sample dating self descriptions - Outline some limitations in using radiocarbon dating

The Stone Age is further subdivided by the types of stone tools in use.

Excavators at the locality point out that:"..earliest stone tool makers were skilled flintknappers ....

The possible reasons behind this seeming abrupt transition from the absence of stone tools to the presence thereof include ...

Much of this study takes place in the laboratory in the presence of various specialists.

In experimental archaeology, researchers attempt to create replica tools, to understand how they were made.

The work of the archaeologist in determining the paleocontext and relative sequence of the layers is supplemented by the efforts of the geologic specialist in identifying layers of rock over geologic time, of the paleontological specialist in identifying bones and animals, of the palynologist in discovering and identifying plant species, of the physicist and chemist in laboratories determining dates by the carbon-14, potassium-argon and other methods.

Study of the Stone Age has never been mainly about stone tools and archaeology, which are only one form of evidence.

The terms "Stone Age", "Bronze Age", and "Iron Age" were never meant to suggest that advancement and time periods in prehistory are only measured by the type of tool material, rather than, for example, social organization, food sources exploited, adaptation to climate, adoption of agriculture, cooking, settlement and religion.

Like pottery, the typology of the stone tools combined with the relative sequence of the types in various regions provide a chronological framework for the evolution of man and society.

Stone Age artifacts include tools used by modern humans and by their predecessor species in the genus Homo, and possibly by the earlier partly contemporaneous genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus.

Bone tools were used during this period as well but are rarely preserved in the archaeological record.

They serve as diagnostics of date, rather than characterizing the people or the society.

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