I still have the first stone hand ax I ever made. It's a pretty poor specimen, crudely chipped from a piece of frost-fractured flint I picked up on a walk through a farmer's field in West Sussex, England. It would not have impressed the human ancestors known to us as Homo heidelbergensis. These cousins of Homo sapiens from 500,000 years ago left much nicer hand axes at a nearby archaeological site in Boxgrove. Still, I worked hard at making this simple cutting tool, and I am proud of it. What really matters, though, is not that I am dabbling in a new hobby. What matters is that my dabbling was intended to probe key questions of human evolution and the emergence of language and culture that are hallmarks of our species.