Stone Age | Definition, Tools, Art, & Facts | bikei.info
The New Stone Age (Neolithic Era) The Old Stone Age (Paleolithic Era) -from the beginning of human existence until around 12, years ago. Why do we call this time in history There are three ways to determine the date of an artifact: Extraction: Was the world different in the Old Stone Age from our modern world ?. Alternative Titles: Early Stone Age, Old Stone Age, Palaeolithic Period stone tools embedded in rocks dating to million years ago—the About , years ago a new Lower Paleolithic tool, the hand ax, appeared. Alongside the hand-ax tradition there developed a distinct and very different stone. The Stone Age marks a period of prehistory in which humans used primitive Oldowan stone tools dating back nearly million years were first Different groups sought different ways of making tools. The oldest known Stone Age art dates back to a later Stone Age . hith-new-human-species-china
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-ax tradition is seen in the Acheulean industryevidence of which has been found in EuropeAfrica, the Middle Eastand Asia. Some of the earliest known hand axes were found at Olduvai Gorge Tanzania in association with remains of H.
Alongside the hand-ax tradition there developed a distinct and very different stone tool industrybased 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 industrywhich is associated with the remains of Neanderthals. In Taforalt, Moroccothe beads were dated to approximately 82, years ago, and other, younger examples were encountered in Blombos Cave, Blombosfontein Nature Reserve, on the southern coast of South Africa.
Experts determined that the patterns of wear seem to indicate that some of these shells were suspended, some were engraved, and examples from both sites were covered with red ochre.
Replica stone tools of the Acheulean industry, used by Homo erectus and early modern humans, and of the Mousterian industry, used by Neanderthals.
Top, left to right Mid-Acheulean bifacial hand ax and Acheulean banded-flint hand ax. Centre Acheulean hand tool.
Paleolithic Period | Definition, Dates, & Facts | bikei.info
Bottom, left to right Mousterian bifacial hand ax, scraper, and bifacial point. Principally associated with the fossil remains of such anatomically modern humans as Cro-MagnonsUpper Paleolithic industries exhibit greater complexity, specialization, and variety of tool types and the emergence of distinctive regional artistic traditions.
- The origin of humans and early human societies
- When Was the Stone Age?
- Paleolithic art
Paleolithic art Two main forms of Paleolithic art are known to modern scholars: Such works were produced throughout the Mediterranean region and other scattered parts of Eurasia and Africa but survived in quantity only in eastern Europe and parts of Spain and France.
This final culture of the Upper Paleolithic is noted for the dominance of bone and antler tools over those of flint and stone and for the very remarkable works of art that were produced at this time. The flint and stone tools include a variety of special forms, among which small geometric forms, denticulated blades, scrapers with steeply retouched edges, and the parrot-beak graver are especially distinctive.
The six phases of the Magdalenian have been established stratigraphically and are characterized mainly by the contained bone and antler implements. But the heights attained by the people responsible for this culture can best be evaluated on the basis of the art objects they produced. Magdalenian sites have yielded countless fine examples of both mural and portable art.
Animals of the period, the usual subject matter, are portrayed in paintings often polychromeengravings, and sculptures. The fauna from the various Magdalenian horizons demonstrates that cold conditions prevailed in western Europe at the end of Paleolithic times. Cultural adaptations appear to have been made to restricted local areas or niches and to the fluctuations of climate and environment during the changing phases at the end of the Pleistocene range of time.
In fact, it could be maintained generally that Upper Paleolithic traditions flowed rather smoothly into the Mesolithic, with no more significant indication of cultural development than further environmental readaptations. A classic example of such traces comes from the Maglemose bog site of Denmark, although there are comparable materials ranging from England to the eastern Baltic lands.
These bogs were probably more or less swampy lakes in Mesolithic times. At about bce, when the Maglemosian culture flourished, traces of primitive huts with bark-covered floors have been found. Flint axes for felling trees and adzes for working wood have appeared, as well as a variety of smaller flint tools, including a great number of microlithic scale.
These were mounted as points or barbs in arrows and harpoons and were also used in other composite tools. There were adzes and chisels of antler or bone, besides needles and pins, fish-hooks, harpoons, and several-pronged fish spears. Some larger tools, of ground stone e.
Wooden implements also have survived because of the unusually favourable preservative qualities of the bogs; bows, arrow shafts, ax handles, paddles, and even a dugout canoe have been discovered. Fishnets were made of bark fibre. There is good evidence that the Maglemosian sites were only seasonally occupied. Deer were successfully hunted, and fish and waterfowl were taken, and it appears possible that several varieties of marsh plants were utilized.
At Star Carr, in northern England, there are indications that four or five huts existed in the settlement, with a population of about 25 people. This description of the Maglemosian must suffice to represent a considerable variety of European manifestations of the level of intensified post-Pleistocene food collecting.
The catalogs of the Azilian and Tardenoisian industries of western Europe, of the Ahrensburgian of northern Germany, of the Asturian of Spain, etc. The Nachikufan As a further and far-distant example, the Nachikufan culture of southern Zimbabwe might be cited. Here again, microlithic flint bladelet tools, with certain types mounted as projectile points or in composite tools, existed.
Ground-stone axes and adzes, bored stones digging-stick weights? Grindstones of various types indicate a degree of dependence on collected vegetable foods, and the animal bones suggest specialization in the hunting of zebras, wildebeests, hartebeests, and wild pigs. These Nachikufan materials date back to at least bce. Again, an intensified level of food collecting is implied.
The general picture Though there are vast gaps in our knowledge of the Holocene Period in many parts of the Old World, enough is known to see the general cultural level of this range of time. Outside of the regions where food production was establishing itself, the period was one of a gradual settling-in and of an increasingly intensive utilization of all the resources of restricted regional niches.
But, as time went on, certain climaxes within the matrix of an intensified level of food collection did occur. An often-cited example might be the complex art and social organization of the cultures of the northwest coast of British Columbia.
Neolithic The origins and history of European Neolithic culture are closely connected with the postglacial climate and forest development.
The increasing temperature after the late Dryas period during the Pre-Boreal and the Boreal c. 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.
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.
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.