Inventions that changed the world – Ancient stone tools
The very first inventions consisted of sharp flints, found and used in their natural state by the primitive people. This invention was made in the starting of mankind. Stone tools which were found in Kenya in 1969 were more than 2,600,000 years old.
The principle tools which were found in the Paleolithic period were of various sizes and shapes. They were known as core flakes and blade tools. The core tools were the largest and the oldest. It was made by using two rocks one rock to knock off the edge of the other to make a sharp edge. Usually, a fist size stone is used. This stone was used for hacking pounding or cutting. Later thinner and sharper tools were made which was more useful. Much later almost 10000 years later sharper tools were made by newer technologies which were used for various purposes like grinding sawing and boring.
Stone tools were made by taking a piece of stone and knocking off flakes, a process known as “knapping.” When the flakes were used, the tools produced are referred to as “flake tools.” When the core itself was used, it is referred to as a “core tool.” (Naturally, smaller flakes could be removed from larger ones, so not all flakes came off of cores. Or alternatively, big flakes should be thought of as the cores for little ones struck from them. Don’t worry about it.)
Both cores and flakes were used all through the stone age, but there was increasing emphasis on flake tools as time passed and techniques for controlled flaking improved.
The oldest stone tools, known as the Oldowan toolkit, consist of at least:
• Hammerstones that show battering on their surfaces
• Stone cores that show a series of flake scars along one or more edges
• Sharp stone flakes that were struck from the cores and offer useful cutting edges, along with lots of debris from the process of percussion flaking
The evolution of stone tools enabled mankind to many works which could not be done by the earlier man. Animals could be skinned defleshed and the meat could be cut into pieces and distributed with stone cutters, cleavers, and choppers. Clothing which was made from animal hide was scraped clean with rough stone scrapers and later punctured with awls. Hunting became more easy with spearheads made from stone flakes. With the help of stone axes, mankind could make shelter and make houses of his liking.
List of stone tools
Burins or engraving stones used for engraving
Biface stones for working with both sides
Celts or axe like stones
Chert or flint used for making stone tools
Debitage or modified awl
Flakes and flakings