Awesome Stone Age Inventions - A Useful Guide for Key Stage 2
Updated: Feb 1
When was it invented? Around 1.6 million years ago, give or take a few hundred thousand.
What does it do? Axes are very handy for hitting Sabre Tooth Tigers over the head, certainly a step up from having to resort to wrestling a tiger instead. They would also enable Prehistoric people to chop wood in order to fuel a fire. Axes were vital for constructing other tools and resources and allowed for further awesome inventions.
How do you make it? Use wood or an antler as a ‘Knap’ to shape the stone, ensuring it’s nice and sharp. Then attach it to a wooden handle with ‘cordage’. Cordage is a fancy word for rope made from entwined plant stems.
Did you know? The axe has been a tool for millions of years, and we still use it today!
When was it invented? Around 500,000 years ago, though some anthropologists claim they could have been used 5 million years ago. We might never know which the correct figure is, unlike with stone there’d be no trace left of an entirely wooden spear.
What does it do? Great for hunting. Spears offer range to keep the hunter safe from her prey.
How do you make it? The simplest model is just a sturdy branch sharpened to a point with fire, stone or – if you’re really desperate – teeth.
Did you know? Spears could be used as harpoons to catch fish. Fishing was the preferred method of hunting in the Stone Age, much less dangerous than hunting cave bears as fish can’t fight back!
When was it invented? Your guess is as good as ours – since the dawn of time? With a club essentially being a big stick, who knows when our ancestors first wielded it?
What does it do? Clubs are ideal for warfare, they are much quicker to construct than axes or spears so you can quickly get your pals kitted out for a ruck.
How do you make it? Find a big, heavy log. Jab some stones into the bark to add heft. That’s it, you’re ready to go clubbing.
Did you know? Violence has been with humanity since the beginning. There is a 10,000 year old battleground called Nataruk. Many of the 27 skeletons found at the ancient battle site were likely killed by clubs.
Bow and Arrow
When was it invented? Roughly 12,000 years ago. Though Bows and Arrows may have been used in South Africa an astonishing 70,000 years ago.
What does it do? Great for hunting. Humans can now hunt any animal, no matter how big, tough, or strong they are.
How do you make it? Shave a long piece of wood from a tree with a sharp bone. Use a sandstone to smooth the wood. Don’t forget to use some cordage (rope made from plant stems) to be the bow string.
Did you know? Bows and arrows were so effective that humanity drove many giant Stone Age animals to extinction.
Loving learning about the Stone Age? Then you'll definitely want Imagining History to bring their 'A Handy Guide to Survive the Stone Age' Interactive workshop to your school.
Our Award-Winning sessions combine role-play, storytelling, demonstrations and drama and performance to bring history to life for your students.