Mesolithic age time period stages characteristics and economy


The Mesolithic represents a time of relevant changes for man in the Stone Age . After the Ice Age, man underwent many lifestyle changes, caused especially by the weather. In this article we will make you aware about the Mesolithic age time period.

Based on this, man went from living in caves to seeking to live in open areas, he needed more specific materials to make houses, tools and even weapons; the stone remained the main one, but it was not the only one.

What is the Mesolithic?

This word represents the second period of Prehistory , which is located AFTER the Paleolithic and BEFORE the Neolithic , approximately between 10,000 BC and 6,000 BC . This stage of history is located within the Stone Age and precisely represents a middle stage in the development and use of stone as a material for the elaboration of different tools and weapons.

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Mesolithic stages

The Mesolithic can be classified into two fundamental internal stages:

  • Epipaleolithic : which means that it is after the Paleolithic. It is the period that covers the middle of the Mesolithic closest to the Paleolithic.
  • Protoneolithic : this means that it goes before the Neolithic, which is appropriate to describe the other half of the Mesolithic period closer to the Neolithic and even the future Metal Age .

Mesolithic Characteristics

Among the characteristics of the period known as Mesolithic we can mention the following:

  • The Mesolithic was a stage that marks the end of the ice age or the ice age and marks the beginning of a different life under a warmer and more temperate climate .
  • The life of man in this period began to undergo changes and sedentary lifestyle began to appear .
  • Human society also begins to change and the first families emerge , then colonies and also tribes.

  • Fishing is known and techniques are developed to hunt fish.
  • Hunting and fishing are developed much more due to the creation of special weapons for these jobs, such as nets, hooks and even boats .
  • In this period, the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries began to be implemented

Economy in the Mesolithic

The economy also underwent a rather drastic change, and it is that man, when going from being nomadic to sedentary, greatly affected his economy. At first, their economy turned out to be a gathering economy, that is, the fruits and food they collected, including the product of hunting and fishing, was what they could exchange and consume. But, being sedentary, they develop agriculture and livestock, so their economy now became a producer, since their food depended on these animals and the soil .

On the other hand, in this Mesolithic period the economy knows the microlithic industry, which consisted in the elaboration of different tools made of stone and which were used in activities such as fishing, hunting, gathering, agriculture, sewing, among other areas.

In addition, both land and sea means of transport were developed, which allowed man to progress in trade and in his economy . For example, sleds were created that were first pulled by the same man, but later the animals were used. The canoe was also created that allowed them to navigate the rivers and fish in a more efficient way.

Undoubtedly, the Mesolithic was a period of much economic progress that allowed man to prepare for the stages of history that were approaching and lay the foundations for greater cultural and social development.

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Architecture in the Mesolithic

In this space of history there are also advances in the architectural field, since the first houses began to be made, which consisted of simple huts made of tree branches and wood . At the same time, the first villages began to be created.

The first houses were designed with a single room and were built semi-excavated in the ground to make them more resistant. The family cemetery was located near the villages or on the same land where their houses were located.

In the Epipaleolithic epoch, man was still a seasonal nomad, that is, he moved to different areas depending on the climatic season. Later, with the construction of houses, they began to settle for a year or even permanently.

First Mesolithic populations

  • Aziliense : Cantabria, France and Asturias.
  • Ahrensburgiense : Northern Europe.
  • Maglemoisense : Northern Europe.
  • Asturiense : Iberian Peninsula.
  • Ertebölliense : South of the Scandinavian peninsula.

Art in the Mesolithic

With the change of climate, man began to develop art on skins, in the form of paintings, which described acts of war and battles of the time. In addition, in this period they began to work on ceramics and, therefore, the creation of containers to store the collected food and also the product of agriculture.

In the Mesolithic, a type of rationalist art was developed but at the same time conceptual, which uses geometric and abstract figures to describe actions . To create the canvases, so to speak, they worked the skin well in order not to damage it.

Flora and fauna in the Mesolithic

Once again, climate change after the Ice Age influenced this aspect of the Mesolithic period, due to the fact that the vegetation experienced a notable increase and produced leafy and large trees , which contributed to the existence of a wide variety of winged animals and also of other species that practically lived on herbs and fruits.

Regarding what has to do with fauna, there is a migration of a large number of species that began to look for vegetation and wide and open areas to live, among them the reindeer and the bison. On the other hand, climate change played an important role in the reproduction of many species of animals , among which we can mention wild boar, goose, pigeons, deer, elk, pheasants, thrushes and other mammalian species.

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