Tools around 10,000 BC

The Globe



The heartland of this new style was the grassy hunting ground of North Africa, where today there is only desert, and the type station is Capsa (Gafsa) in Tunisia. Its characteristic artifact is a tiny geometric flint, chiefly in trapezoid, rhomboid, and triangular forms, commonly known as a microlith, which has been found distributed from Morocco to the Vindhya Hills in India, and from South Africa to Northern Europe. (Primitive Mythology)

Southwest Asia

The ages of the charcoal spanned from 11,000 to 9,500 BC, placing the first settlement of Abu Hureyra in the era of postglacial warming through to near the end of the Younger Dryas. The food residue revealed that the Natufians used sickles of carved deer antler studded with flakes of flint to harvest the natural stands of native wheat and rye. They reaped wild barley, lentil, and vetch, and the fruit of the hackberry, plum, pear, and fig tree, as well as the caper bush. Their diet of plants, fruit, and nuts, though coarse and stressful to their teeth and requiring back-bending labor with grinding stones, mortars, and pestles for preparation, was more than adequate for subsistence. (Noah's Flood)


It was, however, the sudden decline of the Isnan's technological skills that really began to capture my imagination, for around 10,500 BC the grinding-stones and sickle blades used in the production of cereals suddenly disappear without trace, only to be replaced by much cruder stone implements of the sort used by the other, less advanced cultures of the Nile valley. Agriculture then totally disappears from Egypt until it is finally reintroduced, possibly from Palestine, around 5500 BC, some five thousand years after the Isnan lost their advanced capabilities. Even stranger is the fact that, after 10,500 BC, agriculture appears nowhere else in the Old World for at least another thousand years. (From the Ashes of Angels)

Indus Valley





European toolkits, 35,000 to 11,000 years ago. The increasingly diversified economies of the late Pleistocene are reflected in increasingly diverse and sophisticated tool kits compared to earlier periods.(21)

At Rochereil…Jude found that the long, cleanly struck, Magdalenian blades reflected a “veritable souci d' elegance,” but remarked that one searched in vain for any element that could serve as a weapon. Even the carved antler implements believed to have been harpoon heads often had rounded tips at Rochereil,”hardly favorable for penetration.” Common to many Middle to Late Magdalenian deposits, the harpoon heads are more lethal elsewhere, but the most carefully carved and decorated of these pieces may well have served non-utilitarian purposes. (Plato Prehistorian)

The arming of the Magdalenians also seems to have coincided with the gradual abandonment of the decorating of inner chambers of the caves. Although the execution of portable art would continue for a thousand years before it too vanished, the very rare cave paintings that can be dated to the tenth millennium are more often found at entrances than in the deep interiors of the caves. Weapons continued to increase, art to decline, until in the ninth millennium the decay of Magdalenian culture was complete. (Plato Prehistorian)

One of the most remarkable features of the last ice age is the success of living on the plains of Russia. While northwestern Europe became uninhabitable during the LGM, in Russia occupation of a number of sites from the River Don to eastern Siberia appears to have continued unabated. An archaeological site on the Aldan River, a tributary of the Lena in eastern Siberia, was occupied by a possible ancestor group to palaeo-Arctic people of North America. The people who lived in Dyuktai Cave were hunter-gatherers and fishers and used triangular stone points that have become known as the 'Dyuktai culture'. Occupation levels have been dated between 33 and 10 kya...(Climate Change in Prehistory)

In Western Europe...the Aurignacian tradition consisted of a specific set of tools that included retouched blades, engraving tools called burins, and stone scrapers, and it is dated to between 34,000 BP and 27,000 BP. From 27,000 BP to 21,000 BP the Gravettian tradition delveloped, with its emphasis on smaller blades and denticulate knifes. The Solutrean tradtition, dated from 21,000 BP to 16,000BP, is the most striking of all, characterized by finely made, bifacially flaked, symmetrical, leaf-shaped projectile points. Solutrean points are amoung the most finely made stone tools ever found. The Solutrean was followed by the Magdelanian, from 16,000 BP to 11,000 BP, when the emphasis was not on stone tools at all but rather on bone and antler, with the attendant production of microblades. (The Past in Perspective)

South America

Monte Verde, on the banks of Chinchihuapi Creek, is in the hills near the town of Puerto Mont, 500 miles south of Santiago. As Dr. Dillehay reconstructed the prehistoric scene in his mind, a group of 20 to 30 people occupied Monte Verde for a year or so. Stone projectile points found there were carefully chipped on both sides, archaeologists said. The people of Monte Verde also made digging sticks, grinding slabs and tools of bone and tusk. A penny is shown for scale. (98)

Outside the tentlike structure were two large hearths, apparently used communally, grinding stones, and a store of firewood. At some point, presumably close to the time when the site was abandoned, someone ­ probably an adolescent - walked across some soft clay that had been brought to the site to reline the firepits. He or she left three footprints in the clay that were subsequently sealed under the anaerobic ooze that covered the site. These people also brought... pebbles that had been rolled and smoothed in the surf and that they turned into chopping tools, and bitumen for fastening stone tools to wooden hafts. From bone, they made digging tools and gouges; from wood, digging sticks and spear shafts. Except for a handful of bifacially flaked stone projectile points and chopping tools, as well as some grooved sling stones and grinding stones, most of the stone tools they used were extremely simple ­ chiefly pebbles that were only slightly modified - by, say, splitting or knocking off a few flakes with ivory batons. (The First Americans)



North America