Tools around 80,000 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

A good example of a controversial American early stone tool industry reminiscent of the European eoliths is the one discovered by George Carter in the 1950s at the Texas Street excavation in San Diego. At this site, Carter claimed to have found hearths and crude stone tools at levels corresponding to the last interglacial period, some 80,000-90,000 years ago. (The Hidden History of the Human Race)