Ancient artifacts show that mankind has been killing animals and fellow humans for millions of years. Our crafty ancestors made the most of the natural world to create what they needed from the materials at hand. There is evidence that we, as humans, started using rocks as tools (to start fires) and weapons (flint for arrowheads) as early as 2.6 million years ago, ushering in the era known not unsurprisingly as the Stone Age.
The Stone Age
The Stone Age lasted until the end of the Neolithic era when we learned to start using metals and transitioned into the Bronze Age. The Stone Age is three distinct periods recognized by researchers, known as the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic eras. The suffix lithic means “stone.”
Most of the Stone Age occurred within the Ice Age. Early humans hunted the Megafauna of this period such as saber-toothed cats, mammoths, mastodons, giant sloths, giant bison and relatives of the modern deer. Weapons were needed to kill these animals for food, to take their hides for clothes, warmth and protective structures, and to use their bones for numerous purposes.
The Stone Age Eras
The longest of the Stone Age eras was the first. The…