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In individual regions, this dating can be considerably refined; in Europe for example, Acheulean methods did not reach the continent until around 400 thousand years ago and in smaller study areas, the date ranges can be much shorter.

Numerical dates can be misleading however, and it is common to associate examples of this early human tool industry with one or more glacial or interglacial periods or with a particular early species of human.

Later forms of early humans also used Acheulean techniques and are described below.

There is considerable time overlap in early prehistoric stone-working industries.

More than a million years ago Acheulean tool users left Africa to colonize Eurasia.

The Oldowan is the archaeological term used to refer to the stone tool industry that was used by hominids during the earliest Palaeolithic period.The geological period which corresponds to the Palaeolithic is the Pleistocene.Stone tools were not only made by our own species, Homo sapiens.They were made by all previous members of the genus, starting with relatively crude tools made by Homo habilis and Homo erectus.In Europe, the large-brained Neanderthal Man (Homo neanderthalensis) made tools of high quality, and was in turn outshone by the many tools made by our own species.

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