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Flint (tool)

From Academic Kids

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Ancient stone tools

Flint tools were made by stone age peoples worldwide. Paleolithic tools were relatively simple, repeated small flakes being struck or pressed from a flint until the required shape was achieved. By Neolithic times in Europe the manufacture of flint and obsidian blades had become a highly skilled industry (see Tool stone). The blades were polished to a fine level of finish.

Freshly made Mesolithic flint tools are very sharp, much sharper than the bronze or even iron blades that eventually replaced them. However they were brittle and easily damaged and could not be easily sharpened. Mesolithic stone tools were, perhaps, the first disposable mass-produced commodity. However, during Neolithic times highly polished blades were valuable tools which were routinely resharpened by careful flaking away from the cutting edge, by repolishing, or by a combination of both.

For specialist purposes glass knives are still made and used today, particularly for cutting thin sections for electron microscopy. These knives are made from high-quality manufactured glass, however, not from natural raw materials such as flint.

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