Remains of sculpted stone artifacts and tools from the New Stone Age (about 10,000 BCE to 2,000 BCE) show that the craft of stone carving can be traced back to ancient civilizations found in many regions of the world.

The fundamental techniques of stone carving changed little from ancient to medieval periods. It is also possible to see the influence of ancient Egyptian, Near East, Greek, and Roman sculpture on the stone carving of Medieval Europe.

Throughout the different eras of sculpture, trends and tastes popularized specific artistic styles and the use of certain tools and marks distinctive to that age. The rise of medieval guilds and masons advanced stone carving into the modern era.