Considering that most of the conversations we have about tools these days involve tools of the digital variety (and if they are based in the Cloud or not), it might be hard to imagine that at one time, a slightly-altered rock was considered the norm for manufacturing one’s own goods.
In a recent article that was published on Nature yesterday, a group of researchers announced that they have discovered a set of stone tools in Kenya that are 3.3 million years old – which pushes the previous record back 700,000 years and makes these the oldest stone tools ever discovered.
According to the study, the tools weren’t intended to be used independently (like a hammer or a screwdriver) but rather, together as a sort of ‘kit’ for breaking off bits of stone to create sharp objects – most likely for cutting purposes.
While some of the stones that were unearthed appear to have been used as ‘hammers’, others were used as cores (or ‘chisels’) to help craft the edges of what would ultimately be a sharp object. Additionally, the hammers appear to be engineered to be held in both hands for striking down on the cores rather than the single-hand method that we have become accustomed to using today.
Perhaps most surprisingly, is that the researchers believe that there are even older hand tools in existence that are yet to be discovered.