Human Origins & Prehistory

Paleolithic Stone Tool Types

Upper Paleolithic tools were made by anatomically modern humans and incorporated a range of techniques. These people also made tools from bone and ivory. As well, people of the Upper Paleolithic made figurines and painted extremely sophisticated art, often called "cave paintings."

 


Mousterian Tools were made by Neandertals. A specialized core technique called Levallois was used to manufacture flakes, which could then be made into points or other implements. Some of the technique and tools shapes may have been dictated by slighlty less dextrous Neandertal hands.

 


Acheulean (also spelled Acheulian) tools were made by Homo erectus. Most were chopping and cutting tools. Many were well formed hand axes and cleavers.

g

g

g

g

g

g

g

g

g

g


Oldowan tools, sometimes called "pebble tools," were the earliest stone tools and were made by Homo habilis and perhaps, Australopithecus robustus. This is strongly debated. Perhaps both made similar tools. Their time span and ranges overlapped substantially.
g

g

g

g

g

g

g

g

g


The photos above were scanned and substantially reduced from the book From Lucy to Language by Donald Johanson and Blake Edgar, with photos by David Brill, published by Simon and Schuster, New York, 1996. This book is beautifully done, with extremely good photos of most of the fossil hominids mentioned in this class. It is highly recommended!