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Paleolithic Period, also called “Old Stone Age”,

ancient cultural stage, or level, of human development,


characterized by the use of rudimentary chipped stone
tools. The first evidence of tool construction and use by
Homo some 2.58 million years ago. Those tools predate
the oldest confirmed specimens of Homo by almost 1
million years, which raises the possibility that
toolmaking originated with Australopithecus or its
contemporaries and that the timing of the onset of this
cultural stage should be reevaluated.

The Paleolithic is also more generally associated with


the cultures and lifestyles of the hunter-gatherers who
produced the tools.
Subdivisions
Lower- or Early Paleolithic
(2,580,000 to 200,000 years ago)

- From the earliest known tool use


around 2,6 million years ago, with simple
cores, flaked pieces, and later large
bifaces, up to roughly 250,000 years ago;
The first identified industry is the
Oldowan industry, named after Olduvai
Gorge in Tanzania, in which hunter-
gatherers used simple stone cores as
choppers and hammerstones, for
example for butchering animals and
crushing their bones to get at the
nutritious marrow, or pounding up plants
and seeds.
Middle Paleolithic
(c. 250,000- c. 30,000 years ago)

The Near East, and North Africa is


identified when the previously hugely
popular bifaces give up their spot in the
limelight for retouched flakes that are
struck from carefully prepared cores
(known as the Levallois technique) to
create tools such as side scrapers, points,
and backed knives. Clearly, tools became
useful in more and more different ways as
time progressed, and helped humans
around this time conquer ever more
challenging environments throughout
almost the entire Old World.
Upper- or Late Paleolithic
(c. 50,000/40,000- c. 10,000 years ago)

Represented an explosion in tool diversity,


Stone gave up its status as prime source
material to stuff such as bone, antler, and
ivory, which were shaped into intricate
needles, burins, blade tools made of stone were
still created, too. Sewing was now definitely
within the realm of possibility, and spear
throwers, harpoons, and bows and arrows
indicated a serious change to their makers’ way
of life, allowing for much more varied hunting
behavior.
As a measure against current-day self-
importance, it might be interesting to mention
that the Stone Age as a whole makes up
around 99% of humanity’s technological calling
card - so stone tools were very much in vogue
for a long time indeed.
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-GROUP 6

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