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Flintknappers are craftsmen who use sharp tools to reduce flintstone to flint tool.In addition to lithic analysis, the field prehistorian utilizes a wide range of techniques derived from multiple fields.The first evidence of human metallurgy dates to between the 5th and 6th millennium BCE in the archaeological sites of Majdanpek, Yarmovac, and Pločnik in modern-day Serbia (a copper axe from 5500 BCE belonging to the Vinca culture), though not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or "Copper Age", this provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy. Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy from about 3300 BCE carried with him a copper axe and a flint knife.In regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Stone Age was followed directly by the Iron Age.The oldest sites containing tools are dated to 2.6–2.55 mya.One of the most striking circumstances about these sites is that they are from the Late Pliocene, where previous to their discovery tools were thought to have evolved only in the Pleistocene.Stone Age artifacts include tools used by modern humans and by their predecessor species in the genus Homo, and possibly by the earlier partly contemporaneous genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus.

It includes scientific study of the lithic reduction of the raw materials, examining how the artifacts were made.

The Stone Age is further subdivided by the types of stone tools in use.

The Stone Age is the first period in the three-age system of archaeology, which divides human technological prehistory into three periods: According to the age and location of the current evidence, the cradle of the genus is the East African Rift System, especially toward the north in Ethiopia, where it is bordered by grasslands.

Starting from about 4 million years ago (mya) a single biome established itself from South Africa through the rift, North Africa, and across Asia to modern China, which has been called "transcontinental 'savannahstan'" recently.

Starting in the grasslands of the rift, Homo erectus, the predecessor of modern humans, found an ecological niche as a tool-maker and developed a dependence on it, becoming a "tool equipped savanna dweller." Archaeological discoveries in Kenya in 2015, identifying possibly the oldest known evidence of hominin use of tools to date, have indicated that Kenyanthropus platyops ( a 3.2 to 3.5-million-year-old Pliocene hominin fossil discovered in Lake Turkana, Kenya in 1999 ) may have been the earliest tool-users known.

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Excavators at the locality point out that:"..earliest stone tool makers were skilled flintknappers ....

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