Dating stone tools

Hundreds of early Acheulean cores, flakes and manuports (tools carried from elsewhere), as well as a smaller number of choppers, handaxes and cleavers, have been recovered from Sterkfontein and Cradle of Humankind sites.Such larger, core-based tools were made mainly from quartzite, which flakes in a predictable way.They are commonly no more than by-products of stone tool making.But some cores could have been used to break open bones for their protein-rich marrow and to chop up tough vegetation for eating.This was followed by the Middle Acheulean from about 1-million years ago to 600,000 years ago, and the Later Acheulean from about 600,000 years ago to 300,000 years ago.Acheulean technology remained relatively unchanged for more than a million years, but the apparent lack of progress masks a critical period when .One of the features that distinguishes humans and their hominid ancestors from the rest of the animal kingdom is their possession of complex culture, which includes the ability to communicate with spoken language, create art and make tools.The oldest stone tools dated so far are nearly 2.6-million years old and come from Ethiopia.

Raw materials: Quartz, chert, quartzite and various igneous (volcanic) rocks Who made these tools?Our ancestors only began to make more refined tools from bone much more recently, probably only within the last 100,000 years.Bone tools dated to about 80,000 years ago have been found in Blombos Cave, on the southern Cape coast of South Africa.The oldest stone tools and most primitive stone tool technology, the Oldowan industry, is named after Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where tools of this type were first discovered.Sterkfontein has produced the oldest stone tools in Southern Africa – cores and flakes of the Oldowan industry dating to nearly 2-million years ago. Other primates remain unable to independently create these tools.

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