Prehistory was the longest period of all time, consisting of basically two general periods. The first of them is quite emblematic, because it marked the beginning of a series of inventions and progress for the human being that allowed them to survive and grow in many ways. In this article we will guide you When was the stone age?
In this article we will talk in more detail about the Stone Age and its stages, as well as all its important characteristics.
What is the Stone Age?
The Stone Age corresponds to the first era or stage of what is known as Prehistory . It is so called because stone was the main and characteristic material that was used at that time for the manufacture of weapons, tools and other objects to carry out the tasks of daily life.
It should be noted that in this period other materials were also used such as wood, horns, skins, bones, among others, but the conchoid cut stone (quartz, obsidian, flint, quartzite, etc.), was the one most used for the tools.
On the other hand, in the Stone Age there were natural phenomena that made a difference for humans, since it inevitably led them to adapt, and to achieve this they had to invent new things: One of their main discoveries was fire , but also they designed new instruments and tools, clothes and houses, among other things.
In addition, they progressed in a social sense and managed to organize themselves better. Their economic system was also progressively improving, at the same time that they were developing new working techniques.
Enhance your reading: Who were bourgeoisie/origin/characteristics/values/difference
Stone Age Features When was the stone age
- It took place after the ice ages .
- It turned out to be a time of many inventions and discoveries , considering how little we had.
- The fire became the main element of the evolution of man.
- The hunting and fishing improved greatly after the development of weapons for this purpose.
- Navigation is known , with the creation of boats and canoes.
- The man developed his ability to think much more .
- After the ice ages, man began to leave his life as a nomad behind and enter a sedentary lifestyle .
- Although stone was the main material for weapons and tools, it was also combined with other materials .
- The agriculture began to develop as a result of physical inactivity.
Stages of the Stone Age
The Stone Age is divided into several stages, which we will mention below:
- Lower Paleolithic : This period was the longest, since it is estimated that it began in approximately 2,500,000 BC and culminated in 100,000 BC, where man still had deep-rooted nomadic customs, moving from one place to another in search of of food, water and a safe place to live for very short periods of time. They used caves, some river terraces, and other small, warm, hidden places. In this period, man was characterized by being a hunter, gatherer and fisherman to survive. In addition, it evolved into what is known as Homo habilis, to later become a Homo Erectus, with the same erectness of current man.
- Middle Paleolithic : This period began in the years 100,000 BC and ended around the year 35,000 BC in which the human being continues to evolve physically, reaching what is called the Homo neanderthalensis species, characterized by a greater size and cranial capacity. In the Middle Palaeolithic, man managed to improve the technique of lithic tools, thanks to the fact that he made axes, biface, spears and scrapers.
- Upper Paleolithic : This period spanned about 25,000 years, from approximately 35,000 BC to approximately 10,000 BC where man evolves even more and reaches what is known as Homo sapiens sapiens, which has even more mental capacity and better understanding to acquire new knowledge. During this period, the technique of lithic tools was perfected by adding the elaboration of harpoons, spears and knives, in addition to developing the art of hunting stories or other experiences.
- MESOLITHIC : This period is also known as the Middle Stone Age and ranges from approximately 10,000 BC to 5,000 BC, where a more stable climate begins after the ice ages have passed, and some large mammals have also become extinct. , which allowed hunting through lithic tools to be much simpler, adapted to smaller animals. The art in this stage, spread to other regions of the world and was improved, representing outdoor scenes.
- NEOLITHIC : Also known as the New Stone Age, it was the last period of the Stone Age and spanned from 5,000 BC to approximately 3,000 BC. In this stage the sedentary culture was known, where houses were created to inhabit a region permanently and develop agriculture and livestock to stay fed. In addition, it was in this period where trade began, establishing exchange as a means of survival. Now they leave behind the predatory culture, which lived mainly from hunting and fishing, to a commercial culture, based mainly on production.
Enhance your reading: Absolute monarchy characteristics/definition/rise/causes/end
Food in the Stone Age
As we have already mentioned, fire was the discovery that most helped humans to survive all those years, because it gave them the opportunity to enjoy a source of heat in front of the freezing climates that ruled that time. But in addition to that, the fire allowed them to better cook the animal meats they got from the hunt, making it easier to eat and better extract the nutrients when digesting it .
They became scavengers, but they also lived by gathering and hunting, although it is thought that in the early days they were not good at hunting . Over time they perfected their weapons and hunting techniques and managed to catch large animals. For this reason, the collection became their main source of food in the beginning, collecting roots, fruits and seeds. Later, with the evolution of man’s capabilities and also his techniques, they realized that hunting was more effective and more fully covered their needs.
- Food gathering: As agriculture develops in the Stone Age, the need arises to harvest or collect the fruit of sowing. At the same time, the need to store the product arose, so ceramic utensils were invented for this purpose.
- Hunting techniques: Hunting techniques suffered adaptations according to the prey. At first there were larger animals, so the techniques had to be performed by more people, while with the warming of the earth and the extinction of some species, they had to simplify those techniques and adapt them to smaller animals.
Evolution of man in the Stone Age When was the stone age
The development , progress and adaptation were a constant throughout the Stone Age and remains to this day. In the case of the human being who inhabited the earth in this long period, he had to change much more in order to survive, which is why he experienced at least four major leaps:
- Homo habilis : This name means skillful man, and it is called that way because they had capacities or abilities to grasp objects, create and manipulate new tools and also lived on the meat of dead animals.
- Homo erectus : In this stage, man develops other physical characteristics that were notably different from Homo habilis, such as greater height, greater robustness and ability. In addition, he presented enormous progress in his mental and inventive abilities.
- Neanderthal man : These maintained physical robustness, although they were no longer tall, but rather had shorter limbs. Even so, their mental capacity is believed to have been highly developed, similar to that of modern man, although it cannot be confirmed that they communicated verbally.
- Homo sapiens sapiens : This was the one who maintained his characteristics from the Middle Palaeolithic onwards. It was very similar to the physical characteristics of modern man, in fact they had feelings and emotions like those of man today, which did not distinguish the previous inhabitants.
At the beginning of the Stone Age, humans had only one goal: to survive. So there was no trade. Later, with the physical, mental and emotional development of man, as well as work habits and techniques, the need for the well-known exchange arose, since there were still no coins to buy. In addition to the exchange and storage of food, comes the domestication of animals in order to use them at work, as a means of transport or at the plow , for example. All of this undoubtedly contributed to the creation of the economy.
Art in the Stone Age
In the middle of the Stone Age, the idea of what is known as rock art arises , which consists of representing, through a work of art, some experience or history that happened . One of the most common forms of this type of art was painting, which were represented inside the caves where man lived during the first periods, also including stories of battles or hunts of huge animals. Over time, these also began to be made outdoors.
The architecture in the Stone Age arose after the glaciations ended, since man stopped living in caves and also left his nomadic culture to acquire a more sedentary culture. This is how the idea of building durable homes came about that would allow them to protect themselves from the dangers of the outside, but without the need for it to be inside a cave .
In addition, these buildings began to include places to store food and crops. At first they made houses out of adobe and tree branches, but over time they managed to use their favorite material, stone, to make much stronger and more durable houses. Subsequently, stone became the most used material in architecture, not only for houses but also for religious and war monuments .
Another material that they used apart from stone was wood, which was used to make stilt houses, huts, grottos and quite resistant cabins . In addition, the bones and skins of the animals served as shelter to cover the roofs of the houses and also to cover themselves inside the house. Finally, the stone was used to build the famous burial pantheons, where ancestors were buried and worshiped in later ages.