Paleolithic Period | Definition, Dates, & Facts | stirim.info
Different groups sought different ways of making tools. The oldest known Stone Age art dates back to a later Stone Age period known as the. The earliest global date for the beginning of the Stone Age is million years Nevertheless, there are differences between the tools produced by Neolithic or New Stone Age: begins with the introduction of farming, dating. This period is usually broken up into three different stages, so let's look at each of as a whole is the Paleolithic Age, which literally means ''old stone'' age. This period is usually dated from around 30, BCE to the end of the Ice Age, The Neolithic Age, literally the ''new stone'' age, is often called the Late Stone Age.
Thus, the Mediterranean zone became the centre of the first cultural modifications leading from the last hunters and food gatherers to the earliest farmers. This was established by some important excavations in the midth century in the Middle Eastwhich unearthed the first stages of early agriculture and stock breeding 7th and 6th millennia bce with wheat, barley, dogs, sheep, and goats.
Early prepottery Neolithic finds probably 6th millennium bce have been made in the Argissa Magula near Larissa Thessaly, Greecewhile excavations in Lepenski Vir Balkan Peninsula have brought to light some sculptures of the same period. The independent origin of European Neolithic was established, and it was thought highly probable that the cradle of farming in the Middle East had not been the only one: Each zone itself is subdivided into natural regions by physiographic boundaries and peculiarities of climate or soil.
Only the three major divisions of the temperate zone are not obvious from every map. The substantial Neolithic communities that arose by bce must have been largely recruited from indigenous Mesolithic hunters and fishers, attested to so abundantly in western and northern Europe by various remains. Some communities indeed seem to be composed entirely of such Mesolithic stocks, though they had adopted a Neolithic equipment from immigrant farmers; such are sometimes termed Secondary Neolithic.
From these Mesolithic survivors, too, must be derived much of the science and equipment applied in Neolithic times to adapting societies to European environments. Upon the resultant distinctively European technology and economy was reared a no less original ideological superstructure expressed in distinctive sepulchral monuments, styles of ceramic decoration, and fashions in personal ornaments. Cultural elements Rural economy In each of the above-mentioned provinces, the archaeological record begins with the early stages of farming, as in Thessaly.
The process of cultural formation and modification during the Neolithic may be studied with the help of the different kinds of pottery and stone artifacts. Save in the taiga, where a Mesolithic economy persisted until the end of the Bronze Agethe basis of life everywhere was subsistence farmingsupplemented by some measure of hunting and fishing—fish being a source of food curiously neglected in western and central Europe during the earlier phases of the Neolithic.
Everywhere the same cereals were cultivatedtogether with beans, peas, and lentils. In the Mediterranean zone, orchard husbandry may already have begun, while around the Alps, apples were eventually cultivated and utilized for the preparation of a sort of cider.
The balance between cultivation and stock breeding varied.
Middle Stone Age - Wikipedia
Throughout the temperate zone, sheep, though bred even in Britain and Denmark, were at first rare. The damp temperate forests were uncongenial to these animals, and only toward the end of the Neolithic Period, when the greater dryness of the subboreal climatic phase and incipient clearing for plow cultivation were leaving their mark on the landscape, did flocks begin to multiply.
On the loesslands, in early Neolithic times, animal husbandry may have played a subordinate role as compared with agriculture. But in the sequel, cattle raising combined with hunting proved to be the most productive pursuit among the deciduous forests with a Neolithic equipment; cultivation was relegated to an increasingly secondary place, until in the late Bronze Age more efficient tools for clearing land became generally available.
The rural economy permitted the continuous occupation of permanent villages around the Aegean and in the Balkan Peninsulaperhaps also in southern Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. In the temperate zone, shifting cultivation may have been based on slash-and-burn clearance. Under this extravagant system, plots were presumably tilled with hoes, as in parts of Africa today.
But by the beginning of the Bronze Age, the ox-drawn plow was beginning to replace the hoe.
Stone Age - Wikipedia
But in the Balkans and throughout the temperate zone, wood was used for the construction of gabled houses, stout posts serving to support the ridgepole and the walls of split saplings or wattle and daub. The earliest houses on the loessland of central Europe were very large, up to 42 metres feet in length and large enough to accommodate a whole lineage or small clan together with stalled cattle and grain stores.
In the sequel these communal houses gave place to smaller two-roomed dwellings, 7. Finally in late Neolithic times clusters of one-roomed huts became the most widespread fashion. Around the Alps such two-roomed houses and, less often, one-roomed huts were raised on piles above the shores of lakes or on platforms laid on peat mosses. In northern Europe, too, the earliest villages consisted of two parallel, long communal houses, but these were subdivided by cross walls into 20 or more apartments, each with a separate door.
But here again the communal houses eventually broke up into free-standing one-roomed huts. Finally, Skara Brae on the treeless island of Orkney illustrates an ingenious adaptation of the one-roomed wooden hut to an inhospitable environment but shows how commodiously such huts must always have been furnished.
Stone tools Carpenters used celts ax or adz heads edged by grinding and polishing of fine-grained rock or of flint where that material was available in large nodules. In Greece and the Balkans, all over central Europe and the Ukraine, and throughout the taiga, adzes were used exclusively, as in the earlier Baltic Mesolithic; in northern and western Europe axes were preferred.
In the Iberian Peninsula axes and adzes occur in equal numbers in early Neolithic graves, but the proportion of axes increased later. Often in western Europe, and occasionally in Greece and Cyprus, celts were mounted with the aid of antler sleeves inserted between the stone head and the wooden handle—a device that was already employed in the northern European Mesolithic. In Spain, the British Islesand northern Europe axheads were simply stuck into or through straight wooden shafts, but adz heads must always have been mounted on a knee shaft a crooked sticka method regularly used for axheads, too, by the Bronze Age.
Axheads like those in modern use, with a hole for the shaft, were rarely used for tools, but the Danubian peasants on the loesslands may sometimes have mounted adzes in this manner. They certainly knew how to perforate stone, using a tubular borer a reed or bone with sand as an abrasive.
From them the technique was adopted by various secondary Neolithic tribes in northern Europe for the manufacture of so-called battle-axes. The latter seem to derive their form from Mesolithic weapons of antler, but their splayed blades disclose the influence of metal forms.
Ax factories and flint mines Celts, or axes, were manufactured in factories where specially suitable rock outcrops occurred, and they were traded over great distances. The mine shafts, which were cut through solid chalk sometimes to a depth of six metres 20 feet with the aid only of antler picks and bone shovels, may be simple pits, but often regular galleries branching from them follow the seams of big nodules.
Although the ancient miners appreciated the necessity of leaving pillars to support the roof, skeletons of workers killed by falls have been discovered at Cissbury, Spiennes, and elsewhere. In the British Isles and Denmark, at least, there is evidence that the ax factories and flint mines were exploited and the products distributed by trade, for example, to the northern parts of Sweden.
Still, the operators and distributors need nowhere be regarded as full-time specialists. Art Neolithic art, except among the hunter-fishers of the taiga, was geometric and not representational. It is best illustrated by the decoration of pottery. Hammerstones are some of the earliest and simplest stone tools.
Prehistoric humans used hammerstones to chip other stones into sharp-edged flakes.
They also used hammerstones to break apart nuts, seeds and bones and to grind clay into pigment. Archaeologists refer to these earliest stone tools as the Oldowan toolkit.
Oldowan stone tools dating back nearly 2. Most of the makers of Oldowan tools were right-handed, leading experts to believe that handedness evolved very early in human history.
As technology progressed, humans created increasingly more sophisticated stone tools. These included hand axes, spear points for hunting large game, scrapers which could be used to prepare animal hides and awls for shredding plant fibers and making clothing. Not all Stone Age tools were made of stone. Groups of humans experimented with other raw materials including bone, ivory and antler, especially later on in the Stone Age. Later Stone Age tools are more diverse.
Three-age chronology Main articles: Lower Paleolithic Main article: Lower Paleolithic At sites dating from the Lower Paleolithic Period about 2, toyears agosimple pebble tools have been found in association with the remains of what may have been the earliest human ancestors. A somewhat more sophisticated Lower Paleolithic tradition, known as the Chopper chopping-tool industry, is widely distributed in the Eastern Hemisphere. This tradition is thought to have been the work of the hominin species named Homo erectus.
Although no such fossil tools have yet been found, it is believed that H. Aboutyears ago, a new Lower Paleolithic tool, the hand ax, appeared.Stone Tool Technology of Our Human Ancestors — HHMI BioInteractive Video
The earliest European hand axes are assigned to the Abbevillian industrywhich developed in northern France in the valley of the Somme River ; a later, more refined hand-axe tradition is seen in the Acheulian industryevidence of which has been found in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Some of the earliest known hand axes were found at Olduvai Gorge Tanzania in association with remains of H. Alongside the hand-axe tradition there developed a distinct and very different stone-tool industry, based on flakes of stone: In Europe, the Clactonian industry is one example of a flake tradition. The early flake industries probably contributed to the development of the Middle Paleolithic flake tools of the Mousterian industry, which is associated with the remains of Neanderthal man.
Middle Stone Age
Oldowan in Africa Main article: Oldowan The earliest documented stone tools have been found in eastern Africa, manufacturers unknown, at the 3. The tools were formed by knocking pieces off a river pebble, or stones like it, with a hammerstone to obtain large and small pieces with one or more sharp edges. The original stone is called a core; the resultant pieces, flakes.
Typically, but not necessarily, small pieces are detached from a larger piece, in which case the larger piece may be called the core and the smaller pieces the flakes. The prevalent usage, however, is to call all the results flakes, which can be confusing. A split in half is called bipolar flaking. Consequently, the method is often called "core-and-flake". More recently, the tradition has been called "small flake" since the flakes were small compared to subsequent Acheulean tools.
Various refinements in the shape have been called choppers, discoids, polyhedrons, subspheroid, etc. To date no reasons for the variants have been ascertained: However, they would not have been manufactured for no purpose: The whole point of their utility is that each is a "sharp-edged rock" in locations where nature has not provided any. There is additional evidence that Oldowan, or Mode 1, tools were utilized in "percussion technology"; that is, they were designed to be gripped at the blunt end and strike something with the edge, from which use they were given the name of choppers.
Modern science has been able to detect mammalian blood cells on Mode 1 tools at SterkfonteinMember 5 East, in South Africa. As the blood must have come from a fresh kill, the tool users are likely to have done the killing and used the tools for butchering.
Plant residues bonded to the silicon of some tools confirm the use to chop plants. They cannot be said to have developed these tools or to have contributed the tradition to technology. They continued a tradition of yet unknown origin. As chimpanzees sometimes naturally use percussion to extract or prepare food in the wild, and may use either unmodified stones or stones that they have split, creating an Oldowan tool, the tradition may well be far older than its current record.
According to the current evidence which may change at any time Mode 1 tools are documented from about 2. Meanwhile, living contemporaneously in the same regions H.
Mode 1 was now being shared by a number of Hominans over the same ranges, presumably subsisting in different niches, but the archaeology is not precise enough to say which. Oldowan out of Africa Tools of the Oldowan tradition first came to archaeological attention in Europe, where, being intrusive and not well defined, compared to the Acheulean, they were puzzling to archaeologists.
The mystery would be elucidated by African archaeology at Olduvai, but meanwhile, in the early 20th century, the term "Pre-Acheulean" came into use in climatology.
P, Brooks, a British climatologist working in the United States, used the term to describe a "chalky boulder clay" underlying a layer of gravel at Hoxnecentral England, where Acheulean tools had been found.
Hugo Obermaiera contemporary German archaeologist working in Spain, quipped: Unfortunately, the stage of human industry which corresponds to these deposits cannot be positively identified. All we can say is that it is pre-Acheulean. This uncertainty was clarified by the subsequent excavations at Olduvai; nevertheless, the term is still in use for pre-Acheulean contexts, mainly across Eurasia, that are yet unspecified or uncertain but with the understanding that they are or will turn out to be pebble-tool.
One strong piece of evidence prevents the conclusion that only H. If the date is correct, either another Hominan preceded H. After the initial appearance at Gona in Ethiopia at 2.