What did people use before they had metal implements?

They used natural ones!

They would use wood, animal bone or horn, and stone.

First thing’s first, you need something sharp. In pre-historic times they used flint. These are the shiny fragments you see archaeologists dig up on the TV, such as axe and arrow heads.

So, how were they created?

People would find pieces of flint and use another stone to bang against it to chip sections off. The thin sections might be used for arrow heads, and the main body of flint would be sharpened into and axe head or a large hand cutter/axe.


Things you need:

  1. Flint
  2. Round, hard stone
  3. Sheep skin

The basic principles are:

  1. Find a chunk of flint
  2. On the piece of flint, try to identify a lump which would be easier to break off, normally on one end, and about twice the size you need the eventual axe to be
  3. Strike your round stone downwards, always downwards, onto the area where you want the lump to break off. You need to identify vulnerabilities in the flint, e.g. am existing crack, or an area which has less connective material to the rest of the flint

If in doubt, watch this great video with Will Lord Flint Knapping.