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Neolithic Era Lesson for Kids: Tools & Homes

Instructor: Sunday Moulton

Sunday recently earned a PhD in Anthropology and has taught college courses in Anthropology, English, and high school ACT/SAT Prep.

Welcome to the Neolithic Era, an exciting new time in Stone Age technology. In this lesson, we'll look at how farming changing the kind of tools people made from stone and how they built permanent homes.

Imagining the Stone Age

Imagine waking up one morning in a strange place, cut off from the modern world you know. You have no electronic gadgets or tools. In fact, you don't have any tools and there are none to be found in this new place. If you dig, you might come across chunks of metal, but do you know anything about building a forge and making metal tools? You probably don't. So what can you use to cut things or hunt food? You'll have to make due with rocks. Welcome to the Stone Age.

What Makes the Neolithic Era So Special?

When people think of living in the Stone Age, they sometimes imagine being a caveman or cavewoman. Would it surprise you to know there were different Stone Ages with very different ways of life? In fact, by the Neolithic Era, humans had moved out of the caves, started farming, and built houses. So many new and exciting things were going on that we had to give the time period a new name. The word Neolithic comes from two Greek words that mean ''new'' and ''stone.''

New Stone Tools

Throughout the Stone Ages, humans made tools out of stone. Once they learned to make pottery out of clay, they used that make some tools as well. They had no knowledge of making metal tools like we use today. So what separates the tools of the Neolithic Era from earlier tools?

Well, the differences lie in their use for farming, something very new at that time. First, they needed to make tools to harvest the grains they grew. One of the most important tools to do this was the sickle, a curved blade a person would swing to cut the stalks of grains like wheat, oats, and barley.

Sumerian Clay Sickle: Imagine harvesting wheat with that.
Sickle

They also needed tools to process the grains into a fine, powdery flour. To do this, they used a wide stone that had a slight depression in the middle. They would put the grain in the low spot and used a smaller stone, held in the palm of their hand, to grind up the grains until they had flour.

Food Preparation Tools: Can you find the grinding stone?
Food Preparation Tools

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