Early man lived in caves far down on the road to extinction when he discovered man-made tools. He was always hungry and often on the edge of starvation.
He didn’t understand why he was cold and tired all that time. He constantly forged for food. His first tools were his hands, teeth and limited intellect. He eked out an existence, barely surviving.
Gradually he learned how to use other tools other than his teeth and claws. He experimented with stones, sticks and fire.
Keeping what worked and throwing out what didn’t. It was a tedious business.
Sluggishly early man survived and began to thrive. He was a stubborn race who refused to die and give up.
One day early man moved from blunt clubs to sticks with sharpened stones. It was this way throughout his long, brutal history, constantly learning and improving.
Flint is a kind of stone. It’s common to many areas of the world. It’s found in chalk. If a block of flint is struck at certain points it splits. Thin flakes of the rock will break off.
Early man slowly discovered how to split and shape pieces of stone into knives, spear and arrow heads. Large pieces were put on wooden shafts and served as axes.
Improved Stone Weapons
Flint tools and weapons in the Stone Age were simple and rough. Workers learned how to polish and shape the flint pieces.
Arrow heads were carefully made with a short neck and attached to wooden or reed shafts. The shafts were carefully split, the arrow head inserted and bound into place.
Flint or similar stones were used over the centuries by warriors all over the world. The Aztecs of Central America used pieces of obsidian, a black rock from volcanoes. ‘
They would fix pieces along the edge of a wooden sword to give it a vicious cutting edge. On the islands of the Pacific warriors used pieces of stone to make axes. The Maoris of New Zealand used wide, flat axes made of stone or bone.
The aborigines of Australia also fashioned weapons of stone. They came with new materials, like glass, English settlers brought with them.
Coming of Metal Weapons
When smiths began to make metal weapons around 3500 BC, they were better, stronger, sharper and more durable than those of flint. Fewer and fewer flint weapons were made, although flint was still used for arrowhead.
A flint-tipped arrow was worth much less than a bronze one. It mattered less if it was lost in battle or on a hunt.
Recent tests have shown that flint arrows are almost as good as the ones made from steel and penetrate targets almost as well. Peoples like the Indians of North America continued to make the flint arrowheads right up to this century.
All over the world, there are caves decorated with drawings of primitive people hunting and fighting. Some modern day native people in Australia and New Guinea use stone and wooden weapons, like our ancestors 4,000 years ago.
Although contact with the modern world has brought steel and present day metal working techniques allowing them to make metal weapons.