University of Tübingen
The University of Tübingen the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, is a public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is a German Excellence University, Tübingen is ranked as one of the best universities in Germany and is known as a centre for the study of medicine and theology and religion; the university's noted alumni include numerous presidents, ministers, EU Commissioners and judges of the Federal Constitutional Court. The university is associated with eleven Nobel laureates in the fields of medicine and chemistry; the University of Tübingen was founded in 1477 by Count Eberhard V the first Duke of Württemberg, a civic and ecclesiastic reformer who established the school after becoming absorbed in the Renaissance revival of learning during his travels to Italy. Its first rector was Johannes Nauclerus, its present name was conferred on it in 1769 by Duke Karl Eugen who appended his first name to that of the founder. The university became the principal university of the kingdom of Württemberg.
Today, it is one of nine state universities funded by the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg. The University of Tübingen has a history of innovative thought in theology, in which the university and the Tübinger Stift are famous to this day. Philipp Melanchthon, the prime mover in building the German school system and a chief figure in the Protestant Reformation, helped establish its direction. Among Tübingen's eminent students have been the astronomer Johannes Kepler. "The Tübingen Three" refers to Hölderlin and Schelling, who were roommates at the Tübinger Stift. Theologian Helmut Thielicke revived postwar Tübingen when he took over a professorship at the reopened theological faculty in 1947, being made administrative head of the university and President of the Chancellor's Conference in 1951; the university rose to the height of its prominence in the middle of the 19th century with the teachings of poet and civic leader Ludwig Uhland and the Protestant theologian Ferdinand Christian Baur, whose circle and students became known as the "Tübingen School", which pioneered the historical-critical analysis of biblical and early Christian texts, an approach referred to as "higher criticism."
The University of Tübingen was the first German university to establish a faculty of natural sciences, in 1863. DNA was discovered in 1868 at the University of Tübingen by Friedrich Miescher. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, the first female Nobel Prize winner in medicine in Germany works at Tübingen; the faculty for economics and business was founded in 1817 as the "Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät" and was the first of its kind in Germany. The University played a leading role in efforts to legitimize the policies of the Third Reich as "scientific". Before the victory of the Nazi Party in the general election in March 1933, there were hardly any Jewish faculty and a few Jewish students. Physicist Hans Bethe was dismissed on 20 April 1933 because of "non-Aryan" origin. Religion professor Traugott Konstantin Oesterreich and the mathematician Erich Kamke were forced to take early retirement in both cases the "non-Aryan" origin of their wives. At least 1158 people were sterilized at the University Hospital.
In 1966, Joseph Ratzinger, who would become Pope Benedict XVI, was appointed to a chair in dogmatic theology in the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Tübingen, where he was a colleague of Hans Küng. In 1967, Jürgen Moltmann, one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century, was appointed Professor of Systematic Theology in the Faculty of Protestant Theology. Drafted in 1944 by Nazi Germany, he was an Allied prisoner of war 1945-1948, he was influenced by friend Ernst Bloch, the Marxist philosopher. In 1970, the university was restructured into a series of faculties as independent departments of study and research after the manner of French universities; the university made the headlines in November 2009 when a group of left-leaning students occupied one of the main lecture halls, the Kupferbau, for several days. The students' goal was to protest tuition fees and maintain that education should be free for everyone. In May 2010, Tübingen joined the Matariki Network of Universities together with Dartmouth College, Durham University, Queen’s University, University of Otago, University of Western Australia and Uppsala University.
The University of Tübingen undertakes a broad range of research projects in various fields. Among the more prominent ones in the natural sciences are the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, which focuses on general and cellular neurology as well as neurodegeneration, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Clinical Research, which deals with cell biology in diagnostics and therapy of organ system diseases. In the liberal arts, the University of Tübingen is noteworthy for having the only faculty of rhetoric in Germany – the department was founded by Walter Jens, an important intellectual and literary critic; the university boasts continued pre-eminence in its centuries-old traditions of research in the fields of philosophy and philology. Since at least the nineteenth century, Tübingen has been the home of world-class research in prehistoric studies and the study of antiquity, including the study of the ancient Near East.
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines. Archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology is distinct from palaeontology, the study of fossil remains, it is important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world. Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and analysis of data collected to learn more about the past. In broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research, it draws upon anthropology, art history, ethnology, geology, literary history, semiology, textual criticism, information sciences, statistics, paleography, paleontology and paleobotany. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, has since become a discipline practiced across the world. Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Since its early development, various specific sub-disciplines of archaeology have developed, including maritime archaeology, feminist archaeology and archaeoastronomy, numerous different scientific techniques have been developed to aid archaeological investigation. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, opposition to the excavation of human remains.
The science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts, as well as historical sites. Antiquarianism focused on the empirical evidence that existed for the understanding of the past, encapsulated in the motto of the 18th-century antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts not theory". Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian, created a systematic guide to the ruins and topography of ancient Rome in the early 15th century, for which he has been called an early founder of archaeology. Antiquarians of the 16th century, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, drawing and interpreting the monuments that they encountered.
One of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England. John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, he was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings. He attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out by the Spanish military engineer Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of, covered by ash during the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79; these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and human shapes, as well the unearthing of frescos, had a big impact throughout Europe. However, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard; the father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington. He undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798.
Cunnington made meticulous recordings of Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, the terms he used to categorize and describe them are still used by archaeologists today. One of the major achievements of 19th-century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy; the idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton and Charles Lyell. The application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites. In the third and fourth decades of the 19th-century, archaeologists like Jacques Boucher de Perthes and Christian Jürgensen Thomsen began to put the artifacts they had found in chronological order. A major figure in the development of archaeology into a rigorous science was the army officer and ethnologist, Augustus Pitt Rivers, who began excavations on his land in England in the 1880s, his approach was methodical by the standards of the time, he is regarded as the first scientific archaeologist.
He arranged his artifacts by type or "typologically, within types by date or "chronologically"
Australopithecus garhi is a 2.5-million-year-old gracile australopithecine species whose fossils were discovered in 1996 by a paleontologist research team led by Berhane Asfaw and Tim White. The remains are suggested as representing the transitional stage between the Australopithecus and Homo genera. Tim White was the scientist to find the first of the key A. garhi fossils in 1996 in the Bouri Formation, located in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia's Afar Depression. The species was confirmed and established as A. garhi on November 20, 1997 by the Ethiopian paleoanthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie. The species epithet "garhi" means "surprise" in the local Afar language; the traits of A. garhi fossils such as BOU-VP-12/130 are somewhat distinctive from traits seen in Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus. An example of the distinction can be seen when comparing the Hadar maxilla to the Bouri specimen of A. garhi. The cranial capacity of A. garhi measures the same size as other australopithecines.
The mandible classified by Asfaw et al. has a morphology believed to be compatible with the same species, yet it is possible that another hominin species may have been found within the same deposits. Studies made on the premolars and molar teeth have a few similarities with those of Paranthropus boisei since they are larger than any other gracile form of australopithecine, it has been suggested that if A. garhi is ancestral to Homo the maxillary morphology would have undergone a rapid evolutionary change in 200,000 and 300,000 years. A few primitive shaped stone tool artifacts resembling Olduwan technology were discovered with the A. garhi fossils, dating back 2.5 and 2.6 million years. The tools are suggested to be older than those used by Homo habilis, thought to be a possible direct ancestor of more modern hominins. For a long time anthropologists assumed that only members of early genus Homo had the ability to produce sophisticated tools. However, the crude ancient tools lack several techniques that are seen in forms Olduwan and Acheulean such as strong rock-outcroppings.
In another site in Bouri, Ethiopia 3,000 stone artifacts had been found to be an estimated 2.5 million years old in age. List of fossil sites List of human evolution fossils "Australopithecus garhi"; the Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program. Retrieved March 1, 2011. "The Earliest Human Ancestors: New Finds, New Interpretations". Science in Africa. 2001. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2011. "Australopithecus garhi". ArchaelogyInfo. Retrieved March 1, 2011. "Australopithecus garhi: A New Species of Early Hominid from Ethiopia". Bellarmine University. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011. Human Timeline – Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History
Paris Nanterre University
Paris Nanterre University called "Paris X Nanterre" and more "Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense", is a French university in the Academy of Versailles. It is one of the most prestigious French universities in the areas of law, political science and natural sciences and economics, it is one of the thirteen successor universities of the University of Paris. It is located in the western suburb of Nanterre, in the La Défense area, the business district of Paris; the university is referred to as Nanterre. Nanterre was built in the 1960s on the outskirts of Paris as an extension of the Sorbonne, it was set up as an independent university in December 1970. Based on the American model, it was created as a campus. Nanterre became famous shortly after its opening by being at the center of the May'68 student rebellion; the campus was nicknamed "Nanterre, la folle" or "Nanterre la rouge". Nanterre is the second largest campus in France after Nantes, with its own Olympic-sized swimming pool and a stadium.
It welcomes 35,000 to 40,000 students every year in all fields of studies: Social Sciences, Literature, History and Linguistics, Economics and Political Sciences, as well as Teacher Training, Cinema and Sports. The university is renowned in the fields of Economics. Though French universities are required by law to admit anyone with a Baccalauréat, strain is put on the students from the start and the first year drop-out rate hovers in the 60% region. At the postgraduate level, the university offers competitive programs and partnerships with some grandes écoles such as the Ecole Polytechnique, ESSEC, Ecole des Mines de Paris, ESCP Europe among others; the Rene Ginouves Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology is another important institution on campus, merging the departments of the CNRS, Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne and Paris X-Nanterre. As in most Parisian universities, there is a large minority of foreign exchange students. Over the years, Nanterre has developed innovative programs such as the double bilingual courses in French Law and Anglo-American, Russian, German or Italian law.
These programs have inspired many universities and grandes écoles throughout the country and are now renowned on a national level. Law The university's undergraduate law program is ranked 9th of France with 2 stars. La Chinoise, by Jean-Luc Godard,1967 My Sex Life...or How I Got Into an Argument, by Arnaud Desplechin, 1996 The Spanish Apartment, by Cédric Klapisch, 2002 District 13, by Pierre Morel, 2004 University of Paris Sorbonne Official website Official Sports Club Homepage bachelor's in Business Management Paris X NanterreSelected Master's programs Presentation of master's students in Business Management Paris X Nanterre master's in Banking and Finance Paris X Nanterre Master in Financial Management Paris X Nanterre master's in Project Finance and Structured Finance Paris X Nanterre - Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees master's in Controlling Paris X Nanterre master's in Intellectual Property and Internet Law master's in Management and Dynamic of Organisations
Paranthropus aethiopicus or Australopithecus aethiopicus is an extinct species of hominin, one of the robust australopithecines. The first specimen of Australopithecus aethiopicus, discovered is known as Omo 18. Omo 18 known as Paraustralopithecus aethiopicus was discovered in southern Ethiopia by French archeologists Camille Arambourg and Yves Coppens in 1967. Omo 18 serves as a predecessor to KNM-WT 17000, discovered by Alan Walker and named Australopithecus walkeri by Ferguson; the finding discovered in 1985 by Alan Walker in West Turkana, Kenya, KNM WT 17000, is one of the earliest examples of robust pliocene hominids. A key feature of Omo 18 is that it has a v-shaped jaw unlike the other Australopithecus species found. Although Omo 18 was the first skull discovered of these species, many paleoanthropologists ignored the finding on the basis that it was similar to the other species of australopithecines. Once KNM-WT 17000 was discovered, interest renewed in Omo 18 and it was reclassified.
Australopithecus aethiopicus belongs to the group known as the robust australopithecines along with Australopithecus robustus and Australopithecus boisei. The robust australopithecines share many characteristics of the cranium and mandible more robust jaws and teeth, flaring zygomatic arches, a prominent sagittal crest, a heavier supraorbital torus, indicating a shared evolutionary development. Australopithecus aethiopicus has notable features that differ from the other robust australopithecines, including a larger zygomatic arch, extended ramus of the mandible, a more prognathic face; these differences may have been developed during the evolution of aethiopicus, but it may suggest that A. aethiopicus has a different phylogenetic history than A. robustus and A. boisei. The skull is dated to 2.5 million years ago, older than the forms of robust australopithecines. Anthropologists suggest that P. aethiopicus lived between 2.5 million years ago. The features share many traits with Australopithecus afarensis.
With its face being as prognathic as A. afarensis, its brain size was quite small at 410 cc. Paranthropus aethiopicus was first proposed in 1967 to describe a toothless partial mandible found in Ethiopia by French paleontologists. Lower jaw and teeth fragments have been uncovered. P. aethiopicus had a large sagittal crest and zygomatic arch adapted for heavy chewing. Not much is known about this species since the best evidence comes from the "Black Skull" and the jaw. There is not enough material to make an assessment of how tall they were, but they may have been as tall as Australopithecus afarensis. Paranthropus aethiopicus is considered a megadont archaic hominin; the initial discovery was a toothless adult mandible in the Shungura formation of the Omo region of Ethiopia in 1967. The ash layers above and below the fossils give an approximate date of 2.3-2.5 mya. There is only one complete skull for this hominin, so it’s hard to make proper inferences about physical characteristics. However, it can be said that the available skull is similar to P. boisei, although the incisors are larger, the face more prognathic, the cranial base less flexed.
Not all anthropologists agree that P. aethiopicus evolved into both Paranthropus boisei and Paranthropus robustus, since the skull more resembles that of A. afarensis. The one clue that makes P. aethiopicus a possible ancestor to both P. boisei and P. robustus is the similarity in jaw size. P. aethiopicus is known to have woodland. More evidence must be gathered about P. aethiopicus in order to describe its physiology. The bizarre primitive shape of the "Black Skull" gives evidence that P. aethiopicus and the other australopithecines are on an evolutionary branch of the hominid tree, distinctly diverging from the Homo lineage. Bower, Bruce. "Family Feud: Enter the Black Skull." Science News 131: 58-59. JSTOR. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. Johnson and Scott Bjelland. "Australopithecus Aethiopicus." - A Robust Australopithecine. N.p. n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://archaeologyinfo.com/australopithecus-aethiopicus/>. Melanie A. McCollum. “The Robust Australopithecine Face: A Morphogenetic Perspective.” Science, volume 284, No.
5412, pages 301-305, Wood and Nicholas Lonergan. "The Hominin Fossil Record: Taxa and Clades." Journal of Anatomy 212.4: 354-376. Web. 2012 October 16. <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00871.x/pdf>. List of fossil sites List of human evolution fossils Post-canine megadontia Human Timeline – Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History
Australopithecus sediba is a species of Australopithecus of the early Pleistocene, identified based on fossil remains dated to about 2 million years ago. The species is known from six skeletons discovered in the Malapa Fossil Site at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa, including a juvenile male, an adult female, an adult male, three infants; the fossils were found together at the bottom of the Malapa Cave, where they fell to their death, have been dated to between 1.980 and 1.977 million years ago. Over 220 fragments from the species have been recovered to date; the partial skeletons were described in two papers in the journal Science by American and South African paleoanthropologist Lee R. Berger from the University of the Witwatersrand and colleagues as a newly discovered species of early human ancestor called Australopithecus sediba. MH1 is disarticulated and 34% complete if skeletal elements known to be in an unprepared block are included while MH2 is 45.6% complete and exhibits partial articulation.
A paper concluded Australopithecus sediba is distinct from, but shares anatomical similarities to, both the older Australopithecus africanus and the younger Homo habilis. Australopithecus sediba may have lived in savannas but ate fruit and other foods from the forest—behavior similar to modern-day savanna chimpanzees; the conditions in which the individuals were buried and fossilized were extraordinary, permitting the extraction of plant phytoliths from dental plaque. The first specimen of A. sediba was found by paleoanthropologist Lee Berger's nine-year-old son, Matthew, on August 15, 2008. While exploring near his father's dig site in the dolomitic hills north of Johannesburg, on the Malapa Nature Reserve, Matthew stumbled upon a fossilized bone; the boy alerted his father to the who could not believe what he saw -- a hominid clavicle. Upon turning the block over, "sticking out of the back of the rock was a mandible with a tooth, a canine, sticking out, and I died", he recalled. The fossil turned out to belong to a 4 ft 2 in juvenile male, whose skull was discovered in March 2009 by Berger's team.
The find was announced to the public on April 8, 2010. Found at the Malapa archeological site were a variety of animal fossils, including saber-toothed cats and antelopes. Berger and geologist Paul Dirks speculated that the animals might have fallen into a deep 100–150-foot "death-trap" lured by the scent of water; the bodies may have been swept into a pool of water with a sandy bottom and rich with lime, allowing the remains to become fossilized. The fossil was dated using a combination of palaeomagnetism and uranium–lead dating which showed that the fossils are no older than ~2.0 Ma. The presence of animal species which became extinct at ~1.5 Ma indicates the deposit is no younger than 1.5 Ma. The sediments have a'normal' magnetic polarity and the only major period between 2.0 and 1.5 Ma when this occurred is the Olduvai sub-Chron between 1.95 and 1.78 Ma. Accordingly, the fossils were dated to ~1.95 Ma. Recent dating of a capping flowstone demonstrated this was not possible and the normal magnetic polarity sediments have since been correlated to the 3,000-year-long Pre-Olduvai event at ~1.977 Ma.
Because of the wide range of mosaic features exhibited in both cranial and post-cranial morphology, the authors suggest that A. sediba may be a transitional species between the southern African A. africanus and either Homo habilis or the H. erectus. The cranial capacity of MH1, estimated to be at 95% of adult capacity, is at the higher end of the range for A. africanus and far from the lower range of early Homo, but the mandible and tooth size are quite gracile and similar to what one would expect to find in H. erectus. However, the cusp spacing is more like Australopithecus. Regardless of whether Australopithecus sediba is a direct ancestor of early Homo or not, our understanding of the range of variation in early hominins has been increased with the finding of these new specimens. A. sediba compared to its ancestor species A. africanus on the whole is described by Berger et al. as more derived towards Homo than A. garhi showing a number of synapomorphies taken to anticipate the reorganization of the pelvis in H. erectus, associated with "more energetically efficient walking and running".
The femur and tibia are fragmentary, but the foot combines an advanced anklebone combined with a primitive heel. Its cranial capacity is estimated at around 420 -- about one-third of that of modern humans. A. sediba had a modern hand, whose precision grip suggests it might have been another tool-making Australopithecus. Evidence of the precision gripping and stone tool production can be seen from Homo-like features such as having a long thumb and short fingers; the nearly complete wrist and hand of an adult female from Malapa, South Africa presents Australopithecus-like features, such as a strong flexor apparatus associated with arboreal locomotion. A well-preserved and articulated ankle of A. sediba is humanlike in form and function and possesses some evidence for a humanlike arch and Achilles tendon. However, A. sediba is apelike in possessing a more gracile calcaneal body and a more robust medial malleolus
Acheulean, from the French acheuléen, is an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture characterized by distinctive oval and pear-shaped "hand-axes" associated with Homo erectus and derived species such as Homo heidelbergensis. Acheulean tools were produced during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia, South Asia, Europe, are found with Homo erectus remains, it is thought that Acheulean technologies first developed about 1.76 million years ago, derived from the more primitive Oldowan technology associated with Homo habilis. The Acheulean includes at least the early part of the Middle Paleolithic, its end is not well defined, depending on whether Sangoan is included, it may be taken to last until as late as 130,000 years ago. In Europe and Western Asia, early Neanderthals adopted Achaeulean technology, transitioning to Mousterian by about 160,000 years ago; the type site for the Acheulean is Saint-Acheul, a suburb of Amiens, the capital of the Somme department in Picardy, where artifacts were found in 1859.
John Frere is credited as being the first to suggest a ancient date for Acheulean hand-axes. In 1797, he sent two examples to the Royal Academy in London from Hoxne in Suffolk, he had found them in prehistoric lake deposits along with the bones of extinct animals and concluded that they were made by people "who had not the use of metals" and that they belonged to a "very ancient period indeed beyond the present world". His ideas were, ignored by his contemporaries, who subscribed to a pre-Darwinian view of human evolution. Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes, working between 1836 and 1846, collected further examples of hand-axes and fossilised animal bone from the gravel river terraces of the Somme near Abbeville in northern France. Again, his theories attributing great antiquity to the finds were spurned by his colleagues, until one of de Perthe's main opponents, Dr Marcel Jérôme Rigollot, began finding more tools near Saint Acheul. Following visits to both Abbeville and Saint Acheul by the geologist Joseph Prestwich, the age of the tools was accepted.
In 1872, Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet described the characteristic hand-axe tools as belonging to L'Epoque de St Acheul. The industry was renamed as the Acheulean in 1925. Providing calendrical dates and ordered chronological sequences in the study of early stone tool manufacture is accomplished through one or more geological techniques, such as radiometric dating potassium-argon dating, magnetostratigraphy. From the Konso Formation of Ethiopia, Acheulean hand-axes are dated to about 1.5 million years ago using radiometric dating of deposits containing volcanic ashes. Acheulean tools in South Asia have been found to be dated as far as 1.5 million years ago. However, the earliest accepted examples of the Acheulean known come from the West Turkana region of Kenya and were first described by a French-led archaeology team; these particular Acheulean tools were dated through the method of magnetostratigraphy to about 1.76 million years ago, making them the oldest not only in Africa but the world.
The earliest user of Acheulean tools was Homo ergaster, who first appeared about 1.8 million years ago. Not all researchers use this formal name, instead prefer to call these users early Homo erectus. From geological dating of sedimentary deposits, it appears that the Acheulean originated in Africa and spread to Asian, Middle Eastern, European areas sometime between 1.5 million years ago and about 800 thousand years ago. In individual regions, this dating can be refined; however more recent research demonstrated that hand-axes from Spain were made more than 900,000 years ago. Relative dating techniques suggest that Acheulean tools followed on from earlier, cruder tool-making methods, but there is considerable chronological overlap in early prehistoric stone-working industries, with evidence in some regions that Acheulean tool-using groups were contemporary with other, less sophisticated industries such as the Clactonian and later with the more sophisticated Mousterian, as well, it is therefore important not to see the Acheulean as a neatly defined period or one that happened as part of a clear sequence but as one tool-making technique that flourished well in early prehistory.
The enormous geographic spread of Acheulean techniques makes the name unwieldy as it represents numerous regional variations on a similar theme. The term Acheulean does not represent a common culture in the modern sense, rather it is a basic method for making stone tools, shared across much of the Old World; the earliest Acheulean assemblages contain numerous Oldowan-style flakes and core forms and it is certain that the Acheulean developed from this older industry. These industries are known as the Developed Oldowan and are certainly transitional between the Oldowan and Acheulean. In the four divisions of prehistoric stone-working, Acheulean artefacts are classified as Mode 2, meaning they are more advanced than the Mode 1 tools of the Clactonian or Oldowan/Abbevillian industries but lacking the sophistication of the Mode 3 Middle Palaeolithic technology, exemplified by the Mousterian industry; the Mode 1 industries created rough flake tools by hitting a suitable stone with a hammerstone. The resulting flake that broke off would have a natural sharp edge for cutting and could afterwards be sharpened further by striking another smaller flake from the edge if necessary