Until about 10,000 years ago when agriculture first appeared, much of humanity lived as nomadic hunter gatherers. During the Paleolithic, the Moustarian stone tool industry, developed by Neanderthals and early human beings, exhibited increasing specialisation in the production of stone tools. However, it was during the Upper Paleolithic and early Neogene that stone tools used by nomads reached a high level of specialisation and led to the use of other materials for tool production.
Moustarian Stone Tools
The Moustarian industry of tools lasted from between 200,000 and 40,000 years ago and produced advances in stone tool development and specialisation. This industry was associated with Neanderthals and early human beings. Moustarian tools involved the preliminary shaping of the stone core before striking flakes off to produce the blade. Previous techniques of stone tool shaping involved striking flakes off the unshaped rock to produce the desired tool.
Moustarian Tool Types
Examples of Moustarian tools that were used by nomads from the Mid to Upper Paleolithic include cutting tools such as serrated flakes, notched flakes and bladed flakes; pointed tools designed as spear or lance heads, and scraping tools used for the removal of animal hides.
Upper Paleolithic Stone Tools
The Upper Paleolithic tool industry, which lasted from approximately 40,000 to 12,000 years ago, marked a clear advance in the type and quality of stone tools used by nomads. Originating independently in both Africa and Asia, this industry was developed almost exclusively by anatomically modern human beings. The diversity of tools reflected the diversity of environments, food sources and the increase in cultural diversity that developed during the Upper Paleolithic.
Upper Paleolithic Tool Types
Upper Paleolithic stone tools employed by nomadic peoples exhibited a greater sophistication than ever before, including burins, which were chisel type stones used for working ivory and bone; more sophisticated and sharp blades, made from superior stone types such as obsidian, which provided more cutting edge; hammer stones made for shaping other stones, and drilling points for making beads and other jewellery.