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Tools and the Stone Age

Tools and the Stone Age

One of the most important advancements in human history was the development and use of tools. Tools allowed hominids to become the masters of their environments, to hunt, to build, and to perform important tasks that made life easier for them. The first tools were made out of stone. Thus, historians refer to the period of time before written history as the Stone Age.

Stone Age

Historians divide the Stone Age into three different periods based on the sophistication and methods of tool design. The first such period is referred to as the Paleolithic, or Old Stone Age. The Old Stone Age began about 2 million years ago with the development of the first tools by Homo habilis and lasted until around 12,000 years ago.

The Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age, began around 12,000 years ago and continued through about 8,000 years ago. The Neolithic, or New Stone Age, lasted from 8,000 years until around 5,000 years ago.