Regional variations are noticeable both in the incidence of different varieties of stone tools and in the types of stones used in making these tools. The process through which the tools were made has been described by Allchins: “In order to make tools large flakes or pieces of quartzite had been removed from the parent rock.
It was not always clear whether this had been done by striking the rock with another stone an operation which would require great strength or by fire-setting that is lighting a fire against the rock and so causing large pieces to break away from the main body.
Perhaps both methods were used. Some tools, usually cleavers, can be seen to have been made from flakes which had been struck off larger blocks of raw material. But in the case of many tools all traces of a primary flake surface or a bulb of percussion, if they were ever there, have been lost in the removal of further flakes, in the process of giving the tool its final form”.
In the early stone tool manufacture the chief resource-used was quartzite. It seems where quartzite was not available in good supply; other varieties of rocks were used. It is also evident from the process as already discussed that reprocessing and reutilisation of wasted resource was a common sub-process employed in tool making.
The flakes, which were the byproducts of the manufacture of core tools, were utilised on a large scale. In the subsequent stages of stone tool making the flakes were used as the main objective of the tool makers and they became the intrinsic part of stone tool manufactures.
This stage, obviously, focused on tools that were smaller in size and therefore used mainly rocks called crypto crystalline silica, commonly called agate and jasper or chalcedony. Stones of this type give flakes of smoother surface. One of the main sources of this stone was the river pebbles. We could now relate the sites of stone tool making settlements as being located in river valleys.
An important point for our consideration relates to the manufacturing process of these tools. According to one particular view, the flakes from pebbles could only be obtained by using a wooden hammer, in which case the resource-use practice seems to undergo a definite shift as it employs a combination of materials.
The flake using stage of stone tool making was followed by the microlithic tradition. Here the tools were mainly made of blades of stones. These blades were parallel-sided and were prepared from cores. They were attached to wooden pieces in different combinations to make a variety of tools.
The shapes of these blades leave little doubt that they were made by chiselling the core stones with the help of a bone or hard wooden point struck with a hammer. Clearly, at this stage the human societies had become conversant with the use of natural resources other than rocks or stones.
This other natural resource was wood and it had begun to be used for more purposes than merely for fuel. The sites using microlithic devices were no more confined to a few places or regions. A wider dispersal of this tradition had taken place as microliths were also found from eastern parts and Deep South.