8 junio, 2024

13 Prehistoric Tools and their Characteristics

The prehistoric tools or from the Stone Age that have been found are proof that man has always been the creator of utensils that help him carry out his tasks.

The Stone Age precedes the Metal Age. It is the first period of prehistory, and contains three major stages that are: Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic, each of which meant important economic and social developments for humanity.

The main characteristic of the Stone Age is that man made the first stone tools, achieving a very important technical advance. Thus begins the efficient history of humanity.

Perhaps man, tired of using only his body as a tool to survive, seeking to make the job easier and using his ability to think, began to use the elements to his advantage.

Main tools of the Stone Age

The Paleolithic period (or Old Stone Age) is the stage of carved stone. The tools were manufactured by percussion; that is to say, hitting the stones with each other, forming flakes or sheets, to later retouch the edges and achieve the desired effect.

The Neolithic period (or New Stone Age) is the stage of polished stone, since they made tools by polishing or rubbing the stone, thus achieving finer shapes.

The Stone Age toolkit included the following:

1- The bifaces

They are recognized as the first prehistoric tools, typical of the Lower Paleolithic.

They were generally made of flint and were carved on both sides to achieve a triangular shape with a semicircular base. They were used to pierce, scrape or cut.

2- The burins

They were stone or lithic tools, with a sharp end and a rounded end for grip. They were made using a technique called burin: when hitting the stone, flakes are formed that leave a polished piece.

They are mainly typical of the Upper Paleolithic. They were used to make bone and wooden utensils, and to make incisions.

3- The hand axes

They are hand tools from the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. They made them by shaping stone with a hammer, also made of stone, to form sharp edges. The result was a pointed instrument, similar in shape to an arrowhead.

They were possibly used for daily activities such as chopping wood, digging holes, cutting meat, scraping leather, and for defense against wild animals.

4- The spearheads

They were made of stones by percussion, laborious work but very valuable, because man discovered that if they were attached to a wooden stick with plant or animal fibers, they were a valuable tool to shorten the time they needed to hunt and gather. .

The use of the spear increased the number of animals that could be hunted. They were used for personal protection and could be used several times.

5- Clovis points

They are prehistoric stone artifacts, typical of the Clovis culture (American Indians).

They are the most valuable of spearheads. They were almost symmetrical, lanceolate in shape, with wide grooves on both sides, to easily connect to the wood. They could be used for hunting from a distance.

6- The knives

The first knives were made of stone by the percussion method. They were wide flakes.

They are characteristic of the Middle Paleolithic. During the Paleolithic, similar tools made of bone or wood were perhaps used, but because they were perishable, they were not preserved.

Knives were used to cut and as a weapon to kill animals. Being pointed, they were more efficient at stabbing the prey.

In contrast to today’s knives, which have both a handle and a blade, Stone Age knives were one solid piece.

7- The scrapers

They were made of flakes of stone. These prehistoric tools were teardrop-shaped with a polished, cutting edge. They appear in the Middle Paleolithic but were more used during the Upper Paleolithic.

They were used to extract fat and hair from animal hides, to separate meat from bone, and to polish wood and bone. It seems that its main purpose was to tan the skins of animals to make clothing and shelters.

8- The adzes

They were tools similar in shape to the axe, but with an edge mainly on one of its sides; they usually carried a handle.

They are typical of the Neolithic period. They were used for woodworking and agricultural tasks.

9- The drillers

They are prehistoric implements used in the Paleolithic. They were made in such a way that one of its ends ended in a rounded tip, like a needle, in order to fulfill its function as an awl.

They were used to make holes in all kinds of materials. Possibly they were also used as a chisel, hitting them with an object on the piece to be drilled.

10- The scrapers

Lithic instruments that were made using small flakes, which are retouched to give shape to the scraper, either with single or double edges. They appear during the Lower Paleolithic and survive until closer periods.

There are several types of scrapers: simple, straight, concave, biconvex, among others. Being sharp objects, they were used to cut or scrape. They were also used to tan skins, like the scraper.

They could be used to make cuts in soft materials. They were special to treat the skins, removing hair and fat from them.

It is estimated that the Stone Age is the first period in which technology developed, due to man’s initiative to make tools.

Human beings will always have the need to make utensils that facilitate their tasks. Since the origin of man, tools have been an essential part of his progress.

10- The firing pins

Lithic tool developed to obtain flakes or sheets. These were later used for the manufacture of stone tools.

The firing pin was a large stone that began to be used in flakes during the Lower Paleolithic. It had a function similar to what anvils have today and there were two types: hard hammers and soft hammers, the second being more sophisticated than the first.

11- The cleavers

Also called a cleavers, it was a tool similar to a biface. It was long, large and had a symmetrical carving on two sides and a transversal edge similar to that of an axe.

Tools of this type have been reported from southern Europe and northern Africa, possibly from the Lower and Middle Paleolithic.

12- The sickle teeth

Tool difficult to categorize due to its diverse morphology according to the deposits found. It is from a tool from the most recent Prehistory, dating back to the Chalcolithic.

It was an element on a flake made on a blade and with the main characteristic of its denticulated edge. It used to be D-shaped and its main purpose was agriculture, since it had a mowing capacity.


historical criticism. Retrieved from What is a scraper?: criticahistorica.com
History and Biographies. Retrieved from historiaybiografias.com

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