Palaeolithic Technology: An Introduction


The Palaeolithic wasn’t just an age of stone. Early humans made tools and other items from a wide variety of materials, including organic materials such as animal skins, wood, and plant fibres that are only occasionally preserved in Palaeolithic contexts.

This day school introduces some of the various technologies developed during the Palaeolithic and considers the skills and know-how involved. The earliest known stone tools date back to around 3.3 million years ago, but it is unlikely that stone was the first material to be worked by hominins. By the Upper Palaeolithic, modern humans had developed a diverse range of technologies, often combining different materials to create their tools, such as complex projectile weaponry for hunting. Some also developed crafts more usually associated with the Neolithic, such as the production of fired pottery.

There will be some practical demonstrations to illustrate the working of different materials. By the end of the day school participants will have an appreciation of the varied technologies developed during the Palaeolithic period.

This day school is suitable for anyone curious about Palaeolithic artefacts and technology. 

Programme details


Technological approaches for the manufacture of stone tools

Tea/coffee break

Working wood, making adhesives, and the production of composite tools


Making tools of bone, antler and mammoth ivory

Tea/coffee break

Cordage, textiles, and pottery

Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition fee (includes tea/coffee) £85.00
Baguette £6.10
Hot lunch (3 courses) £16.50


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Diane Holmes


Diane Holmes has been teaching courses on human evolution and Palaeolithic archaeology for OUDCE for many years. Her main interests are Palaeolithic technology and African prehistory, particularly the Middle Stone Age.


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.