Paleolithic and Mesolithic stone tools (left) and neolithic stone axes (right), © Museum Hameln

Old and Middle Stone Age Tools

Hand axes

Hamelin/Welliehausen, Hamelin/Basberg, unknown

Hand axes were produced and used for over a million years.  They were made of fine-grained stone such as flint, quartzite or basalt. The stones were separated using striking tools made of stone or horn, with the fragment edges then being polished. The sharp edge was presumably used, first and foremost, to cut up the prey.   

The left/right hand axe is unusually small.

Flint tools

Hamelin, Hamelin/Ohrberg, Hamelin/Wehrbergen, unknown, Aerzen/Multhöpen

Flint is also known as firestone.  The stone is very hard and extremely sharp cutting edges result when it is fragmented.  These can be used as a weapon. Hand axes made of flint were used as tools.  

Core stones were the material that was prepared for the production of beaten stone tools.

Back knife


Around 15,000 years ago, Ice Age hunters developed a new type of spearhead. They placed several razor-sharp flint knives together to form one blade. Thus, injuries could be more easily inflicted. 

The light spears were hurled using a catapult: a stick with a hook-end.  The impact of the collision could thus be reinforced. 


Hamelin/Ohrberg, Hamelin?, Coppenbrügge 1933, Aerzen/Multhöpen

The flint blades were attached to a shaft to facilitate work with them. A hole was required for attachment. This was difficult to achieve, since the stone slipped easily. The work was thus performed using low pressure. The drilling took a long time and was laborious.