Stone Age Tools

3 minute read
Stone Age Tools

Do you know that 99% of the history of human technological development happened during the Stone Age? The archaeological evidence however is not as vast as the history. Archaeologists often look at Stone Age tools to figure out the developments that took place during this period. The Stone Age is the time when stone tools were used by men for hunting, gathering, digging, chipping and many other purposes. Additionally, this Age saw the discovery of fire and the advent of agriculture. Moreover, humans also started living in settlements during this time. And to add to all this, the tools used were the major contributors, let’s have a look at the development of Stone Age Tools.  

What are the 3 Periods of the Stone Age?

Furthermore, the 3 periods of the Stone Age are as follows:

  • The Paleolithic Period
  • The Mesolithic Period
  • The Neolithic Period

The Early Stone Age Tools

This is the Paleolithic Age which underwent 3 stages, the lower, middle and upper Palaeolithic Age. The tools, therefore, went through 3 stages of development as well.

  • Humans first made tools 2.6 million years ago.
  • These were the simplest tools, especially those made during the lower Palaeolithic Period.
  • Oldowan or the earliest stone industry toolkits included hammerstones, stone cores, and sharp stone flakes.
  • Nearly, 1.7 million years ago, the Acheulean industry came into existence.
  • Materials like lavas, quartz, and quartzite were used to make strong reliable tools. 
Source: UCL

The Middle Stone Age Tools

The Middle Stone Age is the Mesolithic Age, also known as the transition period between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic.

  • The developments of this phase were so evident that it became necessary to term it separately. The stone industry accelerated during this period.
  • Tools like spears and stone awls were used to perforate hides.
  • Furthermore, scrapers proved useful in preparing the hide, wood, and other useful things.
  • It marked the end of the Ice Age so the humans were free from the caves and came out to explore more.
  • The Mesolithic period saw archetypal tools like microlith which were used as arrow tips.
  • In the later stages of the Mesolithic Age, humans also started to decorate their tools. 
Source: Nature

The New Stone Age Tools

This age saw the development of Agricultural tools. This period is also called the Neolithic Age.

  • Tools like hand axes, ploughs etc are in the picture now.
  • Raw materials such as bone, ivory, and antler were started to be used alongside stone.
  • The finishing of the tools of this period was also remarkable as the grinding and drilling techniques improved.
  • Harvesting knives and sickles were being used earlier as well but popularised during the Neolithic Age.
  • Some evidence also shows the use of tools to make textiles during this time. 

What are 5 Facts about the Stone Age?

Here are 5 Facts about the Stone Age:

  1. Long Duration: The Stone Age is the longest period of human history, lasting from around 3.4 million years ago to about 2,000 BCE.
  2. Paleolithic Art: The Paleolithic period or the Old Stone Age, is famous for its cave paintings and portable art.
    • Examples of this art can be found in caves such as Lascaux in France and Altamira in Spain.
  3. Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle: During the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, most human societies were hunter-gatherers.
    • This means they relied on hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants for their sustenance.
  4. Invention of Agriculture: The Neolithic Revolution marks the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and settled life.
    • This period, starting around 10,000 BCE, saw the domestication of plants and animals, leading to the establishment of permanent settlements.
  5. Stone Tools Evolution: The earliest tools, made of simple rocks that were chipped to create sharp edges, evolved into more sophisticated implements over time.
    • For example, the Acheulean handaxe, a distinctive teardrop-shaped tool, is associated with the Lower Paleolithic and was used by early Homo species for hundreds of thousands of years.

Thus, the entire Stone Age saw remarkable advancements and technologies developed by humans. The Bronze Age followed the Stone Age and more eras passed till the modern world came into being.

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This was all about the Stone Age. If you are interested in learning more about such historical topics, then you can find more informative blogs on Indian History by staying tuned to our General Knowledge section.

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