Scientists have revealed the shocking risks of working with stone tools for primitive man

For at least three million years, ancient people have been engaged in the production of stone tools, scientists write in an article published in the journal American Antiquity.

Although it is generally accepted that stone tool making is inherently dangerous and can lead to injury, little is formally, specifically, or systematically known about the incidence, location, or severity of impact injuries.

To that end, scientists surveyed modern master stonemasons to better understand the risks associated with working with stone tools.

Responses from 173 survey participants indicate that impact injuries are a real and ongoing threat, even though most stoneworkers today use personal protective equipment. Various injuries (cuts, punctures, pain, etc.) can occur in almost any part of the body. The severity of some of the participants' injuries was shocking, the researchers noted, and nearly a quarter of those surveyed reported seeking or receiving professional medical care for a flint-related injury. Overall, the results of this survey suggest that stonemasons in ancient times likely faced serious or even mortal danger.