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The use of small tools of ancient mankind is a major reason why we are unique.

teaools have long been at the heart of the ongoing quest of humans to understand our own evolution. Man made tools, and man was therefore considered the only cognitively complex. However, the problem with this idea is that toolmaking and tool use no Many animals, from orangutans to crows, make tools.

What The fact is Making us special, the anthropologists debate in the upcoming overview. small tool. March / April issue Evolutionary AnthropologyThe team of researchers claims that previous researchers underestimated the "smallness" of prehistoric toolmakers. They argue that the creation of small tools was in fact a central component of early technology and that the practice of making these devices made us prosperous.

"The making and use of small tools was a key part of the ancestor's adaptive behavior set," says Dr. Justin Pargeter, associate postdoctoral fellow at Emory University. station. "The ability to deploy technology in a broad geographical scope and environment has certainly contributed to our global expansion."

Stone tool
Humans needed larger and heavier tool kits to create smaller, more efficient sculpting versus hand axes.

When Pargeter says he is small, small: A tool that allows an adult to wrap it in the palm of your hand and comfortably hold between the thumb and the tip of the index finger. These small tools have been overlooked in the academic desire to make great discoveries.

Prior to this overview, miniaturization was considered more as a recent phenomenon, such as the creation of items such as microchips, which are considered modern phenomena. Pargeter and his team argue that miniaturization is a long-term technological phenomenon, and that making things like microchips is a natural progression of ancestors started millions of years ago.

Dr. John Shea, a professor of anthropology at Story Brook University, co-author of Pargeter and former researcher, found that stone fragments less than one inch in length were found on archaeological records of all continents. These pieces are small but effective for piercing, cutting and scratching.

Pargeter and Shea considered the introduction of stone flake 2 million years ago as the first inflection point of miniaturization. This usage was not widespread, but essential for everyday work. The second spike in miniaturization technology took place about 100,000 years ago as the invention of lightweight stone inserts for high-speed weapon development. Another explosion of another small tool that took place during the last ice age last 17,000 years ago is a penny-sized small quartz flake used for hunting and cutting as a sort of Swiss army knife.

The size and efficiency of these tools has contributed to human survival and success. Unlike stacking heavy objects, miniatures are easy to carry and lightweight. However, in order to make small and light tools, we need human hands like other animals.

Stone carving
The discovery of a small crystal flake inspired Justin Pargeter's investigation into the miniaturization of the Stone Age.

"Miniaturized technology requires manual dexterity, a unique evolving trait in hominins," Pargeter says. "This dexterity is based on the shape of the hands, especially the fingers. Non-human animals are creative with the tools they use, but most, if not all, lack the dexterity to make and use them."

Looking at our modern world, we can see that we have not lost our belief in the preference or usefulness of the miniature. Pargeter points out that the pursuit of microchips, nanofibers and nanoparticles is a continuation of our natural tendency for innovative solutions to solve problems. The solutions we've learned can be delivered in all sizes. There is also the possibility that the history of a small scale may be linked to the overall magic of the miniature.

"I think human beings have a natural attraction to a miniaturized world," Pargeter said. "I see the real world through magnifying glass."


Lithic miniaturization has been one of the more popular stone production strategies of our ancestors Pupistocene and represents the major difference between human and non – human tools. Quartz miniaturization, often identified as "microlitho" production, is a more complex, diverse, and evolutionary phenomenon involving small backed tools, bladelets, small fixtures, flakes and small cores. In this review, we evaluate the various technologies and functional elements of lithic miniaturization. We investigate archaeological assumptions about why prehistoric masonry workers used quartz miniaturization processes using small stone tools, small elongated tools, small quartz tools, and backed tools. We point out several aspects of lithic miniaturization and the functional differences that motivate archaeologists in some cases that erosionists have led to false negative results on lithic miniaturization. Finally, we propose a productive method by which archaeologists can come closer to understanding the complex evolutionary forces that lead to the variability of lithic miniaturization.

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