Theories on the invention of the edged tool

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Surfingringo
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby Surfingringo » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:34 am

sal wrote:I would like to add 3 concepts:

1) I would argue that no one "got the idea". I would argue for accidental discovery. Hitting a rock accidentally with another rock fractured the edge or accidentally hitting a rock with another rock accidentally "sharpened" the edge.

2) I would argue that the sharpened stick was before the sharpened rock.

3) I would argue that the first "Purpose" of stick/rock was for weapon. Either defense or hunting, than for processing.

sal
Interesting ideas Sal.

1. I would tend to agree.

2. That’s quite possible. Just like your point in number 1, the first sharpened stick was almost certainly made by accident; one that had been broken in a way that left a sharp a point. The first “manufacturing” of sharp objects could have well been strategic breaking of sticks.

3. This one might well be true, but even if so, it doesn’t dictate that use for hunting (at least if we are talking about rocks) necessitated moving towards a more acute edge. For primitive man, I believe a rock’s inefficiency for removing skin would have been more quickly noted (and remedied) than its inefficiency as a weapon.

I doubt we’ll ever have the answers to these questions but we aren’t the first ones to wonder. Considering the past and trying to understand the thought processes that have facilitated human discoveries must surely have some value to us today.
Last edited by Surfingringo on Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby Evil D » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:59 am

You have to think even before edges came into play. At some point man was just using rocks and clubs to kill, and at some point someone likely broke a rock and realized they could create sharp edges that way. I imagine this progression happened far quicker than you might expect, since breaking a rock isn't exactly rocket science even for the most primitive mind. Flint knapping as a skill surely took time to master, and I'm sure they gradually worked out which types of stones were best for taking an edge, but simply busting a rock and hoping to get a sharp edge was probably fairly common. There was surely a period where sharpened sticks were used as weapons, and I think the basic understanding of sharpening a stick to make it lethal likely transitioned into doing the same with a rock. There is also record of man sharpening bones to be used as cutting tools. In the earliest days, killing was probably simply a need to feed themselves, but I'm sure it didn't take long to realize the same skin and fur that keeps an animal warm would keep them warm too. The development of a cutting edge probably happened pretty quickly since the need to open up your kill to eat it had to be pretty high...it can't be that easy to just bite into a deer's hind quarter and start chowing down. If these types of tools and the ability to make and use them didn't develop fast enough, we likely wouldn't be here as natural selection would have done what it does best. It was likely within the first couple generations of early man and the concept spread fast.
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby ChrisinHove » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:41 am

RamZar wrote:Any sufficiently hard and readily available material would suffice: stone, bone, wood, etc.

I posted this in the BF forum over four years ago...

As humanoids we've been using a cutting tool for 3.4 million years (Tool Use by Early Humans Started Much Earlier)! So, you could say it's in our DNA.

Back in 2005 Forbes conducted a survey of the Top 20 Most Important Tools of All Time and the knife came out on top. Additionally, of the top 20 tools 5 more are a related tools: chisel, lathe, saw, scythe and sword.
  1. Knife
  2. Abacus
  3. Compass
  4. Pencil
  5. Harness
  6. Scythe
  7. Rifle
  8. Sword
  9. Eyeglasses
  10. Saw
  11. Watch
  12. Lathe
  13. Needle
  14. Candle
  15. Scale
  16. Pot
  17. Telescope
  18. Level
  19. Fish Hook
  20. Chisel
Not the wheel? That’s surprising.

There’s a place in Norfolk called Grimes Graves which is a prehistoric flint mine. There are a number of 10-20m shafts down into the chalk and galleries dug with antler picks (some of which are still there in the closed off sections!) to win the deep-down soft workable flints, circa 3000 bc. Incredible.

The interesting thing is that these useful sharp objects, not universal in their whereabouts for geological reasons, would also have driven early trade and the development of Human society.

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby RamZar » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:34 pm

ChrisinHove wrote:
RamZar wrote:Any sufficiently hard and readily available material would suffice: stone, bone, wood, etc.

I posted this in the BF forum over four years ago...

As humanoids we've been using a cutting tool for 3.4 million years (Tool Use by Early Humans Started Much Earlier)! So, you could say it's in our DNA.

Image

Back in 2005 Forbes conducted a survey of the Top 20 Most Important Tools of All Time and the knife came out on top. Additionally, of the top 20 tools 5 more are a related tools: chisel, lathe, saw, scythe and sword.
  1. Knife
  2. Abacus
  3. Compass
  4. Pencil
  5. Harness
  6. Scythe
  7. Rifle
  8. Sword
  9. Eyeglasses
  10. Saw
  11. Watch
  12. Lathe
  13. Needle
  14. Candle
  15. Scale
  16. Pot
  17. Telescope
  18. Level
  19. Fish Hook
  20. Chisel
Not the wheel? That’s surprising.

There’s a place in Norfolk called Grimes Graves which is a prehistoric flint mine. There are a number of 10-20m shafts down into the chalk and galleries dug with antler picks (some of which are still there in the closed off sections!) to win the deep-down soft workable flints, circa 3000 bc. Incredible.

The interesting thing is that these useful sharp objects, not universal in their whereabouts for geological reasons, would also have driven early trade and the development of Human society.
The wheel is probably the greatest invention (not tool) of all time.

Image
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby sal » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:00 pm

I hadn't thought of a shell, thanx Paul. I have a Stone Ulu (slate) and an accompanying sharpening stone that I got from some locals when I used to spend time in Alaska.

sal

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby Tdog » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:32 pm

Which came first? The sharp edged implement or being eaten? :confused: "All God's critters have knives"
Last edited by Tdog on Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:39 pm

It’s interesting that the article linked to above, https://www.seeker.com/tool-use-by-earl ... 81283.html states that such early tool use was consequently not originated by humans (hominidae) but by Australopithecus afarensis, a smaller brained primate, an earlier ancestor to hominids. Perhaps we inherited the knowledge and use of tools from our simpler ancestors and didn’t invent them at all.

The original post speculated on invention, not discovery by accident i.e., getting cut by a sharp rock edge or shell, stuck by an accidentally broken sharp stick, but by purposely creating something new. To originate a new tool for a specific purpose would seem to be the necessary and sufficient criteria. To the individuals who conceived the idea of making a sharp edge to use for tasks they couldn’t perform otherwise, or that required tremendous time and labor, goes the credit of invention. I suspect this happened in many diverse populations over an extended period, independent inventions if you will, given the absence of language and inter-cultural contact in our early evolutionary history. So, there were likely many and various reasons why edged tools were developed in different times by different individuals.
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:40 pm

RamZar wrote:
ChrisinHove wrote:
RamZar wrote:Any sufficiently hard and readily available material would suffice: stone, bone, wood, etc.

I posted this in the BF forum over four years ago...

As humanoids we've been using a cutting tool for 3.4 million years (Tool Use by Early Humans Started Much Earlier)! So, you could say it's in our DNA.

Image

Back in 2005 Forbes conducted a survey of the Top 20 Most Important Tools of All Time and the knife came out on top. Additionally, of the top 20 tools 5 more are a related tools: chisel, lathe, saw, scythe and sword.
  1. Knife
  2. Abacus
  3. Compass
  4. Pencil
  5. Harness
  6. Scythe
  7. Rifle
  8. Sword
  9. Eyeglasses
  10. Saw
  11. Watch
  12. Lathe
  13. Needle
  14. Candle
  15. Scale
  16. Pot
  17. Telescope
  18. Level
  19. Fish Hook
  20. Chisel
Not the wheel? That’s surprising.

There’s a place in Norfolk called Grimes Graves which is a prehistoric flint mine. There are a number of 10-20m shafts down into the chalk and galleries dug with antler picks (some of which are still there in the closed off sections!) to win the deep-down soft workable flints, circa 3000 bc. Incredible.

The interesting thing is that these useful sharp objects, not universal in their whereabouts for geological reasons, would also have driven early trade and the development of Human society.
The wheel is probably the greatest invention (not tool) of all time.

Image
I’d vote for language.
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby sal » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:57 pm

First, I would like to say that these "theorists" of science may not know or understand the "edge" like edge junky's? Their opinion may or may not be better than yours. Some say ""tools", other say language, some say the opposing thumb, still others say a specific type of thought. All right? All wrong? great brain exercise for edge junky's.

sal

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby elena86 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:37 am

Surfingringo wrote:
sal wrote:I would like to add 3 concepts:

1) I would argue that no one "got the idea". I would argue for accidental discovery. Hitting a rock accidentally with another rock fractured the edge or accidentally hitting a rock with another rock accidentally "sharpened" the edge.

2) I would argue that the sharpened stick was before the sharpened rock.

3) I would argue that the first "Purpose" of stick/rock was for weapon. Either defense or hunting, than for processing.

sal
Interesting ideas Sal.

1. I would tend to agree.

2. That’s quite possible. Just like your point in number 1, the first sharpened stick was almost certainly made by accident; one that had been broken in a way that left a sharp a point. The first “manufacturing” of sharp objects could have well been strategic breaking of sticks.

3. This one might well be true, but even if so, it doesn’t dictate that use for hunting (at least if we are talking about rocks) necessitated moving towards a more acute edge. For primitive man, I believe a rock’s inefficiency for removing skin would have been more quickly noted (and remedied) than its inefficiency as a weapon.

I doubt we’ll ever have the answers to these questions but we aren’t the first ones to wonder. Considering the past and trying to understand the thought processes that have facilitated human discoveries must surely have some value to us today.
One word : obsidian. First flash batch :eek:
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby Surfingringo » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:40 am

MichaelScott wrote:It’s interesting that the article linked to above, https://www.seeker.com/tool-use-by-earl ... 81283.html states that such early tool use was consequently not originated by humans (hominidae) but by Australopithecus afarensis, a smaller brained primate, an earlier ancestor to hominids. Perhaps we inherited the knowledge and use of tools from our simpler ancestors and didn’t invent them at all.

The original post speculated on invention, not discovery by accident i.e., getting cut by a sharp rock edge or shell, stuck by an accidentally broken sharp stick, but by purposely creating something new. To originate a new tool for a specific purpose would seem to be the necessary and sufficient criteria. To the individuals who conceived the idea of making a sharp edge to use for tasks they couldn’t perform otherwise, or that required tremendous time and labor, goes the credit of invention. I suspect this happened in many diverse populations over an extended period, independent inventions if you will, given the absence of language and inter-cultural contact in our early evolutionary history. So, there were likely many and various reasons why edged tools were developed in different times by different individuals.
Hi Michael, the op does say that but I also went on to postulate that this “invention” was likely a centuries long series of semi-accidental discoveries. I would wager that the majority of man’s “inventions” have been influenced by accidental discoveries. The Spyderhole is actually a decent example of this. ;)

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby ChrisinHove » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:33 am

Have you seen the footage of birds bashing shell-fish with stones, dropping snails from height etc? I doubt these were cognitive inventions, but there must have been recognition of the advantage gained by specific actions for them to be copied and learned.

However, I suspect the use and development of hand tools, and therefore their actual form, evolved with the species ability to select, hold and manipulate, and ultimately fashion, them. An earliest hominid couldn't have conceived of a Spyderco because his hands couldn't have manipulated it. Perhaps an Opinel....

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby TomAiello » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:03 am

I'm pretty sure the earliest cutting tools pre-date humans, and were created by earlier hominids:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32804177

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby Joris Mo » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:30 pm

I do believe it's likely that the first cutting tools pre-date humans and I think it's most likely it started with scraping tools from shell, stone and anything that happened to be found with some sort of edge.. My guess is that the use as weapons came later.

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:55 am

sal wrote:I hadn't thought of a shell, thanx Paul. I have a Stone Ulu (slate) and an accompanying sharpening stone that I got from some locals when I used to spend time in Alaska.
I remember you using that Ulu on the video for the 204 Sharpmaker and I had wondered what type of mineral or material it was made of. I do know that certain rocks/minerals like obsidian, novaculite (Arkansas sharpening stones), flint and coticules have all been used for primitive cutting edges. I can see how slate would work well. I would also bet that any of the quartz type rocks/minerals could be used.

I'm sure that there are more natural stones and minerals that would have the right properties for using as primitive cutting tools but those are ones that I know have been used in the past.

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby Wanimator » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:06 am

I've talked to people that had met recently contacted tribes that have and are assimilating with them and they told me that the people there sharpened stones against a boulder that had grooves worn in from the generations that used that boulder as a sharpening device for rocks. I'm assuming you'd chip it first but, they were using that as a method of honing apparently.

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby MichaelScott » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:48 am

Since this topic has been up (and an interesting one it is) I’ve done some more reading on the topic. I found a good and relatively current (2009) overview of the archeological field studying the earliest Stone Age, the Oldowan Complex. (Www.stoneageinstutute.org if you are interested). In summary, hominids prior to the genus homo were manufacturing sharp stone tools as early as 2.6 million years ago. So, it appears our human ancestors learned from their non-human ancestors. How the early hominids stumbled upon or figured out how to use and then to manufacture sharp, edged stone tools is anyone’s guess now.
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby SpeedHoles » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:52 am

I'm sure the "invention" was not a singular event, and probably varied in concept, more specific to different regions and environments (available resources).
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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:32 am

I will take the route that is different from all of these. You are free to disagree with me if you want. I believe the scale is the opposite: The original people had extremely advanced technology and were not chipping stone like that. They had knife technology that is greater than what we presently have: They could slice matter with a mere thought if they desired to do so. In addition to that, they had advanced ceramic composites, adamantine metals that were formed through alchemical (nuclear and subquantum transmutation), and shatter-proof pure crystal blades that made use of what modern chemists call "Theoretical Strengths" of a perfect solid.

Why then, you may ask, do our archaeologists find deposits of hand-knapped stone-edged tools? Easy. After the period of extreme technological advancement, our ancient forebears had their entire civilization collapsed, and their descendents had to rebuild, nearly from scratch. As they spread around, and were scattered, some retained and redeveloped more advanced technologies than others; some lived in caves and knapped stone while others began to again smelt metals and cast bronze, and then learned how to forge iron, and finally steel. In this view, there was no "Paleolithic" or "Neolithic", there was no "Bronze age" and "Iron Age" and "Stone Age". That is all myth and legend of modern people attempting to impress their preconceived ideas onto our ancient ancestors.

Furthermore, many of the alleged "religious objects" that have made their way into museums and private collections, are in truth, advanced ancient technologies, that are so advanced and so sublime in their power capacity, that we have no way of utilizing them to their full power, because we lack the interfaces to access them. That "ritual vase" you see there in the British Museum, or that "toy wheel" you see over in the collection of some millionaire, is in truth an ancient super computer and if you were to examine it with the proper technologies at the subatomic and molecular level, you would find something that would make the greatest modern engineers gasp in awe.

One time I got into a drawn-out discussion with a professor over this very topic. He told me "If the ancients had these advanced technologies as you say, where is all their garbage?" "Garbage?", I asked, "What do you mean garbage? These people were not like we moderns with our crude primitive centralized factories, injection molds, and other bulk technologies that leave heaps of waste material. These ancient people grew fully-formed crystalline structures with focused electroplasmic points of force, generated directly from the very quantum neutrino sea itself. There was no garbage. There were no land fills for them. Want some proof? Easy. Get yourself a ticket to Puma Punku in Bolivia. Tell me those people were hand carving stone to make those tight-fitted stone structures and monoliths. Go get yourself a look at the diorite vases in various Egyptology collections and tell me those people were not capable of advanced machining. They had ultrasonic diamond cutting saws that were machine-powered, at the least. Even the finest modern machinists with diamond-coated saws are unable to replicate such granite and diorite structures."

Go see the machined structures of Puma Punku:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumapunku

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Re: Theories on the invention of the edged tool

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:44 am

Another objection to such ancient "Energy Knife" technology is this: critics and skeptics will say and have said to me "If the ancients had these technologies, they would still be in power today. Their societies would not have collapsed." Not true. Just because you have a class of Techno-Priests who have the ability to generate beams that can slice through solid rock as if it were butter, and to levitate those stone structures against the normal aetheric push of gravity, does not mean your society will always be around. There are other factors involved such as poor rulership and rebellion and no long term planning for feeding masses of people, and also other factors.

There may also have been situations like this with the knife technology: The quantum crystal energy knife and levitation technology may have been tightly controlled by the kings and priests, and the everyday people did not have access to it. The everyday people may have been forced to rely on hand knapped stone knives and cast bronze, while the priests had access to the tightly controlled energy blades and any one who even questioned this was put to death. That is how a lot of those ancient dictatorships worked.


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