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Posted by Ignacio on

3D Models of Olduvai Gorge Handaxes

These two handaxes belong to the EF-HR locality, in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania). EF-HR is located in the North side of the Olduvai Gorge. It was discovered in 1931 by Sir Evelyn Fuchs and Professor Hans Reck, and named after their initials. The first excavations were undertaken by M. Leakey in 1963, and then by OGAP (Olduvai Geochronology Archaeology Project) since 2009. Both handaxes were found in the surface of the EF-HR outcrops, and therefore their stratigraphic provenance is uncertain; they could have eroded either from Middle/Upper Bed II (around 1.5 myr ago) or from Bed III (slightly more recent), but are definitely older than 1 million years.

EFHR-L0-2 is made of quartzite, probably sourced by hominins from the nearby Naibor Soit, a metamorphic hill located less than 2 km away from EF-HR. This handaxe is poorly shaped, and involves no bifacial flaking. Thus, it is not a real biface, which is a type of stone tool typical of later periods of the Acheulean, but which is rare during the early stages of this technological period. EFHR-L0-17 is made of lava raw material, which was available to hominins as cobbles and boulders in river streams flowing from the volcanic highlands into the Olduvai paleolake. Like EFHR-L0-2, the EFHR-L0-17 handaxe is made on a very large flake, which was then shaped to achieve large cutting tool morphology, and likely used in heavy duty activities involving wood working and animal butchering.

Handaxe EFHR-LO-2

Handaxe EFHR-LO-2

Handaxe EFHR-LO-17

Handaxe EFHR-LO-17

You can view the 3D models created with the help of the crowd here:

Ignacio de la Torre

Posted by Chiara Bonacchi on

MicroPasts Crowd-funding


We’ve just launched the latest part of theMicroPasts project: a crowd-funding website. Have a look at and see if you can help.

Through this website, it is possible to raise up to £5,000 to fund archaeological or historical research projects that have been developed and will be undertaken collaboratively by professionals with institutional links (e.g. working in universities, museums, libraries, etc.) and any volunteer group offline or online. We welcome project proposals from any team,who can be based anywhere in the world. The only kind of activity that we do not fund is excavation.

For more information on how this all works, please see

If you have a project in need of funding, you can submit a proposal online. We will review it and, if it fits the requirements, you will be able to start your fund-raising campaign.

If you have an idea for a project, but don’t know a ‘professional’ archaeologist or historian to partner with, please do post your idea on the MicroPasts community forum ( and we will try to help out.

Thank you!

Chiara, Andy, Dan and Adi
For MicroPasts