Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is dark grey, green, white or brown in colour, has a glassy or waxy appearance. A thin layer on the outside of the nodules is different in colour white and rough in texture. From a petrological point of view, "flint" refers to the form of chert which occurs in chalk or marly limestone. "common chert" occurs in limestone. Flint is durable and can be found along streams and beaches, its use to make stone tools dates back millions of years. Due to some properties of flint it breaks into sharp edged pieces making it useful for knife blades and other sharp tools. During the Stone Age access to flint was so important for survival that people would travel or trade to obtain flint. Flint Ridge in eastern Ohio was an important source of flint and Native Americans extracted the flint from hundreds of quarries along the ridge.
This "Ohio Flint" was traded across the eastern United States and has been found as far west as the Rocky Mountains and south around the Gulf of Mexico. The exact mode of formation of flint is not yet clear, but it is thought that it occurs as a result of chemical changes in compressed sedimentary rock formations, during the process of diagenesis. One hypothesis is that a gelatinous material fills cavities in the sediment, such as holes bored by crustaceans or molluscs and that this becomes silicified; this hypothesis explains the complex shapes of flint nodules that are found. The source of dissolved silica in the porous media could be the spicules of silicious sponges. Certain types of flint, such as that from the south coast of England, contain trapped fossilised marine flora. Pieces of coral and vegetation have been found preserved like amber inside the flint. Thin slices of the stone reveal this effect. Puzzling giant flint formations known as paramoudra and flint circles are found around Europe but in Norfolk, England on the beaches at Beeston Bump and West Runton.
Flint sometimes occurs in large flint fields for example, in Europe. The "Ohio flint" is the official gemstone of Ohio state, it is formed from limey debris, deposited at the bottom of inland Paleozoic seas hundreds of millions of years ago that hardened into limestone and became infused with silica. The flint from Flint Ridge is found in many hues like red, pink, blue and gray, with the color variations caused by minute impurities of iron compounds. Flint was used in the manufacture of tools during the Stone Age as it splits into thin, sharp splinters called flakes or blades when struck by another hard object; this process is referred to as knapping. The process of making tools this way is called "flintknapping". In Europe, some of the best toolmaking flint has come from Belgium, the coastal chalks of the English Channel, the Paris Basin, Thy in Jutland, the Sennonian deposits of Rügen, Grimes Graves in England, the Upper Cretaceous chalk formation of Dobruja and the lower Danube, the Cenomanian chalky marl formation of the Moldavian Plateau and the Jurassic deposits of the Kraków area and Krzemionki in Poland, as well as of the Lägern in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland.
Flint mining became more common since the Neolithic. In 1938, a project of the Ohio Historical Society, under the leadership of H. Holmes Ellis began to study the flintknapping "methods and techniques" of Native Americans. Like past studies, this work involved experimenting with actual flintknapping techniques by creation of stone tools through the use of techniques like direct freehand percussion, freehand pressure and pressure using a rest. Other scholars who have conducted similar experiments and studies include William Henry Holmes, Alonzo W. Pond, Sir Francis H. S. Knowles and Don Crabtree; when struck against steel, a flint edge produces. The hard flint edge shaves off a particle of the steel that exposes iron, which reacts with oxygen from the atmosphere and can ignite the proper tinder. Prior to the wide availability of steel, rocks of pyrite would be used along with the flint, in a similar way; these methods are popular in woodcraft and amongst people practising traditional fire-starting skills.
A major use of flint and steel was in the flintlock mechanism, used in flintlock firearms, but used on dedicated fire-starting tools. A piece of flint held in the jaws of a spring-loaded hammer, when released by a trigger, strikes a hinged piece of steel at an angle, creating a shower of sparks and exposing a charge of priming powder; the sparks ignite the priming powder and that flame, in turn, ignites the main charge, propelling the ball, bullet, or shot through the barrel. While the military use of the flintlock declined after the adoption of the percussion cap from the 1840s onward, flintlock rifles and shotguns remain in use amongst recreational shooters. Flint and steel used to strike sparks were superseded by ferrocerium; this man-made material, when scraped with any hard, sharp edge, produces sparks that are much hotter than obtained with natural flint and steel, allowing use of a wider range of tinders. Because it can produce sparks when wet and can start fires
The Scythians known as Scyth, Sakae, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were Eurasian nomads mostly using Eastern Iranian languages, who were mentioned by the literate peoples to their south as inhabiting large areas of the western and central Eurasian Steppe from about the 9th century BC up until the 4th century AD. The "classical Scythians" known to ancient Greek historians, agreed to be Iranian in origin, were located in the northern Black Sea and fore-Caucasus region. Other Scythian groups documented by Assyrian and Chinese sources show that they existed in Central Asia, where they were referred to as the Iskuzai/Askuzai and Sai, respectively; the relationships between the peoples living in these separated regions remains unclear, the term is used in both a broad and narrow sense. The term "Scythian" is used by modern scholars in an archaeological context for finds perceived to display attributes of the wider "Scytho-Siberian" culture without implying an ethnic or linguistic connotation; the term Scythic may be used in a similar way, "to describe a special phase that followed the widespread diffusion of mounted nomadism, characterized by the presence of special weapons, horse gear, animal art in the form of metal plaques".
Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia, in the more narrow sense "Scythian" is restricted to these areas, where the Scythian languages were spoken. Different definitions of "Scythian" have been used; the Scythians were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. They kept herds of horses and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons and fought with bows and arrows on horseback, they developed a rich culture characterised by opulent tombs, fine metalwork and a brilliant art style. In the 8th century BC, they raided Zhou China. Soon after, they dislodged the Cimmerians from power on the Pontic Steppe. At their peak, Scythians came to dominate the entire steppe zone, stretching from the Carpathian Mountains in the west to central China and the south Siberia in the east, creating what has been called the first Central Asian nomadic empire, although there was little that could be called an organised state. Based in what is modern-day Ukraine, Southern European Russia and Crimea, the western Scythians were ruled by a wealthy class known as the Royal Scyths.
The Scythians established and controlled the Silk Road, a vast trade network connecting Greece, Persia and China contributing to the contemporary flourishing of those civilisations. Settled metalworkers made portable decorative objects for the Scythians; these objects survive in metal, forming a distinctive Scythian art. In the 7th century BC, the Scythians crossed the Caucasus and raided the Middle East along with the Cimmerians, playing an important role in the political developments of the region. Around 650–630 BC, Scythians dominated the Medes of the western Iranian Plateau, stretching their power to the borders of Egypt. After losing control over Media, the Scythians continued intervening in Middle Eastern affairs, playing a leading role in the destruction of the Assyrian Empire in the Sack of Nineveh in 612 BC; the Scythians subsequently engaged in frequent conflicts with the Achaemenid Empire. The western Scythians suffered a major defeat against Macedonia in the 4th century BC and were subsequently conquered by the Sarmatians, a related Iranian people from Central Asia.
The Eastern Scythians of the Asian Steppe were attacked by the Yuezhi and Xiongnu in the 2nd century BC, prompting many of them to migrate into South Asia, where they became known as Indo-Scythians. At some point as late as the 3rd century AD after the demise of the Han dynasty and the Xiongnu, Eastern Scythians crossed the Pamir Mountains and settled in the western Tarim Basin, where the Scythian Khotanese and Tumshuqese languages are attested in Brahmi scripture from the 10th and 11th centuries AD; the Kingdom of Khotan, at least Saka, was conquered by the Kara-Khanid Khanate, which led to the Islamisation and Turkification of Northwest China. In Eastern Europe, by the early Medieval Ages, the Scythians and their related Sarmatians were assimilated and absorbed by the Proto-Slavic population of the region. In the strict sense'Scythian' refers to the nomads north of the Black Sea and is distinguished from the similar Sarmatians who lived north of the Caspian and replaced the Scythians proper.
The Persian term Saka is used for the Scythians in Central Asia. The Chinese used the term Sai, for Sakas who once inhabited the valleys of the Ili River and Chu River and moved into the Tarim Basin. Herodotus said. Iskuzai or Askuzai is an Assyrian term for raiders south of the Caucasus who were Scythian. A group of Scythians/Sakas gave their name to Sakastan. They, or a related group, became the Indo-Scythians. Near the end of this article is a list of peoples that have been called Scythians. Oswald Szemerényi studied the various words for Scythian and gave the following: Skuthes Σκύθης, Skudra and Saka; the first three descend from the Indo-European root *kewd-, meaning "propel, shoot". *skud- is the zero-grade form of the same root. Szemerényi restores the Scythians' self-name; this yields the ancient Greek Skuthēs Σκύ
The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first development of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development, although this term may not be used, until European contact; the Neolithic comprises a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals. The term Neolithic derives from the Greek νέος néos, "new" and λίθος líthos, "stone" meaning "New Stone Age"; the term was coined by Sir John Lubbock in 1865 as a refinement of the three-age system. Following the ASPRO chronology, the Neolithic started in around 10,200 BC in the Levant, arising from the Natufian culture, when pioneering use of wild cereals evolved into early farming.
The Natufian period or "proto-Neolithic" lasted from 12,500 to 9,500 BC, is taken to overlap with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of 10,200–8800 BC. As the Natufians had become dependent on wild cereals in their diet, a sedentary way of life had begun among them, the climatic changes associated with the Younger Dryas are thought to have forced people to develop farming. By 10,200–8800 BC farming communities had arisen in the Levant and spread to Asia Minor, North Africa and North Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. Early Neolithic farming was limited to a narrow range of plants, both wild and domesticated, which included einkorn wheat and spelt, the keeping of dogs and goats. By about 6900–6400 BC, it included domesticated cattle and pigs, the establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements, the use of pottery. Not all of these cultural elements characteristic of the Neolithic appeared everywhere in the same order: the earliest farming societies in the Near East did not use pottery.
In other parts of the world, such as Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, independent domestication events led to their own regionally distinctive Neolithic cultures, which arose independently of those in Europe and Southwest Asia. Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures used pottery before developing agriculture. In the Middle East, cultures identified as Neolithic began appearing in the 10th millennium BC. Early development occurred from there spread eastwards and westwards. Neolithic cultures are attested in southeastern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia by around 8000 BC; the prehistoric Beifudi site near Yixian in Hebei Province, contains relics of a culture contemporaneous with the Cishan and Xinglongwa cultures of about 6000–5000 BC, neolithic cultures east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap between the two Northern Chinese cultures. The total excavated area is more than 1,200 square yards, the collection of neolithic findings at the site encompasses two phases.
The Neolithic 1 period began around 10,000 BC in the Levant. A temple area in southeastern Turkey at Göbekli Tepe, dated to around 9500 BC, may be regarded as the beginning of the period; this site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes, as evidenced by the lack of permanent housing in the vicinity, may be the oldest known human-made place of worship. At least seven stone circles, covering 25 acres, contain limestone pillars carved with animals and birds. Stone tools were used by as many as hundreds of people to create the pillars, which might have supported roofs. Other early PPNA sites dating to around 9500–9000 BC have been found in Jericho, West Bank, Gilgal in the Jordan Valley, Byblos, Lebanon; the start of Neolithic 1 overlaps the Heavy Neolithic periods to some degree. The major advance of Neolithic 1 was true farming. In the proto-Neolithic Natufian cultures, wild cereals were harvested, early seed selection and re-seeding occurred; the grain was ground into flour. Emmer wheat was domesticated, animals were herded and domesticated.
In 2006, remains of figs were discovered in a house in Jericho dated to 9400 BC. The figs are of a mutant variety that cannot be pollinated by insects, therefore the trees can only reproduce from cuttings; this evidence suggests that figs were the first cultivated crop and mark the invention of the technology of farming. This occurred centuries before the first cultivation of grains. Settlements became more permanent, with circular houses, much like those of the Natufians, with single rooms. However, these houses were for the first time made of mudbrick; the settlement had a surrounding stone wall and a stone tower. The wall served as protection from nearby groups, as protection from floods, or to keep animals penned; some of the enclosures suggest grain and meat storage. The Neolithic 2 began around 8800 BC according to the ASPRO chronology in the Levant; as with the PPNA dates, there are two versions from the same laboratories noted above. This system of terminology, however, is not convenient for southeast Anatolia and settlements of the middle Anatolia basin.
A settlement of 3,000 inhabitants was found in th
Plate armour is a historical type of personal body armour made from iron or steel plates, culminating in the iconic suit of armour encasing the wearer. While there are early predecessors such as the Roman-era lorica segmentata, full plate armour developed in Europe during the Late Middle Ages in the context of the Hundred Years' War, from the coat of plates worn over mail suits during the 13th century. In Europe, plate armour reached its peak in the late early 16th centuries; the full suit of armour is thus a feature of the end of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance period. Its popular association with the "medieval knight" is due to the specialised jousting armour which developed in the 16th century. Full suits of Gothic plate armour were worn on the battlefields of the Italian Wars; the most armoured troops of the period were heavy cavalry, such as the gendarmes and early cuirassiers, but the infantry troops of the Swiss mercenaries and the landsknechts took to wearing lighter suits of "three quarters" munition armour, leaving the lower legs unprotected.
The use of plate armour declined in the 17th century, but it remained common both among the nobility and for the cuirassiers throughout the European wars of religion. After 1650, plate armour was reduced to the simple breastplate worn by cuirassiers; this was due to the development of the flintlock musket, which could penetrate armour at a considerable distance. For infantry, the breastplate gained renewed importance with the development of shrapnel in the late Napoleonic wars; the use of steel plates sewn into flak jackets dates to World War II, replaced by more modern materials such as fibre-reinforced plastic since the 1950s. Partial plate armour, which protected the chest and the lower limbs, was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it fell into disuse after the collapse of the Roman Empire because of the cost and work involved in producing a piece of metal plate or cuirass. Parthian and Sassanian heavy cavalry known as Clibanarii used cuirasses and small, overlapping plates in the manner of the manica for the protection of arms and legs.
Single plates of metal armour were again used from the late 13th century on, to protect joints and shins, these were worn over a mail hauberk. The number of plate components of medieval armour increased, protecting further areas of the body, in barding those of a cavalryman's horse. Armourers developed skills in articulating the lames or individual plates for parts of the body that needed to be flexible, in fitting armour to the individual wearer like a tailor; the cost of a full suit of high quality fitted armour, as opposed to the cheaper munition armour was enormous, restricted to the wealthy who were committed to either soldiering or jousting. The rest of an army wore inconsistent mixtures of pieces, with mail still playing an important part. By about 1420, complete suits of plate armour had been developed in Europe. A full suit of plate armour would have consisted of a helmet, a gorget, pauldrons with gardbraces to cover the armpits as was seen in French armour, or besagews which were used in Gothic Armour, couters, gauntlets, a cuirass with a fauld, tassets and a culet, a mail skirt, poleyns and sabatons.
The fullest sets, known as garnitures, more made for jousting than war, included pieces of exchange, alternate pieces suiting different purposes, so that the suit could be configured for a range of different uses, for example fighting on foot or on horse. A complete suit of plate armour made from well-tempered steel would weigh around 15–25 kg; the wearer remained agile and could jump and otherwise move as the weight of the armour was spread evenly throughout the body. The armour was articulated and covered a man's entire body from neck to toe. In the 15th and 16th centuries plate armored soldiers were the nucleus of every army. Large bodies of men-at-arms numbering thousands or more than ten thousand men were fighting on foot wearing full plate next to archers and crossbowmen; this was seen in the Western European armies during the Hundred Years War, the Wars of the Roses or the Italian Wars. European leaders in armouring techniques were northern Italians from Milan, southern Germans, who had somewhat different styles.
But styles were diffused around Europe by the movement of armourers. Ottoman Turkey made wide use of plate armour but incorporated large amounts of mail into their armour, used by shock troops such as the Janissary Corps. Plate armour was invulnerable to sword slashes, it protected the wearer well against spear or pike thrusts and provided decent defense against blunt trauma. The evolution of plate armour triggered developments in the design of offensive weapons. While this armour was effective against cuts or blows, their weak points could be exploited by long tapered swords or other weapons designed for the purpose, such as pollaxes and halberds; the effect of arrows and bolts is still a point of contention with regard to plate armour. The evolution of the 14th-century plate armour triggered the development of various polearms, they were designed to deliver a strong impact and concentrate energy on a sm
The Achaemenid Empire called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, the development of civil services and a large professional army; the empire's successes inspired similar systems in empires. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire.
Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time; the Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings; the impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China.
The empire set the tone for the politics and history of Iran. The term Achaemenid means "of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes". Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, a vassal of Assyria. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here....: the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Dropici, being nomadic; the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The name "Persia" is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the native word referring to the country of the people originating from Persis; the Persians were an Iranian people who arrived in what is today Iran c. 1000 BC and settled a region including north-western Iran, the Zagros Mountains and Persis alongside the native Elamites.
For a number of centuries they fell under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia. The Persians were nomadic pastoralists in the western Iranian Plateau and by 850 BC were calling themselves the Parsa and their shifting territory Parsua, for the most part localized around Persis; the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as the Medes, another group of Iranian peoples, established a short-lived empire and played a major role in the overthrow of the Assyrian. The Achaemenids were rulers of the Elamite city of Anshan near the modern city of Marvdasht. There are conflicting accounts of the identities of the earliest Kings of Anshan. According to the Cyrus Cylinder the kings of Anshan were Teispes, Cyrus I, Cambyses I and Cyrus II known as Cyrus the Great, who created the empire. In Herodotus' Histories, he writes that Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses I and Mandane of Media, the daughter of Astyages, the king of the Median Empire. Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire in 553 BC, in 550 BC succeeded in defeating the Medes, capturing Astyages and taking the Median capital city of Ecbatana.
Once in control of Ecbatana, Cyrus styled himself as the successor to Astyages and assumed control of the entire empire. By inheriting Astyages' empire, he inherited the territorial conflicts the Medes had had with both Lydia and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. King Croesus of Lydia sought to take advantage of the new international situation by advancing into what had been Median territory in Asia Minor. Cyrus led a counterattack which not only fought off Croesus' armies, but led to the capture of Sardis and the fall of the Lydian Kingdom in 546 BC. Cyrus placed Pactyes in charge of collecting tribute in Lydia and left, but once Cyrus had left Pactyes instigated a rebellion against Cyrus. Cyrus sent the Median general Mazares to deal with the rebellion, Pactyes was captured. Mazares, aft
A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either or out of stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistoric cultures that have become extinct. Archaeologists study such prehistoric societies, refer to the study of stone tools as lithic analysis. Ethnoarchaeology has been a valuable research field in order to further the understanding and cultural implications of stone tool use and manufacture. Stone has been used to make a wide variety of different tools throughout history, including arrow heads and querns. Stone tools may be made of either ground stone or chipped stone, a person who creates tools out of the latter is known as a flintknapper. Chipped stone tools are made from cryptocrystalline materials such as chert or flint, chalcedony, obsidian and quartzite via a process known as lithic reduction. One simple form of reduction is to strike stone flakes from a nucleus of material using a hammerstone or similar hard hammer fabricator.
If the goal of the reduction strategy is to produce flakes, the remnant lithic core may be discarded once it has become too small to use. In some strategies, however, a flintknapper reduces the core to a rough unifacial or bifacial preform, further reduced using soft hammer flaking techniques or by pressure flaking the edges. More complex forms of reduction include the production of standardized blades, which can be fashioned into a variety of tools such as scrapers, knives and microliths. In general terms, chipped stone tools are nearly ubiquitous in all pre-metal-using societies because they are manufactured, the tool stone is plentiful, they are easy to transport and sharpen. Archaeologists classify stone tools into industries that share distinctive technological or morphological characteristics. In 1969 in the 2nd edition of World Prehistory, Grahame Clark proposed an evolutionary progression of flint-knapping in which the "dominant lithic technologies" occurred in a fixed sequence from Mode 1 through Mode 5.
He assigned to them relative dates: Modes 1 and 2 to the Lower Palaeolithic, 3 to the Middle Palaeolithic, 4 to the Advanced and 5 to the Mesolithic. They were not to be conceived, however, as either universal—that is, they did not account for all lithic technology. Mode 1, for example, was in use in Europe. Clark's scheme was adopted enthusiastically by the archaeological community. One of its advantages was the simplicity of terminology; the transitions are of greatest interest. In the literature the stone tools used in the period of the Palaeolithic are divided into four "modes", each of which designate a different form of complexity, which in most cases followed a rough chronological order. KenyaStone tools found from 2011 to 2014 at Lake Turkana in Kenya, are dated to be 3.3 million years old, predate the genus Homo by half million years. The oldest known Homo fossil is 2.8 million years old compared to the 3.3 million year old stone tools. The stone tools may have been made by Australopithecus afarensis —also called Kenyanthropus platyops— the species whose best fossil example is Lucy, which inhabited East Africa at the same time as the date of the oldest stone tools.
Dating of the tools was by dating volcanic ash layers in which the tools were found and dating the magnetic signature of the rock at the site. EthiopiaGrooved and fractured animal bone fossils, made by using stone tools, were found in Dikika, Ethiopia near the remains of Selam, a young Australopithecus afarensis girl who lived about 3.3 million years ago. The earliest stone tools in the life span of the genus Homo are Mode 1 tools, come from what has been termed the Oldowan Industry, named after the type of site found in Olduvai Gorge, where they were discovered in large quantities. Oldowan tools were characterised by their simple construction; these cores were river pebbles, or rocks similar to them, struck by a spherical hammerstone to cause conchoidal fractures removing flakes from one surface, creating an edge and a sharp tip. The blunt end is the proximal surface. Oldowan is a percussion technology. Grasping the proximal surface, the hominid brought the distal surface down hard on an object he wished to detach or shatter, such as a bone or tuber.
The earliest known Oldowan tools yet found date from 2.6 million years ago, during the Lower Palaeolithic period, have been uncovered at Gona in Ethiopia. After this date, the Oldowan Industry subsequently spread throughout much of Africa, although archaeologists are unsure which Hominan species first developed them, with some speculating that it was Australopithecus garhi, others believing that it was in fact Homo habilis. Homo habilis was the hominin who used the tools for most of the Oldowan in Africa, but at about 1.9-1.8 million years ago Homo erectus inherited them. The Industry flourished in southern and eastern Africa between 2.6 and 1.7 million years ago, but was spread out of Africa and into Eurasia by travelling bands of H. erectus, who took it as far east as Java by 1.8 million years ago and Northern China by 1.6 million years ago. More complex, Mode 2 tools began to be developed through the Acheulean Industry, named after the site