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November 20th, 2009
Spark Blog: Video - Making Stone Tools Is Sooo Millions of Years Ago

John Shea at Stony Brook University is one of the best stone toolmakers on the planet today, keeping alive the technologies used by our most ancient ancestors. As a paleoanthropologist, his interest is in recreating these once-ubiquitous tools to learn more about the early hominids who relied on them for survival. In this web-exclusive video, John Shea teaches Alan Alda some of the ins and outs of toolmaking… Do you think you can tell the difference between a stone that’s been worked by a person and one that’s been broken by nature?

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  • lanny taylor

    DID I hear the scientist say that these types 0f rock tools date back to 2 bil.years ago???? I didn’t think primates came into existence until after the Dinosaurs became extinct around 160 million years ago?????? And aren’t the oldest homid fossils about 4 mil. years old?????

  • Jenni

    The oldest stone tools date to approximately 2.6 million years ago.

  • Susan Heavener

    Fascinating,intriguing program about human development across millions of years. At age 11, I realized/learned how to knap my own arrowheads/projectile points and how to haft the stone tips to one end of the wooden shaft then attached 2 feather strips to opposite end of arrow. No other person was present when I learned/improvised the knapping techniques-I learned them from a book. I did not major nor minor in paleontology/anthropology-these are fields of personal interest. I also constructed bows, spears, axes. I am here today because the human spark lit a fire that never went out. Non-human/other species do not start/make fire using any method-not even the bow and drill method. My interest in human survival/development was sparked decades ago by a difficult life and due to an interest in Amerind culture,art,crafts etc.

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