This stage was conceived as embracing two major categories of stone technology: (1) unspecialized and largely unformulated core and flake industries, with percussion the dominant and perhaps only technique employed, and (2) industries exhibiting more advanced "blade" techniques of stoneworking, with specialized fluted or unfluted lanceolate points the most characteristic artifact types. Throughout South America, there are stone tool traditions of the lithic stage, such as the "fluted fishtail", that reflect localized adaptations to the diverse habitats of the continent.
Archeologist Alex Krieger has documented hundreds of sites that have yielded crude, percussion-flaked tools. The most convincing evidence for a lithic stage is based upon data recovered from sites in South America, where such crude tools have been found and dated to more than 20,000 years ago.
In North America, the time encompasses the Paleo-Indian period, which subsequently is divided into more specific time terms, such as Early Lithic stage or Early Paleo-Indians, and Middle Paleo-Indians or Middle Lithic stage. Examples include the Clovis culture and Folsom tradition groups.
8000 BCE: Sufficient rain falls on the American Southwest to support many large mammal species – mammoth, mastodon, and bison – that soon go extinct.
8000 BCE: Native Americans leave documented traces of their presence in every habitable corner of the Americas, including the American Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, and a cave on Prince of Wales Island in the Alexander archipelago of southeast Alaska, possibly following these game animals.