Institute of Archaeology


The Origins of the Acheulean at Olduvai

The Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania

In 2007, Lindsay McHenry and Ignacio de la Torre designed a new research project in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania), with the aim of investigating the end of the Oldowan and the origins of the Acheulean in Middle and Upper Bed II.

This crystallized in a recently awarded US National Science Foundation project with Professor McHenry as principal investigator and Ignacio as co-principal investigator, which has set up the basis for a chrono-stratigraphic and archaeological reconsideration of the origins of the Acheulean in Olduvai.

Since 2008 fieldwork has been conducted annually at the Gorge, and excavations in several sites are producing highly relevant data on the demise of the Oldowan and the emergence of the Acheulean in East Africa.

Related outputs

  • Torre, I. de la (2008). La arqueología de los orígenes humanos en África. Madrid, Akal.
  • Torre, I. de la & Mora, R. (2009). Remarks on the Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Study of Early Technological Strategies in Eastern Africa. In (E. Hovers & D. R. Braun, eds.) Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Oldowan. Dordrecht, Springer, 15-24.


  • US National Science Foundation
  • The Leakey Foundation
  • British Academy
  • British Institute in East Africa