The Buia Homo stone age tools are among the oldest and most complete of human-made tools. The earliest stone tools date back 2.6 million years ago and are made by the species known as Homo habilis, sometimes called the ‘handy man’. This group was a hunter-gatherer society, which evolved into a permanent agricultural culture about ten thousand years ago.
The Buia area’s palaeoanthropology is consistent with its environment, suggesting that it was part of a savannah and open grassland. The resulting channel fills contained bones and other artefacts, and thus formed a preferential horizon for fossil hunting. This discovery reveals the relationship between human hand anatomy and stone age tools.
The Oldowan stone age tools are crudely worked pebble tools that date from the early Paleolithic. They are made from pebbles that were chipped in two directions and were used for chopping, scraping, cutting, and other purposes. They may have been used by early hominids who lived in East Turkana and Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Both sites were home to robust australopithecines at the time.
Oldowan stone tool assemblages show remarkable variation, perhaps reflecting differential constraints on raw materials or different production methods. This diversity can provide insight into the evolution of stone tool technology and the cultural transmission of lithic production.
Several research programs are now examining the morphology of Oldowan stone tools. Earlier studies have shown that the tools were not uniform in shape. One study found that approximately 70% of Oldowan tools were made of trachyte. The assemblages in the Gona river system also revealed cut-marked bones.
In addition, it can help us better define the scope and timing of the various evolutionary events in human evolution.
Some Oldowan tools have been dated to around 1.8 million years ago. The precise dates of Oldowan tools are not available, but the evidence points to the presence of hominins in the area.
It is possible that these creatures lived in areas outside of Africa. However, it is not clear how Oldowan stone tools got from there to these other areas.
The harpoon was made of a long wooden shaft with a sharpened end. The harpoon was often fitted with a line. It was most useful in close combat, but could also be used to cut wood and undergrowth. In the late Stone Age, harpoons were used to kill large animals like whales and swordfish.
The earliest harpoons date to the Late Glacial and illustrate the high level of technical skill of Late Glacial hunters. As early as the 19th century, prehistorians believed that these tools were detachable harpoon heads.
Different groups of harpons have different functions. The Gourdan and La Madeleine harpons are rounded, while the Laugerie Basse and bilateraux have barbs that are cut in a groove. These two types of harpoons differ in the number of barbs and in the shape of their bevels.