Your Parker and Sons maintenance technician almost looks like a superhero doesn’t he? He is handsome and he smiles. His uniform is crisp and bright. His tool belt shines. It is full of the finest, most precise, highest quality tools mankind has ever seen. He has everything he needs to get the job done. Now imagine if his tool belt was full of stones. That wouldn’t seem so strange to a caveman millions of years ago. In fact, back then stone tools were the most advanced thing anyone had ever seen!
Some of the oldest tools in the world were discovered in 1992 by Rutgers University paleoanthropologists Sileshi Semaw and John W.K. Harris. They used argon dating methods to determine that these crude devices were between 2.52 and 2.60 million years old!
Ancient tools were created through a process called “knapping.” Knapping was the method of chipping, breaking, and shaping stones, usually using other stones themselves. It seems like a crude technique but ancient people were able to use knapping to produce some startling and impressive results.
Knapping produced tools ranging from hammers, knives, scrapers, and sickles, to arrowheads. Arrowheads are probably the most iconic ancient tool. Making something so thin and sharp was extremely difficult and many arrowheads would be broken and shattered in the knapping process.
The Flintknapper was in charge of creating these tools in ancient societies. He was skilled laborer, much like a Parker and Sons technician, and held in extremely high regard. Without him the village would be unable to create the tool which they used on a daily basis. Stone tools set the standard for everything that would come next. A rock was used to create a sharper rock which was then in turn used to create an even better tool. Millions and millions of years later, through constant refinement, we have the high quality tools our mechanics use today.