Stone tools used by early man

Updated April 17, 2017

Early man began using stone tools in daily life as far back as 2 million years ago. The use of stone tools represents an important step in the evolution of man and technology, with Homo erectus being the first human ancestor to use stone tools. These artefacts give insight about how early human ancestors made things, what their lives were like and how they interacted with their surroundings.


Hammerstones are some of the earliest stone tools, dating back to the Early Stone Age of Africa and the Lower Paleolithic Era in Europe and Asia, which equates to at least 2.6 million years ago. A hammerstone is a medium size round stone, which is referred to as a "cobble," and was used for hammering and strike stone for the purpose of sculpting and shaping it to a desired form. The hammerstone was a simple, universal tool and hammerstone artefacts can be found throughout India, Europe and North America along with other regions.


The development of stone points marked a significant advance for early man, especially in terms of hunting. Stone points were fashioned using the previously mentioned hammerstones and could be used for spears, darts, arrows and a variety of projectile weapons. Different stone points were made for different purposes, depending on the culture and location. For example, the Clovis Point was used for hunting mammoths and other large animals. The name "Clovis" refers to a particular style of point that was native to man's early ancestors in North America.


Like the hammerstone, stone scrapers were also one of the most universal stone tools used by early man. Scrapers were small stone tools that finished in a rounded point and were primarily used in the preparation of hides and leather. Scrapers facilitated in the removal of fur and fatty tissue so that animal skins and hide could be treated for further use. Scrapers were also used to prepare wood and other materials, as well as to clean and soften leather and animal skins. Scrapers could have wooden handles, but could also be used as hand tools and played a heavy duty role in everyday life. Stone scraper tools were used during the Middle Stone Age, which dates back about 200,000 years ago.

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About the Author

Carrieanne Larmore has been a professional writer since 2004, mainly writing marketing studies, business plans and research papers. She has held management and executive positions in multimillion-dollar corporations within the United States and Canada, created the E-Commerce Business Journal, and founded Royal Summit Consulting Inc. Larmore holds a Master of Business Administration in entrepreneurship, plus a bachelor's degree in finance and management.