Discuss tool types of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic cultures, with suitable diagrams

  1. Lower Paleolithic Tool Types:

The Lower Paleolithic period spans from approximately 2.6 million years ago to around 300,000 years ago.

During this time, early hominins such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus were prevalent. The tool types associated with Lower Paleolithic cultures include:

  1. Oldowan Tools: Oldowan tools are the earliest known stone tools, dating back to around 2.6 million years ago. These tools were simple in design and primarily made by striking one stone (core) with another (hammerstone) to create sharp flakes and choppers. Oldowan tools were mainly used for tasks such as butchering meat, processing plant materials, and simple woodworking.
  • Acheulean Tools: Acheulean tools are associated with Homo erectus and emerged around 1.8 million years ago. These tools are more advanced than the Oldowan tools and were characterized by the presence of handaxes and bifacial tools. Handaxes were symmetrical teardrop-shaped tools with sharp edges, while bifacial tools were flaked on both sides. Acheulean tools were versatile and could be used for a variety of tasks, including butchery, woodworking, and scraping.
  • Middle Paleolithic Tool Types:

The Middle Paleolithic period extends from approximately 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. Notable hominin species of this period include Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. Middle Paleolithic tool types include:

  1. Mousterian Tools: The Mousterian tool industry is associated with Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens. Mousterian tools were more refined and sophisticated compared to earlier tool types. They were characterized by the production of flake tools, including scrapers, points, and blades. These tools were often retouched to create specific shapes and cutting edges, indicating a more specialized approach to tool-making.
  • Levallois Technique: The Levallois technique is a distinctive method of stone tool production developed during the Middle Paleolithic. It involved carefully shaping a stone core to produce flakes of predetermined shapes and sizes. This technique allowed for the creation of more standardized tools, such as points, scrapers, and knives. The Levallois technique is considered an important technological advancement during this period.

It’s Important to note that the tool types and their specific characteristics can vary across different regions and time periods within the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. Archaeologists use these tools to understand the technological advancements, cultural behaviors, and adaptations of early human populations during these periods.

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