Tools

The Hohle Fels baton, made from 15 pieces of ivory unearthed in 2015.

Stone Age People Used This 35,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Tusk Tool to Make Rope, Scientists Say

To test their hypothesis that the perforated object was a tool, researchers used a replica to create a 16-foot-long rope from cattail reeds

Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a new technique that allows artists to embed invisible “poison” into their work that misleads A.I. models.

Artists Can Use This Tool to Protect Their Work From A.I. Scraping

Nightshade subtly alters the pixels of an image to mislead A.I. image generators, ultimately damaging the models

Jean Fouquet's Melun Diptych features two panels, Étienne Chevalier with Saint Stephen on the left, and Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels on the right.

Mysterious Stone in 15th-Century Painting Could Be a Prehistoric Tool

Jean Fouquet's "Melun Diptych" is likely the earliest artistic representation of an Acheulean hand ax

An illustration of the Homo erectus child with her mother in the Ethiopian highlands, two million years ago

Two Million Years Ago, This Homo Erectus Lived the High Life

Dating of a child's fossilized jaw and teeth suggest our relatives lived at altitude earlier than once thought

Human bone inside Cueva de los Marmoles, the cave in Spain where the study took place.

Prehistoric Humans May Have Dug Up Bodies to Make Tools

A study of bones from a Spanish cave suggests humans might have fashioned tools from the remains of recently deceased community members or relatives

The excavation team uncovering the wooden structure. It was unearthed along the Kalambo River in Zambia at a site called Kalambo Falls.

Archaeologists Uncover Notched Logs That May Be the Oldest Known Wooden Structure

The interlocking pieces, found near a waterfall in Zambia, date to 476,000 years ago—before Homo sapiens evolved

The arrowhead was originally discovered in the 19th century, then stashed away as part of a museum collection. Recently, researchers decided to take another look.

This Arrowhead Was Made From a Meteorite 3,000 Years Ago

Found in Switzerland, the 1.5-inch-long artifact was fashioned from meteoric iron during the Bronze Age

This polishing stone is more than 5,000 years old and was once used to sharpen ax heads.

Rare Neolithic 'Polishing Boulder' Discovered in England

Used to sharpen axes, the 5,000-year-old polissoir is only the second of its kind ever found in the country

Archaeologist Letty Ingrey measures one of the hand axes.

Giant Hand Axes Discovered in England Point to Prehistoric Humans' 'Strength and Skill'

A trove of artifacts found in a valley in Kent includes the third largest hand ax found in the country to date

Researcher Laurent Davin plays a replica of one of the 12,000-year-old bird bone flutes recently discovered in northern Israel.

These 12,000-Year-Old Flutes Mimic the Sound of Prehistoric Birds

The remnants of seven small bird bone instruments were discovered in northern Israel

English Heritage will display the more than 50 sets of tweezers recovered in Wroxeter.

The Ancient Romans Used These Tweezers to Remove Body Hair

A new exhibition explores Roman hair removal practices—and showcases 50 pairs of ancient tweezers

Flint points from Grotte Mandrin in France and Ksar Akil in Lebanon

54,000 Years Ago, Humans and Neanderthals May Have Inhabited Europe Together

Similarities between artifacts found in Lebanon and France suggest Homo sapiens migrants brought tool traditions with them

Participating in an archaeology experiment, a contemporary woman dons fur clothing similar to what Paleolithic people in colder climates might have worn.

When Did Clothing Originate?

An archaeologist traces the invention and evolution of apparel using climate data and tailoring tools

A cockatoo uses a sharp stick to poke through a membrane before using a scoop to fish out the cashew inside the box.

Like Humans and Chimps, Cockatoos Can Use a Set of Tools to Get a Meal

In lab experiments, the brainy birds carried a stick and scooped with them to get at cashews kept in a box

A long-tailed macaque uses a stone to get at food. The striking of one stone on another accidentally creates stone flakes the monkeys don't use.

Stone Flakes Made by Monkeys Raise Questions About Early Human Tools

The flakes accidentally produced by long-tailed macaques resemble those thought to have been made by early humans

First discovered in 1992, the phallus is 6.3 inches long and made of ash wood.

Is This Wooden Artifact an Ancient Roman Phallus?

Thirty years ago, researchers thought that the 2,000-year-old object was a darning tool

A fossil hippo skeleton and associated Oldowan artifacts were exposed at the Nyayanga site.

Who Made the First Stone Tool Kits?

A nearly three-million-year-old butchering site packed with animal bones, stone implements and molars from our early ancestors reignites the debate

Microwear traces on a Bronze Age tool used for smoothing or polishing

Unearthed Near Stonehenge, This Toolkit Was Used for Goldwork 4,000 Years Ago

The toolkit was discovered in 1801—but until recently, researchers didn't understand its purpose

Hand axes made of quartzite from between 100,000 and 40,000 B.C.E. at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. 

Neanderthals and Modern Humans May Have Shared Ideas for Tools

Modeling research provides a “good starting point” for finding where these species overlapped

Roughly two million years old, this tool, known as the Kanjera stone, was part of a new Stone Age technology that helped make better-fed, smarter hominins.
 

This Is the Oldest Human-Made Object in the Smithsonian Collections

Roughly two million years ago, simple items like the Kanjera tool sparked a revolution in the way humans lived

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