Before I talk about why the stone tool is an important part in the (organic and full potential) Argan oil production process, let´s have a look at the history of the stone tools first.
Early Stone Age Tools
The search for the dawn of stone toolmaking technology age is a sector that has occupied many archaeologists of human origins especially during the last decades.
The former, and widespread, consensus during the last two centuries of investigation suggesting the chronological rubicon 2.5–2.6 Myr to be the age of the most basic stone toolkits — also known as the Oldowan toolkits made by early humans — has just been blasted with newly-discovered (and exponentially increasing) evidence which, if approved, could push back the first traces of stone tool-use to before 3.39 Myr.
One point seems to be established, though. The majority of the scientific community agrees that the earliest unmistakable evidence of tool-making appeared in East Africa especially in the area of the Rift Valley.
This perspective is corroborated by various assemblages contained in the actual archaeological record.
Here in Morocco, the earliest stone artifacts (and some of the most interesting ones found in western North Africa in addition to those found in Ain Hanech, Algeria) were discovered in numerous cave sites along the beach site of Casablanca i.e. the Sidi Abderrahman cave (actual Grotte de L’Ours and Grotte des Littorines).
African archeologists and scientists have dated these to be from around 500,000 years ago.
Archeologists believe that the tweaks and changes in stone tool-making in North Africa were directly influenced by the environmental changes that occurred over time.
These changes imposed dietary shifts and prescribed where and which kinds of foods people could find, indicating at the same time whether these were hunted or gathered.
Moreover, this demonstrates that early humans not only understood but also controlled the principles of conchoidal fracture, as they knew that certain kinds of rocks could be cracked according to the direction and intensity of the force transmitted.
Applying this knowledge allowed them to well-select raw materials and thus obtain numerous tools fitting their exact needs through an array of methods of rock crafting that obviously required sophisticated know-how, well-developed perceptual abilities, as well as complex grip coordination and motor skills.
The well-reasoned early technological process starting from the preferential choice of adequate raw materials, coupled with an understanding of the volumetric notions resulted in a highly reliable and optimal technology, which has been handed over throughout generations.
This raw material selectivity in early stone tool assemblages, played a major role in the quality of the end product.
Today, many of the earliest food-processing techniques are often seen as obsolete although they should be considered as indicative of the wisdom of early technologies.
In the next article, I´ll be explaining what early stone age tools have to do with organic Argan oil and Argan oil production