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Posted by / 26-Aug-2017 14:57

Dating stone age tools

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.Earliest stone tools, and those in which the stone knapper had least control over how the stone would break, were made by percussion flaking, that is, whacking a stone with something —usually another stone, appropriately called a "hammer stone." Whacking with something slightly softer than stone —such as antler— allowed somewhat greater control in some cases.Smaller, better controlled flakes are removed, so that the cutting edges can be longer.Hand axes, like modern cleavers, had sufficient weight for heavy jobs, but good enough cutting edges for finer work, and were one of the most enduring tools in human history.Tools varied depending upon the stone available and its characteristics. Obviously sandstone is far too soft to take an edge. Granite is inconsistent in its hardness and won't hold a sharp edge, and so on.For most of the world's foraging societies, the preferred stone for most tools was whatever would take the sharpest edge, typically chert, flint or, where available, obsidian, which can be worked much like broken glass.Most choppers use the natural breaks as cutting edges, but exhibit little retouching to lengthen the cutting edge beyond what is produced when a single flake is removed.

While choppers were made by Homo habilis, bifacial "chopping tools" are found with Homo erectus, and merge into hand axes.

(For other stones, see the section on ground stone, below.) (More About Obsidian, More About Flint) Although obsidian flakes are capable of breaking with a startlingly sharp edge —sharper than steel— they do not retain the edge as steel does, so stone tools in actual use require constant sharpening, just as stringed instruments require constant tuning and dogs need constant feeding.

They were sharpened by knocking off additional tiny chips along the edge, taking care to do it in such a way as to keep the edge reasonably straight.

A hand-ax is in many ways simply a refined chopper.

It is flatter and may be chipped all the way around.

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The age of the site puts it at a time when early modern humans were thought to be first emigrating from Eastern Africa to the rest of the world.

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