Tools of the Trade

Throughout all of history, tools have been used for various things. From hunting to building, tools were constantly in circulation for the ease of society. Survival is the top priority of any human, modern or past. Without survival, we simply would not have society today! The question of our ancestors, however, was how to do just that; how to find enough food, build a stable shelter, and simply survive. The answer: tools. Tools are the puzzle piece that connect us to survival. And yet, the next question would be where to find the tools to aid in survival. Today, we are all familiar with a hammer and screw driver; you can walk into Home Depot and pick up a few and before you know it, you’re building a house! Well, maybe it’s not THAT easy, but it’s certainly simpler than having to build the tools to build said house! Imagine, thousands of years ago, humans had to craft their own tools from bones and stone in order to survive.

The Paleolithic time is split into three different sections; the Lower Paleolithic era, the Middle Paleolithic era, and the Upper Paleolithic era. This is particular important in understanding the ever evolving essence of the human race. During such times, heavy glacial periods plagued the lands, making survival even harder than it already was. In this case, the tools that were made were extremely important for hunting. There were periods of warming as well as interglacial periods in which there were chunks of time between the ice age and the glacier would recede. Regardless of the weather, tools were always a must for a survivor. Behavioral modernity also plays into the ideas behind tools. Behavioral modernity is the term that is used to distinguish our ancestors from modern human beings. This, too, ties into the evolution of tools throughout time. In modern days, we have well crafted and mass produced tools. Back then, stones and bones were used, each different and unique.

In the Upper Paleolithic era, tool traditions were set in place. This simply meant that there were different distinctions between tools, like a family of types. A prime example would be stone tools. By taking a sturdy sample of stone, shaping and sharpening it, you can create a pretty exquisitely hand-made tool. The culture most connected to this idea and craft is the Aurignacian culture. Through archaeological research it has been determined that thousands of years ago, in Europe and Southwest Asia, this culture was found to be distinct due to their stone tool traditions. This culture was truly a cornerstone in the shaping of tools in the behavioral modernity of the human race.