Tools around 70,000 BC

The Globe

The multiple ways in which Homo spaiens diverged physically and behaviorally from pre-sapiens forms of Homo in the period between about 300,000 years ago to 30,000 years ago are collectively referred to as the "Middle/Upper Paleolithic transition." This "transition" is visible in many radical changes, such as many technological innovations, including the bow and arrow, atlatl (throwing stick), bone and wood tools of diverse types, and techniques for extracting a relatively great amount of cutting edge from a given amount of stone. (Patterns in Prehistory)


Cro-Magnon settlements existed in Africa, and clearly tool technology existed there well before 40,000 years ago. Blade tool technology is obvious up to 80,000 years ago. Barbed bone points found in Zaire have been dated from 60,000 to 80,000 years old. (Before the Pharaohs)

Southwest Asia




Indus Valley





The Neanderthals were adept stone toolmakers. Most of their tools belong to the Mousterian stone tool industry (named after the site of Le Moustier in southern France), which includes several distinctive stylistic and funtional elements. Francois Bordes uncovered 64 superimposed occupational levels in one cave, spanning the period from about 85,000 to 45,000 years ago. (Patterns in Prehistory)

In the same Middle Stone Age layers at Blombos Cave dating to 77,000 years ago in which incised ochre rods were recovered, researchers found 28 precisely crafted bone tools. Inhabitants of the cave made bone awls and apparent spearpoints in a way that implies a strict adherence to a sequence of steps throughout the toolmaking process. (The Past in Perspective)

South America




North America

The idea that Clovis-type projectile points represent the earliest tools in the New World is challenged by an excavation at the Timlin site in the Catskill mountains of New York State. In the mid-1970s, tools closely resembling the Upper Acheulean tools of Europe were found there. In the Old World, Acheulean tools are routinely attributed to Homo erectus. But such attribution is uncertain because skeletal remains are usually absent at tool sites. The Catskill tools have been given an age of 70,000 years on the basis of glacial geology. (The Hidden History of the Human Race)


Stone tools that have been attributed to modern humans have been found below the layer of ash associated with the supervolcano Toba. This means that modern humans had reached Malaysia before this eruption around 71 kya. (Climate Change in Prehistory)