Relative age dating rocks
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 work of the archaeologist in determining the paleocontext and relative sequence of the layers is supplemented by the efforts of the geologic specialist in identifying layers of rock over geologic time, of the paleontological specialist in identifying bones and animals, of the palynologist in discovering and identifying plant species, of the physicist and chemist in laboratories determining dates by the carbon-14, potassium-argon and other methods.
Bone tools were used during this period as well but are rarely preserved in the archaeological record.Much of this study takes place in the laboratory in the presence of various specialists.In experimental archaeology, researchers attempt to create replica tools, to understand how they were made.It involves the measurement of the stone tools to determine their typology, function and the technology involved.
It includes scientific study of the lithic reduction of the raw materials, examining how the artifacts were made.
Flintknappers are craftsmen who use sharp tools to reduce flintstone to flint tool.