Tools from the Oldowan tradition date from 2.5 - 1.5 million years ago, and are associated with Homo habilis, although there is some speculation that some of the tools found were used by Australopithecus africanus. The Oldowan Tool Tradition was named for the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where many tools of this tradition were found by the Leakeys. Oldowan tools were also found at Sterkfontein and Swartkrans in South Africa.
We can more or less guess
the tool-making process. Firstly, Mr Habilis probably went to a nearby
gravel site, and looked for suitable rocks. At first these rocks were quartz,
but as time passed, he became more sophisticated and used quartzite instead.
(Quartzite is harder to work than quartz, but the tools it produces are
of better quality). He then took them back to his cave, and settled down
to work on them. In doing this, the first thing he would do is select a
hammer-stone, a hard rock used to chip away at the future tool. His hammer-stone
could be in a variety of forms - there could be two of them, and they would
be used in conjunction with each other, as a hammer and an anvil; or he
could use just one, specially shaped one to do the finer chipping work.
Once a whole lot of flakes had been removed, he would be left with a core, or a chopper. A chopper would have been a far more powerful weapon, maybe used to kill stronger animals.
Of course, Mr Habilis did not make all of his tools himself - some of his tools, which we call manuports, were simply brought in from the gravel sites - ready to use.