Stone tools were made from a variety of rocks. These tools were the primary means for early humans to shape their environment and meet their daily needs.
The Evolution of Tool Making: An Ancient Art
The earliest known invention by humans was the creation of sharp flints. It was found and used in its natural state by primitive peoples. Who then went on to purposely sharpen stones. This practice dates back to the very dawn of humankind with stone tools. In 1969, ancient tools were founded in Kenya. And after research, they are estimated to be 2,600,000 years old. The principal types of tools that appeared in the Paleolithic period were core, flake, and blade tools. Each varied in size and appearance, representing different levels of sophistication and utility.
Core Tools: The Foundation of Early Tool Making
Core tools are the largest and most primitive of the three. They were made by working on a fist-sized piece of rock or stone (core) with a similar rock (hammerstone). By knocking large flakes off one side of the core and it makes a sharp crest. Tools used for various purposes such as hacking, pounding, or cutting. As time progressed, advancements led to the development of thinner and sharper core tools, enhancing their usability.
Expanding Techniques: From Pecking to Boring
Over time, especially during the last 10,000 years of the Stone Age, additional techniques emerged, expanding the repertoire of stone artifact production. These techniques included pecking, grinding, sawing, and boring. The ability to bite grindstones allowed for the creation of specialized tools suited for specific tasks, opening new avenues for human ingenuity.
The Revolutionary Impact of Tool Making
The evolution of tool-making enabled early humankind to accomplish tasks that were previously impossible or rudimentary at best. Let’s explore some of the remarkable advancements facilitated by stone tools:
1. Hunting and Food Preparation
Stone cutters, cleavers, and choppers provided early humans with the means to skin and deflesh animals. They were also dividing the meat into manageable portions. Spearheads fashioned from stone flakes enhanced hunting efficiency, marking a significant leap forward in the acquisition of sustenance.
2. Clothing and Shelter Construction
The use of rough scrapers to clean animal hides. And puncture them with awls allowed for the creation of clothing, offering protection from the elements. Furthermore, stone adzes (axes) played a pivotal role in shaping the physical world to human liking. They assisted in creating shelters, enabling early humans to establish permanent settlements and seek refuge from the harsh environment.
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