Tools of Early Humans

••• Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

In the modern age, it can often be difficult to conceive of a time without machinery or technology. However, early humans had only the tools that they could make for themselves out of the materials they had at hand. Despite this, early humans created a wide array of surprisingly effective tools to help them survive.

Projectile Points

One of early man's greatest inventions was the projectile point. While wooden arrows with simple sharpened points did often have the penetrating power of arrows tipped with points, the broad edge of the flint arrow tip caused more tissue damage, which resulted in the prey bleeding out and dropping more quickly.


For many years archaeologists thought that the sole point of flint knapping was to produce sharp arrow points for arrows or spears. They often disregarded the larger pieces, until it was realized that these large palm sized chunks were themselves useful for tasks like scraping hides. They were also used to create composite weapons like axes.

Fishing Gear

For those early humans who lived near the sea, rivers or lakes, fish and other seafood were often a part of their diet. Some of these fish were caught using spears, but most early humans used fishing hooks on lines or nets. The hooks were fashioned out of bone or stone. Early humans often used cast nets with stones attached to the edges to keep the fish from escaping.

Sewing Tools

In the often harsh climatic conditions early humans encountered, the need to stay warm was often as important as food, if not more so. For this reason, humans began early on to try to assemble the crude hides they wore into more airtight garments. To do this, they had an array of stone tools for scraping and cutting the hides, as well as and needles made of stone or bone.

About the Author

Carol Adams has been writing since 2009. She writes about graphics, 3D and video software for various websites. Adams earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a Master of Arts in liberal arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Photo Credits

  • Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images