To define the Stone Age as “the age during which all the stone tools we’ve found were made” is obviously inaccurate, since stone tools continued to be made long after “The Stone Age.” There are probably few stone tool-making peoples extant today, but there were thousands of them just 500 years ago.

From an archaeological point of view, a more accurate definition would be “the age during which stone tool-making techniques developed.” I don’t “object” to the Stone Age label. I merely observe that it reflects our cultural bent to see people as defined by the products they make—and archaeologists are not exempt from that bent.

ID: 526
posted: 18 Nov 2001
updated: 02 Apr 2002

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