW, venue tbc. PROMISED
    2017 AHOW, venue tbc. PROMISED
    2016 Sep-2017 Jan, AHOW, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia. PROMISED
    2016 20 Feb-2016 18 Jun, AHOW, Western Australian Museum, Perth, Australia. PROMISED
    2015 Oct-2016 11 Jan, AHOW, Kobe City Museum, Kobe, Japan. PROMISED
    2015 Jul-2015 Oct, AHOW, Kyushu National Museum, Fukuoko, Japan. PROMISED
    2015 18 Apr-2015 Jun/Jul, AHOW, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museu, Tokyo, Japan. PROMISED
    2014 13 Dec-2015 15 Mar, AHOW, National Palace, Taipei, Tawain. PROMISED
    2014 Apr-Aug, AHOW,Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi
    2012-2013 Nov-Mar, Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2012 Mar-Jul, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Treasures of the World’s Cultures
    2011 22 Oct-2012 05 Feb, Australia, Perth, Western Australian Museum, Commonwealth Exhibition
    2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
    2005 26 Nov-2006 12 Mar, USA, San Francisco, Museum of the African Diaspora, Made in Africa

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    28 February 2014

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Light clean


    The object is stable but slightly dirty

    Treatment details

    The object was cleaned with de-ionised water

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Collected by the East Africa Archaeological Expedition led by Louis Leakey in 1931. This was Leakey's first expedition to Olduvai Gorge.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Leakey No.2
Quartzite stone implement; rudely chipped from pebble; shape recognisable as chopper with rough lateral blade and pebble surface back; greenish grey.

Quartzite stone implement; rudely chipped from pebble; shape recognisable as chopper with rough lateral blade and pebble surface back; greenish grey.

Image description



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Object reference number: BCR101109

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