Making stone tools

Making stone tools

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Credit: JOHN READER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Making a stone tool. Reconstruction of the method by which early humans would have made stone tools. A hammer stone (blurred, lower left) is hit against a quartzite core stone, producing sharp flakes. The flakes themselves can be used for cutting, or the core stone can be shaped by repeated flakings into a versatile tool. Such tools can be used for cutting meat and bone, scraping skins, chopping wood and digging. Tools such as this are thought to have been made by Homo erectus, an ancestor of modern humans (H. sapiens) that lived between 1.6 million to 250,000 years ago.

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