TOOLS

Cultivation and all the processes associated with it like clearing of forestland, turning over of the soil, sowing of seeds, harvesting, thrashing and grinding of cereals, required special tools. There had been some attempts in this direction during the Mesolithic. A digging stick and a hoe were some of the early tools used to prepare the ground for cultivation. While a hoe helped in turning over the soil, a digging stick was used to dig furrows in soil for planting seeds. Reaping knife and sickle helped in harvesting ripened plants. Cereals like wheat and barley had to be separated from the husk by threshing and winnowing, and then ground into flour. The grinding and pounding tools like mortars, querns and pestles had to be of tough stone.
However, only certain artifacts used for cutting like axes or adzes were polished. Moreover the technique of polishing was only a minor innovation for it involved application to stone of an earlier technique for working bone that had been in use since the Upper Palaeolithic or perhaps even earlier. New technology was being devised for the manipulation and exploitation of plants and other sources of food. A specialised tool like a sickle was made by attaching short blades of flint on to a wooden handle.

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