Dating stone tools

(More About Oldowan Tools) Many specialists distinguish between "choppers" often with only a flake or two removed to sharpen an edge, and "chopping tools" which have flakes removed from two sides of the cutting edge.While choppers were made by Homo habilis, bifacial "chopping tools" are found with Homo erectus, and merge into hand axes.The earliest stone toolmaking developed by at least 2.6 million years ago.

Earliest stone tools, and those in which the stone knapper had least control over how the stone would break, were made by percussion flaking, that is, whacking a stone with something —usually another stone, appropriately called a "hammer stone." Whacking with something slightly softer than stone —such as antler— allowed somewhat greater control in some cases.Stone tools were made by taking a piece of stone and knocking off flakes, a process known as "knapping." When the flakes were used, the tools produced are referred to as "flake tools." When the core itself was used, it is referred to as a "core tool." (Naturally, smaller flakes could be removed from larger ones, so not all flakes came off of cores.Or alternatively, big flakes should be thought of as the cores for little ones struck from them.When pressure flaking was done with such materials as wood, bone, or antler, it was possible for skilled stone knappers to achieve truly excellent control over just how a stone would flake.These methods were normally combined, using percussion flaking to produce roughly the shape desired, followed by pressure flaking to finish the job.

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