Making silent stones speak : human evolution and the dawn of technology

by Kathy Diane Schick

Paper Book, 1994



Call number

GN799.T6 S35


New York : Simon & Schuster, 1994.


By far the greatest part of human history has been taken up by peoples whose principal tool was the stone hand-axe. But until now, we knew very little about what the hand-axes were actually used for. Taking an original approach - in learning to make the tools themselves and trying them out - the authors made some astonishing discoveries about the technical abilities of our primitive ancestors. And their experiments provided new insights into theories of brain evolution and human development.

User reviews

LibraryThing member gypsysmom
had never really thought about how stone tools were made before reading this book. The authors not only examined stone tools from the beginning of hominids' use to quite recent use by people in remote islands of New Guinea but they made and used stone tools themselves. They make the case, very
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persuasively, that stone tools were the first technology. They suggest that making and using the tools drove hominids to expand their brains which lead to mutations bringing about modern man i.e. homo sapiens sapiens.

Along the way they talk about how archeologists and paleontologists work which I found very interesting. They also discuss some of the controversies and yet to be explained problems existent in paleontology at the time of writing (1993). I googled to see if some of these problems had been resolved since then but didn't find any breakthroughs. Schick and Toth are still working in this area in the Stone Age Institute they set up at Indiana University. It is obviously a labour of love for them.
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Physical description

351 p.; 24 cm


0671875388 / 9780671875381



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