A late Bronze Age sword or dagger blade Metallic copper occurs on the surface of weathered copper ore deposits and copper was used before copper smelting was known.
The Stone Age Prehistoric cultural stage, or level of human development, characterized by the creation and use of stone tools. The Stone Age is usually divided into three separate periods--Paleolithic Period, Mesolithic Period, and Neolithic Period--based on the degree of sophistication in the fashioning and use of tools.
Paleolithic Archaeology is concerned with the origins and development of early human culture between the first appearance of man as a tool-using mammal, which is believed to have occurred aboutoryears ago, and the beginning of the Recent geologic era, about BC. It is included in the time span of the Pleistocene, or Glacial, Epoch--an interval of about 1, years.
Although it cannot be proved, modern evidence suggests that the earliest protohuman forms had diverged from the ancestral primate stock by the beginning of the Pleistocene. In any case, the oldest recognizable tools are found in horizons of Lower Pleistocene Age.
During the Pleistocene a series of momentous climatic events occurred. In large measure, the development of culture during Paleolithic times seems to have been profoundly influenced by the environmental factors that characterize the successive stages of the Pleistocene Epoch.
Throughout the Paleolithic, man was a food gatherer, depending for his subsistence on hunting wild animals and birds, fishing, and collecting wild fruits, nuts, and berries. The artifactual record of this exceedingly long interval is very incomplete; it can be studied from such imperishable objects of now-extinct cultures as were made of flint, stone, bone, and antler.
These alone have withstood the ravages of time, and, together with the remains of contemporary animals hunted by our prehistoric forerunners, they are all that scholars have to guide them in attempting to reconstruct human activity throughout this vast interval--approximately 98 percent of the time span since the appearance of the first true hominid stock.
In general, these materials develop gradually from single, all-purpose tools to an assemblage of varied and highly specialized types of artifacts, each designed to serve in connection with a specific function. Indeed, it is a process of increasingly more complex technologies, each founded on a specific tradition, which characterizes the cultural development of Paleolithic times.
In other words, the trend was from simple to complex, from a stage of non-specialization to stages of relatively high degrees of specialization, just as has been the case during historic times. In the manufacture of stone implements, four fundamental traditions were developed by the Paleolithic ancestors: Only rarely are any of these found in "pure" form, and this fact has led to mistaken notions in many instances concerning the significance of various assemblages.
Indeed, though a certain tradition might be superseded in a given region by a more advanced method of producing tools, the older technique persisted as long as it was needed for a given purpose.
In general, however, there is an overall trend in the order as given above, starting with simple pebble tools that have a single edge sharpened for cutting or chopping. But no true pebble-tool horizons had yet, by the late 20th century, been recognized in Europe.
In southern and eastern Asia, on the other hand, pebble tools of primitive type continued in use throughout Paleolithic times. French place-names have long been used to designate the various Paleolithic subdivisions, since many of the earliest discoveries were made in France.
This terminology has been widely applied in other countries, notwithstanding the very great regional differences that do in fact exist. But the French sequence still serves as the foundation of Paleolithic studies in other parts of the Old World. There is reasonable agreement that the Paleolithic ended with the beginning of the recent Holocene geologic and climatic era about BC.
It is also increasingly clear that a developmental bifurcation in man's culture history took place at about this time. In most of the world, especially in the temperate and tropical woodland environments or along the southern fringes of Arctic tundra, the older Upper Paleolithic traditions of life were simply readapted toward more or less increasingly intensified levels of food collection.
These cultural re-adaptations of older food procedures to the variety and succession of post-Pleistocene environments are generally referred to as occurring in the Mesolithic Period.
But also by BC if not even somewhat earlier in certain semi-arid environments of the world's middle latitudes, traces of a quite different course of development began to appear. These traces indicate a movement toward incipient agriculture and in one or two instances animal domestication.Auto Suggestions are available once you type at least 3 letters.
Use up arrow (for mozilla firefox browser alt+up arrow) and down arrow (for mozilla firefox browser alt+down arrow) to review and enter to select. New Stone Age. The term neolithic is used, especially in archaeology and anthropology, to designate a stage of cultural evolution or technological development characterized by the use of stone tools, the existence of settled villages largely dependent on domesticated plants and animals, and the presence of such crafts as pottery and weaving.
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