Tools around 7,000 BC

The Globe




Southwest Asia

The east Anatolian community of Cayonu was also founded c. 75/7300 BC, and revealed not only the earliest known copper items (a drill, straight pins, ovoid beads) but a settlement plan which far exceeded the expectations of the excavators for so early a site. (Plato Prehistorian)

Most remarkable of all, however, were Ganj Dareh's clay vessels. These ranged in size from thick-walled storage jars of over a hundred liter capacity, to "bread bowls" and even miniature goblets. The excavator believes that the larger containers were probably only sun-baked, but the smaller ones, including one vase made of two hemispheres joined together, evidently had been fired. (Plato Prehistorian)

Jarmo's tool kit (largely microlithic) and carved stone “bracelets" have been compared to those of Alikosh...Investigators have expressed surprise at this very high level of craftsmanship, further noting that "mere usefulness does not furnish an adequate explanation for the tremendous elaboration that the stone bowls underwent." Phallic images were also fashioned from stone at Jarmo; a central drilling suggests that they had been mounted on small sticks, presumably for ceremonial use. (Plato Prehistorian)

Two sites have confirmed the use of copper instruments as early as the first half of the fifth millennium BC, while even earlier evidence of copper deposits and a single lead bead have been detected at an important protoneolithic site named jarmo, situated on the Lesser Zab river in Iraqi Kurdistan. These examples could well date to as early as 6750 BC, some 350 years before copper and lead smelting is known to have been practised at Catal Huyuk in central Anatolia, c. 6400 BC. (From the Ashes of Angels)

At Jarmo [around 6750 BC] a large farming community, living in square, multiroomed houses with mud ovens and sunken baked-clay basins, successfully cultivated the land, produced fruit and grain, brought up animals and smelted copper for anything up to two thousand years. These early neolithic peoples led basic but functional lifestyles, using spoons to eat, bone needles to repair clothes, and stone spindle-whorls to make clothes and probably even to weave carpets. They also used knives and tools with blades made of obsidian obtained from the foothills around Nemrut Dag on Lake Van. (From the Ashes of Angels)



Indus Valley

One of the several things about Mehrgarh that I find puzzling, given the generally high level of development and discipline shown by its people from the beginning, is that the first settlers either did not know how to make pottery, or for some inexplicable reason chose not to use it. At any rate no pottery has been found in the earliest occupation layer (Period 1A) dated to around 9000 years ago; it begins to show up in Period 1B, about a thousand years later. (Underworld)

Other materials excavated at Mehrgarh add to our understanding of its first settlers: they used small amounts of copper 'thought to be of the native variety, not smelted'; their primary tools, fashioned from flint, include sickle blades bearing the characteristic sheen imparted when such blades are used to harvest crops; they wove textiles; they made baskets, sometimes waterproofing them with bitumen; they fashioned awls, spatulas and needles from bone; they also possessed a well-developed bead-making industry producing tiny disc-shaped beads in black steatite, barrel-shaped beads in calcite and bangles of polished conch shell; Dentalium shells -long, hollow tubes that form natural beads - have likewise been found in Mehrgarh. These shells are endemic to the Gulf of Cambay. There is also evidence of contact with coastal areas' and long distance trade networks as attested by the presence of marine shells, lapis lazuli, and turquoise in even the earliest graves'. (Underworld)




The earliest evidence for the use of the bow in Europe, however, dates between 8,000 PB and 9000 BP in northern Europe. (The Past in Perspective

South America




North America

Between 9,000 and 2,500 years ago Desert West cultures worked out a marvelous array of subsistence technologies and strategies, and the aridity of the environment has preserved artifacts so well that we can reconstruct their way of life in considerable detail. Wooden clubs, twined basketry, grinding stones atlatl points, and many other items have been found. (Patterns in Prehistory)

A human mummy found in Spirit Cave, Nevada, recently dated with the most advanced radiocarbon dating methods, was found to be a surprisinbg 9400 years old. This man was buried wearing moccasins and was wrapped in a shroud of neatly woven marsh plants. So expert was the weaving (a method known as "diamond plating") that it appears these people had already mastered the use of looms. (Patterns in Prehistory)

The Koster site, in the Illinois River Valley, was first occupied at about 7,500 BC, and people lived at this site many times, at least until about 2,500 BC. These people slowly improved their technologies, adding new varieties of stone tools, more permanent forms of housing made of clay, poles, and thatch, rare implements of copper for which they traded with neighboring groups, and various other tools. (Patterns in Prehistory)