Paleolithic Stone Tool 3.17" Chopper
Paleolithic Stone Tool 3.17" Chopper
1 Million Year Old Paleolithic Tools!
The oldest knowledge of humankind we have doesn’t come from stories or recorded histories, but the stones our ancient ancestors left behind. In fact, flint tools have been apart of our species history since before we were even Homo sapiens. Archaic ancestors such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus were the first to take up stone-craft over 2,000,000 years ago.
The Paleolithic represents a long time period in human evolution, marked by many species and tool making techniques. This particular specimen is a stone chopper, which measures 3.17". The tool was recovered in the Akjoujt region of Mauritania. Estimated to be roughly 1,000,000 years old, it is associated with the Oldowan industry. A certificate of authenticity is also included for display purposes.
📸 See the prehistoric touch of each tool
1,000,000 years of history
For most of history, the stone tool was one of the most important pieces of technology our species had. Stone tools like this one were used to chop, slash, crush, grind, dig, build, and more — they were truly a ubiquitous object. Today, the appearances of these objects tracks the movement of early humans.
As it turns out, Homo sapiens weren't the only ones with this stone technology. Even archaic human species like Homo habilis and Homo erectus were capable of creating flint-knapped tools like the one seen here.
📸 A sample paleolithic tool
This specimen is a prehistoric flint-knapped stone tool from the Paleolithic period. It was crafted within the Oldowan tool industry, putting it around 1,000,000 years old. Tools like this were made by archaic human species to process food and hides, hunt animals, and grind plants.
Each Paleolithic stone tool comes shipped in a sturdy carton along with an informational photo card which serves as the statement of authenticity. These tools are each unique and priced separately by size. You can see all available Paleolithic tools at the collection below.
AGE: OVER 1,000,000 YEARS OLD
MORE ABOUT PALEOLITHIC STONE TOOLS
📸 Proposed migrations of humans out of Africa (Source: Saioa López, Lucy van Dorp and Garrett Hellenthal - López, S., van Dorp, L., & Hellenthal, G. (2015). Human Dispersal Out of Africa: A Lasting Debate.)
THE BEGINnING OF OUR SPECIES
Humanity’s story begins in Africa, where early ancestors of our species explored the vast expanse of the continent. Small groups of archaic humans walked to the edges of the land and eventually beyond it.
Homo sapien is defined by two evolutionary advantages: large brains and bipedal motion suited for long migrations. With these two evolutionary traits, humanity fanned out across the world, populating vast continents and distant islands alike.
Many narratives of history are centered around discovery. Humankind seems to always be on the go, looking forward to what is beyond the horizon. According to prehistory evidence, it seems that drive comes from a very primal place. Even before we were Homo sapiens, our ancestors were on the move.
One way for paleontologists to track humanity’s journey from Africa is to chart small evolutionary variances between us and our closest relatives, to assemble a kind of timetable on our journeys. Fitting for the first modern bipedal, Homo erectus was the first of its family to leave the continent.
From there, Erectus migrated across the Sinai Peninsula into Western Asia, sweeping across the continent as far as Java in Indonesia, where there is evidence that the species persisted as recently as 50,000 years ago. That drive so many of us feels to discover something new may be what moved these prehistoric peoples on their incredible migrations.
Among our thick branch of human evolution are a number of other species that maintained the same unifying trait that made us such great explorers: an unusually large brain, comparable to the size of a human brain today. Two species are of particular note: Homo habilis and the aforementioned Erectus. These were two of the earliest identifiable archaic human species, marking the shift from the more ape-like Australopithecus.
Habilis appears in the fossil record first, over 2 million years ago, suggesting it evolved before Erectus. In fact, Habilis is so old that there is some controversy of whether it belongs in the Homo genus at all. More recent studies suggest Habilis’ teeth limited its diet outside of what would be expected for an archaic human. Its bones also suggest movement closer to the proceeding Australopithecus.
Erectus on the other hand appears in the fossil record a few million years later, and is more comfortably situated within the archaic humans group. It is with Erectus that modern bipedalism first appears. The behavior is present in earlier species, but with a more clumsy locomotion, owing to different length joints, a wider pelvis, and a lower center of gravity. But with modern bipedalism the movements became smoother and allowed early humans to migrate over greater distances.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Along these migration routes are the remains left behind by these primitive explorers, and buried along with their bones are their persistent stone tools. Toolmaking is a useful demarcation point in tracing humanity's origins, but the behavior’s history is fuzzy, overlapping with Australopithecus. Regardless, Habilis is accepted as the first human ancestor to take up the behavior, hence its name, which means “handy man”.
The earliest known tools date back 2,600,000 million years, deep into the Paleolithic and far older than any known human civilization. For the vast majority of human history, the stone tool was the presiding technology of its time.
The basic method of Paleolithic tool making was through hammering flakes off large pieces of flint. A starting rock would have one side knapped to a sharp point by cleaving edges away with a hammerstone or antler. The other half was rounded out, giving the tool an almond look. This allowed it to fit snugly into one’s hand for both comfort and grip.
This tool was a part of the Oldowan Stone Tool Industry, the first identifiable era of toolmaking. Choppers, as they were known, served as an all-purpose tool, from cutting meat to carving wood. Like the early archaic human species, they’re concentrated in Africa, but radiate out along the migration route traced by species like Erectus, appearing across Asia and beyond.
Front of the Specimen Card
Back of the Specimen Card
Foley R. Humans Before Humanity: An Evolutionary Perspective. Blackwell Publishers; 1995.
Gibbons, A. “Who Was Homo habilis—And Was It Really Homo?” Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 332.6036 (2011): 1370–1371. Web.
Hendry, Lisa. “Homo Erectus, Our Ancient Ancestor” Natural History Museum in London. Web.
Reti, Jay S. “Quantifying Oldowan Stone Tool Production at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.” PloS one 11.1 (2016): e0147352–e0147352. Web.