When most people think of a hammer and anvil, they picture this…
But the technology of a hammer and anvil goes back to before we were even humans. In fact, many of our primate cousins use them, such as Chimpanzees and Capuchin Monkeys. Hammers and anvils are about the most simple tools there are, but they are enormously important for most Stone Age craft. In fact, I needed a set to be able to complete four of the projects I am currently working on.
First I needed to find a hammerstone. It’s a pretty simple task. You just need to find a stone that is shaped kind of like an egg that you can grip comfortably in your hand.
Next, you need an anvil. Any stable flat surface can work as an anvil, so there are many types. I wanted a relatively small one so it could be portable. Sometimes you can find a rock with good balance and a naturally flat bottom and top, but you’ll likely get a better result by finding a rock and breaking it against another rock until it cracks and becomes a flat surface. In my case the top is mostly flat, but slightly concave which makes it useful as a mortar and pestle set as well.
That’s it! Now you can use it for any number of things. Grinding, smashing, shaping, etc.