Tool Manufacture and Use

Certainty Style Key

Certainty styling is being phased out topic by topic.

Hover over keys for definitions:
True   Likely   Speculative
Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Relative Difference
MOCA Domain: 
MOCA Topic Authors: 

Humans have a wide variety of tools. Primates have four limbs for manipulating objects. Upright posture and manipulative hands are the adaptation to the arboreal life. Chimpanzees also manufacture and use a wide variety of tools. Tool can be defined by the detached object to get a goal. If this definition is accepted, then there is a lot of evidence of nonhuman animals using tools. However, there are some limitations such as hierarchical structure of tools. For example, humans make a tool by another tool. Chimpanzee sometimes use a tool set or tool kit to combine the multiple tools but there should be a limit of number of parts to be involved. Shelters are often utilized by humans but not much in chimpanzees. It must be important to recognize that only the great apes make the sleeping platform (called bed or nest) but not the gibbons nor the monkeys. According to the definition, the nest is a sort of tool to function as a shelter. 


  1. Earliest Prepared core technology in Eurasia from Nihewan (China): Implications for early human abilities and dispersals in East Asia., Ma, Dong-Dong, Pei Shu-wen, Xie Fei, Ye Zhi, Wang Fa-Gang, Xu Jing-Yue, Deng Cheng-Long, and de la Torre Ignacio , Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2024 Mar 12, Volume 121, Issue 11, p.e2313123121, (2024)
  2. East-to-west human dispersal into Europe 1.4 million years ago, Garba, R., Usyk V., Ylä-Mella L., Kameník J., Stübner K., Lachner J., Rugel G., Veselovský F., Gerasimenko N., Herries A. I. R., et al. , Nature, 2024/03/06, (2024)
  3. The wooden artifacts from Schöningen’s Spear Horizon and their place in human evolution, Leder, Dirk, Lehmann Jens, Milks Annemieke, Koddenberg Tim, Sietz Michael, Vogel Matthias, Böhner Utz, and Terberger Thomas , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2024/04/09, Volume 121, Issue 15, p.e2320484121, (2024)
  4. A surge in obsidian exploitation more than 1.2 million years ago at Simbiro III (Melka Kunture, Upper Awash, Ethiopia), Mussi, Margherita, Mendez-Quintas Eduardo, Barboni Doris, Bocherens Hervé, Bonnefille Raymonde, Briatico Giuseppe, Geraads Denis, Melis Rita T., Panera Joaquin, Pioli Laura, et al. , Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2023/01/19, (2023)
  5. Bow-and-arrow, technology of the first modern humans in Europe 54,000 years ago at Mandrin, France, Metz, Laure, Lewis Jason E., and Slimak Ludovic , Science Advances, 02/2023, Volume 9, Issue 8, (2023)
  6. Expanded geographic distribution and dietary strategies of the earliest Oldowan hominins and Paranthropus, Plummer, Thomas W., Oliver James S., Finestone Emma M., Ditchfield Peter W., Bishop Laura C., Blumenthal Scott A., Lemorini Cristina, Caricola Isabella, Bailey Shara E., Herries Andy I. R., et al. , Science, 2023/02/10, Volume 379, Issue 6632, p.561 - 566, (2023)
  7. Using microartifacts to infer Middle Pleistocene lifeways at Schöningen, Germany., Venditti, Flavia, Rodríguez-Álvarez Bárbara, Serangeli Jordi, Cesaro Stella Nunziante, Walter Rudolf, and Conard Nicholas J. , Sci Rep, 2022 Dec 15, Volume 12, Issue 1, p.21148, (2022)
  8. A worked bone assemblage from 120,000–90,000 year old deposits at Contrebandiers Cave, Atlantic Coast, Morocco, Hallett, Emily Y., Marean Curtis W., Steele Teresa E., Álvarez-Fernández Esteban, Jacobs Zenobia, Cerasoni Jacopo Niccolò, Aldeias Vera, Scerri Eleanor M. L., Olszewski Deborah I., Hajraoui Mohamed Abdeljalil, et al. , iScience, 09/16/2021, (2021)
  9. Direct dating of lithic surface artifacts using luminescence, Gliganic, Luke Andrew, Meyer Michael Christian, May Jan-Hendrik, Aldenderfer Mark Steven, and Tropper Peter , Science Advances, 2021/06/01, Volume 7, Issue 23, p.eabb3424, (2021)
  10. Middle Pleistocene Homo behavior and culture at 140,000 to 120,000 years ago and interactions with Homo sapiens, Zaidner, Yossi, Centi Laura, Prévost Marion, Mercier Norbert, Falguères Christophe, Guérin Gilles, Valladas Helene, Richard Maïlys, Galy Asmodée, Pécheyran Christophe, et al. , Science, 2021/06/25, Volume 372, Issue 6549, p.1429, (2021)
  11. Modelling the end of the Acheulean at global and continental levels suggests widespread persistence into the Middle Palaeolithic, Key, Alastair J. M., Jarić Ivan, and Roberts David L. , Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 2021/03/02, Volume 8, Issue 1, p.55, (2021)
  12. Naïve orangutans (Pongo abelii and Pongo pygmaeus) individually acquire nut-cracking using hammer tools, Bandini, Elisa, Grossmann Johannes, Funk Martina, Albiach-Serrano Anna, and Tennie Claudio , American Journal of Primatology, 2021/08/11, Volume n/a, Issue n/a, p.e23304, (2021)
  13. Bone tools from Beds II–IV, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and implications for the origins and evolution of bone technology, Pante, Michael, de la Torre Ignacio, d’Errico Francesco, Njau Jackson, and Blumenschine Robert , Journal of Human Evolution, 2020/11/01/, Volume 148, p.102885, (2020)
  14. Co-occurrence of Acheulian and Oldowan artifacts with Homo erectus cranial fossils from Gona, Afar, Ethiopia, Semaw, Sileshi, Rogers Michael J., Simpson Scott W., Levin Naomi E., Quade Jay, Dunbar Nelia, McIntosh William C., Cáceres Isabel, Stinchcomb Gary E., Holloway Ralph L., et al. , Science Advances, 2020/03/01, Volume 6, Issue 10, p.eaaw4694, (2020)
  15. Estimating temperatures of heated Lower Palaeolithic flint artefacts, Agam, Aviad, Azuri Ido, Pinkas Iddo, Gopher Avi, and Natalio Filipe , 2020/10/05, (2020)
  16. Non-destructive ZooMS identification reveals strategic bone tool raw material selection by Neandertals, Martisius, Naomi L., Welker Frido, Dogandžić Tamara, Grote Mark N., Rendu William, Sinet-Mathiot Virginie, Wilcke Arndt, McPherron Shannon J. P., Soressi Marie, and Steele Teresa E. , Nature Scientific Reports, 2020/05/08, Volume 10, Issue 1, p.7746, (2020)
  17. Raw material optimization and stone tool engineering in the Early Stone Age of Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania), Key, Alastair, Proffitt Tomos, and de la Torre Ignacio , Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2020/01/29, Volume 17, Issue 162, p.20190377, (2020)
  18. The position of Australopithecus sediba within fossil hominin hand use diversity, Dunmore, Christopher J., Skinner Matthew M., Bardo Ameline, Berger Lee R., Hublin Jean-Jacques, Pahr Dieter H., Rosas Antonio, Stephens Nicholas B., and Kivell Tracy L. , Nature, 2020/05/18, Volume 4, Issue 7, (2020)
  19. Earliest known Oldowan artifacts at >2.58 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia, highlight early technological diversity, Braun, David R., Aldeias Vera, Archer Will, J Arrowsmith Ramón, Baraki Niguss, Campisano Christopher J., Deino Alan L., DiMaggio Erin N., Dupont-Nivet Guillaume, Engda Blade, et al. , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019/05/29, p.201820177, (2019)
  20. Learning curves and teaching when acquiring nut-cracking in humans and chimpanzees, Boesch, Christophe, Bombjaková Daša, Meier Amelia, and Mundry Roger , Scientific Reports, 2019/02/06, Volume 9, Issue 1, p.1515, (2019)
  21. 1.9-million- and 2.4-million-year-old artifacts and stone tool–cutmarked bones from Ain Boucherit, Algeria, Sahnouni, Mohamed, Parés Josep M., Duval Mathieu, Cáceres Isabel, Harichane Zoheir, Van der Made Jan, Pérez-González Alfredo, Abdessadok Salah, Kandi Nadia, Derradji Abdelkader, et al. , Science, 2018/11/29, (2018)
  22. Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709 thousand years ago, Ingicco, T., van den Bergh G. D., Jago-on C., Bahain J.-J., Chacón M. G., Amano N., Forestier H., King C., Manalo K., Nomade S., et al. , Nature Scientific Reports, 2018/05/02, (2018)
  23. Late Middle Pleistocene Levallois stone-tool technology in southwest China, Hu, Yue, Marwick Ben, Zhang Jia-Fu, Rui Xue, Hou Ya-Mei, Yue Jian-Ping, Chen Wen-Rong, Huang Wei-Wen, and Li Bo , 2018/11/19, (2018)
  24. The expansion of later Acheulean hominins into the Arabian Peninsula, Scerri, Eleanor M. L., Shipton Ceri, Clark-Balzan Laine, Frouin Marine, Schwenninger Jean-Luc, Groucutt Huw S., Breeze Paul S., Parton Ash, Blinkhorn James, Drake Nick A., et al. , Scientific Reports, 2018/11/29, Volume 8, Issue 1, p.17165, (2018)
  25. A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA, Holen, Steven R., Deméré Thomas A., Fisher Daniel C., Fullagar Richard, Paces James B., Jefferson George T., Beeton Jared M., Cerutti Richard A., Rountrey Adam N., Vescera Lawrence, et al. , Nature, 2017/04/27/print, Volume 544, Issue 7651, p.479 - 483, (2017)
  26. Tool use for corpse cleaning in chimpanzees, van Leeuwen, Edwin J. C., Cronin Katherine A., and Haun Daniel B. M. , Scientific Reports, 2017/03/13, Volume 7, p.44091 - , (2017)
  27. An earlier origin for stone tool making: implications for cognitive evolution and the transition to Homo, Lewis, Jason E., and Harmand Sonia , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 2016/06/13, Volume 371, Issue 1698, (2016)
  28. Early Evidence for the Extensive Heat Treatment of Silcrete in the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter (Layer PBD, 65 ka), South Africa, Delagnes, Anne, Schmidt Patrick, Douze Katja, Wurz Sarah, Bellot-Gurlet Ludovic, Conard Nicholas J., Nickel Klaus G., van Niekerk Karen L., and Henshilwood Christopher S. , PLoS ONEPLoS ONE, 2016/10/19, Volume 11, Issue 10, p.e0163874 - , (2016)
  29. Early evidence of stone tool use in bone working activities at Qesem Cave, Israel, Zupancich, Andrea, Nunziante-Cesaro Stella, Blasco Ruth, Rosell Jordi, Cristiani Emanuela, Venditti Flavia, Lemorini Cristina, Barkai Ran, and Gopher Avi , Scientific Reports, 2016/11/25, Volume 6, p.37686 - , (2016)
  30. Impact of meat and Lower Palaeolithic food processing techniques on chewing in humans., Zink, Katherine D., and Lieberman Daniel E. , Nature, 2016 Mar 24, Volume 531, Issue 7595, p.500-3, (2016)
  31. Nut-cracking behaviour in wild-born, rehabilitated bonobos (Pan paniscus): a comprehensive study of hand-preference, hand grips and efficiency, Neufuss, Johanna, Humle Tatyana, Cremaschi Andrea, and Kivell Tracy L. , Am J Primatol, 2016, (2016)
  32. OH-65: The earliest evidence for right-handedness in the fossil record, Frayer, David W., Clarke Ronald J., Fiore Ivana, Blumenschine Robert J., Pérez-Pérez Alejandro, Martinez Laura M., Estebaranz Ferran, Holloway Ralph, and Bondioli Luca , Journal of Human Evolution, 2016/11, Volume 100, p.65 - 72, (2016)
  33. Oldowan hominin behavior and ecology at Kanjera South,Kenya., Plummer, Thomas, and Bishop Laura , J Anthropol Sci, 2016 Jun 20, Volume 94, p.29-40, (2016)
  34. The origins of the Acheulean: past and present perspectives on a major transition in human evolution, de la Torre, Ignacio , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 2016/06/13, Volume 371, Issue 1698, (2016)
  35. Tool transfers are a form of teaching among chimpanzees, Musgrave, Stephanie, Morgan David, Lonsdorf Elizabeth, Mundry Roger, and Sanz Crickette , Scientific Reports, 2016/10/11, Volume 6, p.34783 - , (2016)
  36. Wild monkeys flake stone tools, Proffitt, Tomos, Luncz Lydia V., Falótico Tiago, Ottoni Eduardo B., de la Torre Ignacio, and Haslam Michael , Nature, 2016/10/19, Volume advance online publication, p. - , (2016)
  37. "Vision for Action" in Young Children Aligning Multi-Featured Objects: Development and Comparison with Nonhuman Primates., Fragaszy, Dorothy Munkenbeck, Kuroshima Hika, and Stone Brian W. , PLoS One, 2015, Volume 10, Issue 10, p.e0140033, (2015)
  38. 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya., Harmand, Sonia, Lewis Jason E., Feibel Craig S., Lepre Christopher J., Prat Sandrine, Lenoble Arnaud, Boës Xavier, Quinn Rhonda L., Brenet Michel, Arroyo Adrian, et al. , Nature, 2015 May 21, Volume 521, Issue 7552, p.310-5, (2015)
  39. Captive chimpanzee takes down a drone: tool use toward a flying object., van Hooff, Jan A. R. A. M., and Lukkenaar Bas , Primates, 2015 Oct, Volume 56, Issue 4, p.289-92, (2015)
  40. Chimpanzees and bonobos differ in intrinsic motivation for tool use., Koops, Kathelijne, Furuichi Takeshi, and Hashimoto Chie , Sci Rep, 2015, Volume 5, p.11356, (2015)
  41. Chimpanzees prey on army ants at Seringbara, Nimba Mountains, Guinea: predation patterns and tool use characteristics., Koops, Kathelijne, Schöning Caspar, McGrew William C., and Matsuzawa Tetsuro , Am J Primatol, 2015 Mar, Volume 77, Issue 3, p.319-29, (2015)
  42. Cognitive demands of lower paleolithic toolmaking., Stout, Dietrich, Hecht Erin, Khreisheh Nada, Bradley Bruce, and Chaminade Thierry , PLoS One, 2015, Volume 10, Issue 4, p.e0121804, (2015)
  43. Early Upper Paleolithic chronology in the Levant: new ABOx-SC accelerator mass spectrometry results from the Mughr el-Hamamah Site, Jordan., Stutz, Aaron Jonas, Shea John J., Rech Jason A., Pigati Jeffrey S., Wilson Jim, Belmaker Miriam, Albert Rosa Maria, Arpin Trina, Cabanes Dan, Clark Jamie L., et al. , J Hum Evol, 2015 Aug, Volume 85, p.157-73, (2015)
  44. Estimating thumb-index finger precision grip and manipulation potential in extant and fossil primates., Feix, Thomas, Kivell Tracy L., Pouydebat Emmanuelle, and Dollar Aaron M. , J R Soc Interface, 2015 May 6, Volume 12, Issue 106, (2015)
  45. Evidence in hand: recent discoveries and the early evolution of human manual manipulation., Kivell, Tracy L. , Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2015 Nov 19, Volume 370, Issue 1682, (2015)
  46. Insights into early lithic technologies from ethnography., Hayden, Brian , Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2015 Nov 19, Volume 370, Issue 1682, (2015)
  47. New evidence on the tool-assisted hunting exhibited by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in a savannah habitat at Fongoli, Sénégal., Pruetz, J D., Bertolani P, K Ontl Boyer, Lindshield S, Shelley M, and Wessling E G. , R Soc Open Sci, 2015 Apr, Volume 2, Issue 4, p.140507, (2015)
  48. Preparation and use of varied natural tools for extractive foraging by bonobos (Pan Paniscus)., Roffman, Itai, Savage-Rumbaugh Sue, Rubert-Pugh Elizabeth, Stadler André, Ronen Avraham, and Nevo Eviatar , Am J Phys Anthropol, 2015 Sep, Volume 158, Issue 1, p.78-91, (2015)
  49. Taphonomy of fossils from the hominin-bearing deposits at Dikika, Ethiopia., Thompson, Jessica C., McPherron Shannon P., Bobe René, Reed Denné, W Barr Andrew, Wynn Jonathan G., Marean Curtis W., Geraads Denis, and Alemseged Zeresenay , J Hum Evol, 2015 Sep, Volume 86, p.112-35, (2015)
  50. The evolution of the hominin thumb and the influence exerted by the non-dominant hand during stone tool production., Key, Alastair J. M., and Dunmore Christopher J. , J Hum Evol, 2015 Jan, Volume 78, p.60-9, (2015)
  51. There Is More than One Way to Crack an Oyster: Identifying Variation in Burmese Long-Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis aurea) Stone-Tool Use., Tan, Amanda, Tan Say Hoon, Vyas Dhaval, Malaivijitnond Suchinda, and Gumert Michael D. , PLoS One, 2015, Volume 10, Issue 5, p.e0124733, (2015)
  52. Tools to tipple: ethanol ingestion by wild chimpanzees using leaf-sponges., Hockings, Kimberley J., Bryson-Morrison Nicola, Carvalho Susana, Fujisawa Michiko, Humle Tatyana, McGrew William C., Nakamura Miho, Ohashi Gaku, Yamanashi Yumi, Yamakoshi Gen, et al. , R Soc Open Sci, 2015 Jun, Volume 2, Issue 6, p.150150, (2015)
  53. Age and date for early arrival of the Acheulian in Europe (Barranc de la Boella, la Canonja, Spain)., Vallverdú, Josep, Saladié Palmira, Rosas Antonio, Huguet Rosa, Cáceres Isabel, Mosquera Marina, García-Tabernero Antonio, Estalrrich Almudena, Lozano-Fernández Iván, Pineda-Alcalá Antonio, et al. , PLoS One, 2014, Volume 9, Issue 7, p.e103634, (2014)
  54. Old stones’ song: Use-wear experiments and analysis of the Oldowan quartz and quartzite assemblage from Kanjera South (Kenya), Lemorini, C., Plummer T., Braun D., Crittenden A., Ditchfield P., Bishop L., Hertel F., Oliver J., Marlowe F., Schoeninger M., et al. , Journal of Human Evolution, 07/2014, Volume 72, p.10-25, (2014)
  55. The ecology of primate material culture., Koops, Kathelijne, Visalberghi Elisabetta, and van Schaik Carel P. , Biol Lett, 2014 Nov, Volume 10, Issue 11, p.20140508, (2014)
  56. Stone tool production and utilization by bonobo-chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)., Roffman, Itai, Savage-Rumbaugh Sue, Rubert-Pugh Elizabeth, Ronen Avraham, and Nevo Eviatar , Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2012 Sep 4, Volume 109, Issue 36, p.14500-3, (2012)