I just read this short article from Scientific American: Archaeologists Take Wrong Turn, Find World's Oldest Stone Tools about Sonia Harmand's discoveries. The last sentence is:

Harmand says the newly discovered tools are different enough from the early Oldowan implements to warrant a new name: the Lomekwian.

Earlier the article says:

The tools from Lomekwi 3 are quite large—larger than the stone tools from the site of Gona in Ethiopia that were previously the oldest on record and larger than the rocks that chimpanzees use to crack open nuts. According to Harmand, preliminary observations suggest that the Lomekwi toolmakers intentionally selected big, heavy blocks of very hard raw material from nearby sources even though smaller blocks were available. They used various knapping techniques to remove the sharp-edged flakes from the cores.

How does the Lomekwi technique (ca. 3.3 mya) differ from Oldowan (ca. 2.7 mya)? From Wikipedia:

These early tools were simple, usually made with one or a few flakes chipped off with another stone.

Without any further details, the two techniques sound the same, and the size difference alone doesn't sound like enough to warrant a separate classification. What is so different about Lomekwi to not call it Oldowan?

  • $\begingroup$ this may be helpful it is the original paper about the lomekwian tools nature.com/articles/nature14464 $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 19, 2018 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @John. The article is paywalled and only the first page is freely readable. The photos don't provide any clues without being able to read the rest of the article. $\endgroup$
    – CJ Dennis
    Aug 19, 2018 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Browsing that linked article, the best I can find is "The LOM3 assemblage could represent a technological stage between a hypothetical poundingoriented stone tool use by an earlier hominin and the flaking-oriented knapping behaviour of later, Oldowan toolmakers." So pounding vs. flaking? $\endgroup$
    – Lance
    Sep 4, 2022 at 22:10


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