WHEN WAS THE STONE AGE

 

2,500,000 - 300,000 BC

Lower Paleolithic

  • During this initial period, early members of the Homo genus had primitive tools, which remained dominant for the best part of a million years, from about 2.5 to 1.7 million years ago.
  • Homo habilis is believed to have lived on scavenging, using the tools to cleave meat off carrion or to break bones in order to extract the marrow
300,000 - 40,000 BC

Middle Paleolithic

  • During this time period Homo neanderthalensis lived in Europe between 300,000 and 30,000 years ago.
  • The earliest anatomically modern humans appeared around 195,000 years ago
40,000 - 10,000 BC

Upper Paleolithic

  • This period was a evolutionary change for the human species as neanderthals became extinct, it was the last ice age and Modern humans (i.e. Homo sapiens) are believed to have emerged about 195,000 years ago in Africa
10,000 - 7,000 BC

Mesolithic

  • This was a transition period between nomadic tribesmen and development of agriculture
  • More sophisticated tools and weapons appear
7,000 - 1,500 BC

Neolithic

  • The way of life of the Mesolithic Hunter Gatherer carried on virtually unchanged until around 7000 BC, when the first evidence of farming appears in the archaeological record
  • The Neolithic came to an end around 2500 BC (4500 years ago) with the appearance of copper and gold (known as the Chalcolithic Age or copper-stone age) and new types of pottery such as beakers

(There is no clear consensus on dates for the Stone Age - ranges above are indicative only)

LIVING IN THE STONE AGE

The Stone Age covers a significant prehistoric period during which various types of stone was used to make tools, weapons and implements, typically with an ultra-sharp edge or a point. The period lasted around 3.5 million years until the advent of metalworking known as the Bronze Age, although stone technology did not immediately stop.

STONE AGE PEOPLE
10 STONE AGE FACTS
  1. The Stone is divided into three periods:
    • Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age)
    • Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age)
    • Neolithic (New Stone Age)
  2. The Palaeolithic lasted from about 2.7 million years ago to 10,000 years ago and accounts for 99% of all human history
  3. Stone Age people did not generally live in caves
  4. Stone Age people moved around looking places to hunt and for food
  5. The dog was domesticated during the Stone Age, probably by breeding the least aggressive wolves
  6. Neanderthals died out around 30,000 years ago
  7. The oldest known art dates from at 290,000 BC and is a series of Cupules discovered in Auditorium Cave, Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh (north central India)
  8. Stone Age people were sometimes covered in red ochre pigment during their burial 
  9. The oldest complete human skeleton in UK was found at Gough's Cave at Cheddar Gorge
  10. The Neolithic saw the beginnings of farming and agriculture
STONE AGE INNOVATIONS
  • The control of fire probably occured around 1.5 million years ago
  • Stone tools became the "swiss army knife" for people of the Stone Age
  • The oldest musical instrument ever found was made around 35,000 - 40,000 years ago from the radius bone of a griffon vulture
  • Over 350 caves in Spain and France Palaeolithic artworks (one of the most famous example is a Lascaux in southwestern France) - other decorated caves have been found in many parts of the world, including Africa, Argentina, Australia, India and China
  • Trepanning (a surgical procedure in which a hole is drilled into the human skull to remove a piece of bone) was first practised during the Stone Age
  • Pottery was introduced during the Neolithic (Ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic, date back to 29,000–25,000 BC)

 

VISIT STONE AGE SITES IN THE UK

 

England

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

  • Ballygalley Head (County Antrim)
  • Lyles Hill (County Antrim )
  • Island MacHugh (Co Tyrone)

 

STONE AGE WEBLINKS

 

 

MORE ON THE STONE AGE

 


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