Making Stone Cleavers: Film

Posted Date: 09-09-2017


'Making Stone Cleavers' is available freely on You Tube. This was made in collaboration with, and produced by Professor Naama Goren-Inbar, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Professor Shanti Pappu, Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, with Dr. Kumar Akhilesh knapping cleavers.

The Cleaver: a prehistoric stone tool, is a wonderful example of the skill and cognitive abilities of our earliest ancestors. Here, we bring alive the story of the cleaver weaving together the shape and form of the tool, ways in which it was made, experiments to replicate ancient techniques and interviews with experts in the field of prehistoric archaeology. One of the earliest examples of imposing symmetry and shape onto stone, the cleaver with a sharp cutting edge, was made by many different techniques, reflecting marvelous knowledge of the properties of different rock types. From Africa to India, cleavers hold clues to ancient population migrations and to ways in which prehistoric people adapted to climate change from around 1.7 million years ago to around 300,000 years ago. The story of the cleaver is the story of human evolution and the story of the meticulous ways in which archaeologists decode the past. So, let’s slice through time and space and reveal the mysteries of the cleaver….