Article

Stone Tools

Rodney Harrison

in The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199218714
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199218714.013.0023

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Stone Tools

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The focus of this article is stone tools. The history of stone tool research is linked integrally to the history of archaeology and the study of the human past, and many of the early developments in archaeology were connected with the study of stone artefacts. The identification of stone tools as objects of prehistoric human manufacture was central to the development of nineteenth-century models of prehistoric change, and especially the Three Age system for Old World prehistory. This article draws on concepts derived from interdisciplinary material culture studies to consider the role of the artefact after being discarded. It suggests that it is impossible to understand the meaning or efficacy of stone tools without understanding their ‘afterlives’ following abandonment. This article aims to complement contemporary metrical studies of the identification of stone tools and the description of their production. A brief history of the stone tools is explained and this concludes the article.

Keywords: tools; stone tools; archaeology; stone artefacts; Three Age system; Old World prehistory

Article.  9136 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; History and Theory of Archaeology

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