Week 14: Hammerstone

Why is this stone shaped like this?

What was this used for?

What is flint-knapping?

Why are there so many hammerstones in museums?



Answers:

Why is this stone shaped like this? What was it used for?

As you might guess from its shape, this is a hammerstone, a prehistoric tool made out of hewn rock and used as a hammer. Hammerstones were also used to chip bits off of other rocks in order to make many different kinds of tools.

What is flint-knapping?

Flint-knapping is the practice of striking rocks with other, harder rocks to chip away pieces that are sharp enough to be used as knives, arrowheads, spearheads, or other tools. The earliest known tools made by flint-knapping were made over 2 million years ago!

Why are there so many hammerstones in museums?

If you go to any museum of natural history, there is a good chance you will find many hammerstones. The reason for this is that hammerstones have been in use for so many years of human history, and over so much of the globe, that we fortunately have a great number of examples to study.



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