Talk:Stone tool

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Mesolithic + Microliths[edit]

Ok, this article has references the the paleolithic and neolithic, but we are missing the Mesolithic and notes on microliths. Unfortunately I don't know much about them, someone else care to fill the article out? (Thefuguestate 09:09, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I am doing a project and i need to make a early man tool and then write about it. can anyone give me some ideas?

Merge proposal[edit]

Flint is the earlier chipped tool, so deserves a separate article. However, it needs expansion, as the above comment shows. Stone axes is a wider topic, but also needs separate treatment. Peterlewis (talk) 05:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


search "mineral", stone and flint do NOT have the same definition. flint has properties stone does not. this is important when doing field studies. when I search stone tools I do not want to see flint tools. they should be seperate.Whitefox921 (talk) 03:47, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


I am concerned over this merge and redirect[edit]

In June 2009 someone redirected tool stone to [[Stone tool#Tool stone]], with the edit summary "merged to Stone tool. Looks better in context." The redirector placed a {{mergeto}} back on stone tool. But when one places a {{mergeto}}, they are also supposed to place a {{mergefrom}}. And they are supposed to initiate a section on the talk page of the target article, explaining why they think the merge is a good idea. The contributor who merged this material didn't do either of those things.

I am concerned over this apparently unilateral merge for both reasons specific to this instance, and on what I regard as very serious general grounds about this kind of merge. Geo Swan (talk) 14:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Specific objections to merging tool stone to stone tool[edit]

When one checks Special:WhatLinksHere/Tool_stone one sees close to a dozen articles target [[tool stone]].

What I found when I started to check those article that have wikilinks to tool stone is that the first three I looked at used both stone tool and tool stone in the same sentence. Obviously the authors of those other articles thought that stone tool and tool stone were separate topics. Ground stone had wikilinks to both stone tool and tool stone in its very first sentence.

I think anyone who checks with our actual readers will find that it is very annoying for readers to click on one link, and be taken to a different article. Imagine someone reading one of these articles, like ground stone, or knapping, wanting to know more information, first clicking on stone tool, reading it, then clicking the back button, and then clicking on tool stone. What is their reaction? "Why didn't I just read this in the other article?"

I think this merge should be reversed for this reason alone. Here are the first three articles I checked. Geo Swan (talk) 14:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

article context
Ground stone
In archaeology, ground stone is a category of stone tool formed by the grinding of a coarse-grained tool stone, either purposely or incidentally.
In prehistoric times, chert was often used as a raw material for the construction of stone tools. Like obsidian, as well as some rhyolites, felsites, quartzites, and other tool stones used in lithic reduction, chert fractures in a Hertzian cone when struck with sufficient force.
For stone tools and flintlock strikers, chert is worked using a fabricator such as a hammerstone to remove lithic flakes from a nucleus or core of tool stone.

General undesirability of wikilinks that target subsections within other articles[edit]

Wikilinks to subsection headings are widely used in the wikipedia namespace, and for historical reasons they will likely continue being used there. Wikilinks to subsection heading are lightly used in the article name space, and, if I had my way, this practice would be discontinued. If a topic is worthy of a wikilink, it is worthy of an article of its own.

Wikilinking to subsection heading is only partially supported by our underlying wikimedia software. A reader can follow wikilinks to subsection headings, by clicking on them. But other key features of wikilinks are not supported when the target is a subsection within another article.

The wikimedia software supports the very useful watchlist feature. But the granularity of our watchlists is whole articles. We can't put a subsection of an article on our watchlist. When a small article, that was capable of standing alone is merged to a larger article, then we degrade the value of the watchlists of everyone who was watching either of those two articles. When they were separate articles interested readers had four choices. Now they are reduced to two choices. And if they previously had just one of those articles on their watchlist, and they choose to continue to watchlist the merged article, they will get advised of lots of changes that are not of interest to them.

The Wikimedia software's redirect feature provides huge advantages over the unidirectional links of the regular world-wide-web. On the regular world-wide-web when the author of a web page changes its name they will irrevocably break all the existing links to that page. And they have no reliable way of knowing if lots of external pages link to their page, or whether no external pages link to their page. Wikimedia redirects transparently fix this enormous disadvantage of regular web links -- provided our wikilinks are article to article wikilinks. When an wikilink targets a subsection heading within an article it too will break if the subsection heading is removed or renamed. And the contributor who innocently removes or renames a section heading will have no way of knowing they are breaking wikilinks. This is highly undesirable behavior.

The wikimedia software's "what links here" feature is a powerful, and unfortunately underappreciated feature. When one is reading new articles, incomplete articles, and one finds that the last article they arrived at does not contain the information they were looking for, they can click on the "what links here" button. Often the articles that link to the current article will have the information they seek, or will link to other related articles that have the information they seek. The excessive urge to merge seriously degrades the value of the "what links here" button. I am a fan of the original UNIX design philosophy, of the original Research UNIX crowd at Bell Labs in the 1970s, as set out in the books coauthored by Brian Kernighan. He wrote that every tool should be small and focussed and do just one job, but do it well, and rely on the UNIX interprocess communication tools, to string together tools to do more complex tasks. I think a similar design philosophy should apply to wikipedia articles. In general, wikipedia articles should be small and focussed, and cover just one topic. When they are small and focussed and cover just one topic their "what links here" list is most useful, as everything on that list should be related to the one topic of the article. But when the "urge to merge" prevails looking at the "what links here" button gives a lot of false positives -- articles that link to the merged article that aren't related to what the reader is looking for because the article is no longer covering just one topic.

What I think mergist fail to appreciate is that it is easier for a reader to get to information that might be useful to them by clicking on a link, than by scrolling, or searching within the current article. If you scroll of search with an article you lose your place. When you click on a link, if the information is not what you want, you click the back button, and you are right where you started out.

Some old jazz guy said that the important thing about jazz was the space between the notes.

Similarly, the important thing about understanding the real power of the wikipedia is to appreciate that the links between information is at least as important, if not more important, than how well written our prose is. I believe a wikipedia full of poorly written prose, but richly linked, would be more useful than one full of professionally written prose, that was poorly linked.

Mergists sometimes defend their "urge to merge" with assertions that, "relax, all the important information" is still in the wikipedia -- it is just in one place, making it easier to find."

Anyone who ever worked with an old-fashioned database, one that could crash, and be inoperable, who had a boss who really needed one crucial piece of info from that database will appreciate how important our links are. I had occasions when I had to take my calculator, and my hex editor, and page through a crashed database.

Over and above the specific reasons why this redirection concerned me there is a very serious general concern I have with redirections of this sort.

Have you considered what makes the wikipedia more powerful and more useful than any paper encyclopedia? It is not that the wikipedia is vastly larger than any paper encyclopedia. The power of the wikipedia is due to several features:

  1. The wikipedia is richly interlinked;
  2. Unlike old-fashione www links, wikilinks are bidirectional;
  3. Unlike old-fashione www links, wikilinks, when used properly, don't break when the link target is renamed;
  4. Unlike old-fashione www links, with wikilinks one can determine exactly what articles link to the current article;

The importance of rich interlinking is that the size of the wikipedia would be irrelevant if the wikipedia's rich interlinking didn't make it easy to find the information one wants. Geo Swan (talk) 14:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Support merge. Geo Swans objection seems to be based on. (a) Tool stone is a topic on it's own. (b) Wikilinks to sections are in his oppinion bad due to limitations in the software. No one is claiming that tool stones isn't a topic on it's own, but it's a topic that in my opinion is better treated in the article on Stone tool. This can, and very well might, change as more content is added to the either topic. Point (b) is best adressed at the village pump, since it calls for discontinuation of section linking on a project wide scale. I disagree with Geo Swan on this point, feeling that section links, where appropriate, is a better solution than seperate articles. The reason for this is that with seperate articles there is a continual need to keep the articles in sync. Also several topics, Tool Stone included, is better treated in an article that provides the context. Finaly, in general, when the article becomes big enough that scolling causes a reader to lose his place then articles should be spun out. I do not see that this is the case with Stone tool. Taemyr (talk) 14:38, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Mode 3...?[edit]

The link discussing Mousterian "Mode 3" lithic technology points to a telephone protocol. I can say with fair certainty that this is not the correct link location, but I do not know where it was intended to point. This is problematic. (talk) 16:56, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. I did a search and came up empty, so I've just removed the link and the words, as we don't need to say Mode 3 again. Dougweller (talk) 17:07, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Lithic technology merger[edit]

The discussion above seems to refer to other mergers so I am starting a section on the Lithic Technology merger. But first, a word about this article, Stone tools. It seems to me to be headed in entirely the right direction, is relevant to the topic and covers the essential. It needs a little expansion and finishing. In essence it presents the Modal scheme of J. Desmond Clark. You can find him on the Internet, no problem. His words are getting to be the words of lithic presentations. Using them one can discuss such topics as the Mode 1/Mode 2 transition. Oh, by the way, how about some "cite book" and some "cite journal" on the refs? Please. This having been said, you will see that Lithic technology purports to cover the same material, but there is almost nothing meaningful there and it needs references. The material is really here. The best thing to do, clearly, is cannibalize whatever of use there is in Lithic technology, including possibly some of the prose, and then redirect it to here. Now, it is possible to get very technical about the preparation of stone tools and that could go under Lithic technology, which would seem more to the point for that topic. But, WP has not gone in that direction. Those topics are in some of the linked articles. Starting from what there is, the merger is for the best.Dave (talk) 12:15, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

The modal scheme: sorry, wrong Clark. It is Grahame Clarke, World Prehistory, 1969. His work on the same topic with Stuart Piggott in 1965 lacks it. If no one else does it I will write that up briefly when I get a chance. Everyone since 1969 seems to have snatched the concept right up. It appears everywhere, no disputes. For the lithic technology merger, the main discussion is under lithic technology and it seems to be closed. I don't know what the tag is still doing here.Dave (talk) 05:17, 19 January 2011 (UTC)


The dates are a refinement that should be here, or else not be here with pointers to articles in which they are covered. Apart from the 2.6 they are not really accurate, but this topic is under heavy investigation in the field. In general, Mode 2 succeeds Mode 1 but not at the same time in different regions. The archaeological gurus point to dated sites when they present it, and these sites are carefully dated by geologic and other experts whom they hire along on the field work for the purpose. So, an overall 250,000 guessed at by a WP scholar will not do at all. Mode 1 went all the way to the Far East and it ended at vastly different times along that range. For the 2.6, well, what is striking about that is that it is in the Late Pliocene, earlier than anyone previously suspected. Moreover, there is a gap 2.9-2.6 in the layers in Ethiopia so they are guessing it will turn up eventually 2.9 and earlier. But that is educated speculation.Dave (talk) 12:35, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

PS I decided to get back on here and improve this a little. Absolute dates are not appropriate because they vary. Typically you see the modes linked with lower, middle and upper palaeolithic, which are relative dates. In this case though under "Stone age" that is already covered and made clear. It seems a "period" concern rather than a "lithic technology" concern so I am taking the liberty of removing the dates on the presumption that they are or will be adequately covered under "stone age."Dave (talk) 01:13, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Start Class[edit]

This has been "start class" since 2006. Give us a break!Dave (talk) 12:40, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Tool stone revisited[edit]

The final decision of the authors was to move "Tool stone" to a main article on the topic. That having been done, the duplicate material should have been removed; after all, that is the point of having a separate article. So, I left only the first sentence as a general introduction. The rest is of course under Tool stone. But, there is another reason also. Tool stone covers modern uses, which should not be in the article on the ancient. For example, the industrial use of diamonds and diamond paste was quite beyond the ancients. One does not want to give the impression that the ancients used it. Thank you.Dave (talk) 20:24, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Incomplete refs[edit]

Barton, RNE, Stone Age Britain English Heritage/BT Batsford:London 1997 qtd in Butler, 2005. See also Wymer, JJ, The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain, Wessex Archaeology and English Heritage, 1999.

No page numbers given, no ref on Butler. I did see a snippet view on Barton. It only repeats Clarke so I deemed the reference on Clarke to be totally adequate. He goes into pages of detail. Note that, these are refs to the stone age in Britain. Trying to use the British dates for "rough dates" isn't going to do it. People usually give African dates plus the dates for Eurasia or Europe and Asia. Some detail it out by region: the Levant, India, Cnina, SE Asia, etc. The author did not attempt any of that so I figured Clarke's relative scheme is adequate for the intent. You can get additional detail by going to the linked articles on lower paleolithic, middle, upper, etc. or Oldowan, Acheulian, etc.Dave (talk) 15:11, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Article Image[edit]

While that carved head is very pretty, it is neither stone nor a tool. Can someone put a picture of a stone tool above that box? I don't know how to. (talk) 19:11, 22 March 2011 (UTC)


Looks to me as though this word is used only in this one article - it really needs a definition somewhere. I cah't find one. Dougweller (talk) 17:07, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Linking Mode 1[edit]

In the subsection on "Evolutionary development of Technocomplexes" under "Mode 1" the link associated with the text "Mode 1" directs the reader to "Mode 2". First, that's kind of funny, but second, I think it's referring to a different kind of "Mode 1" than is meant in this article. I believe the "Mode 1" referenced in this article should link to the wikipage Oldowan. Addemf (talk) 20:07, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Oldest stone tools[edit]

As of 4/15/2015, A report of the oldest stone tools that are 3.3 million years old, preceding the Oldowan tools and the tools found in Gona. Jcardazzi (talk) 12:12, 19 April 2015 (UTC)jcardazzi

Interesting, but a low-key talk in April, followed by a journalist's blogpost, is rather too little to justify inclusion yet. Johnbod (talk) 14:40, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I'd prefer something more substantial, more evidence of its acceptance. Dougweller (talk) 15:13, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

New articles on the subject: Jcardazzi (talk) 12:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)jcardazzi

Time to add it. Dougweller (talk) 13:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)