Prehistory and its ages

Prehistory and its ages is the time when there are records of human activities, civilization, and the use of stone tools. This is the prehistoric period in Ancient history because there were no writings from people living at the time. It also refers to the hunter-gather lifestyle of people in that time or era. Pre-history is the fact that humans started doing things and building things a long time ago. In general, prehistory is broken up into three ages, so the name “A 3 Age System” was used to describe it.

In the Stone Age, there was Stone. There was also copper age, bronze age, and there was Iron age.

These prehistory and its ages are divided into three to show that humans were doing things in the past. These are times in human history when things have changed.

Prehistory and its ages: The Stone Age

People learn about the Stone Age through archaeological excavations. This is because this is the time before the development of writing. Robert Bruce Foote is the archaeologist who found the Pallavaram handaxe in India, which was the first tool made in the Paleolithic period.

In general, the stone age is broken down into three main groups based on things like geological age, the type and technology of stone tools, and where people lived are as follows:

  • Paleolithic
  • Mesolithic
  • Neolithic

Prehistory and its ages:- Paleolithic Age:

 The Paleolithic Period, also known as the Old Stone Age, was an ancient technical or cultural epoch defined by the use of crude chipped stone tools. The first people created basic pebble tools and primitive stone choppers during the Lower Paleolithic (about 2,500,000–200,000 years ago).

The first crude hand axe arose around 700,000 years ago; it was eventually polished and combined with other tools in the Acheulean industry. The Middle Paleolithic saw the emergence of a flake-tool tradition, as seen by Mousterian industrial tools.

In the Upper Paleolithic (40,000–10,000 BC), regional stone-tool industries such as the Aurignacian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian became more complex, specialized, and diversified.

Small sculptures — such as the so-called Venus figurines and different carved or shaped animal and other creatures — and cave paintings, engraved drawings, and reliefs on the walls of caves such as Altamira (in Spain) and Lascaux Grotto (in France). The end of the Paleolithic Period is characterized by the rise of the Neolithic Period‘s permanent agricultural settlements.

What does the Paleolithic Age entail?

The name ‘Paleolithic’ derives from the Greek words ‘paleo’ for ancient and ‘lithic’ for stone. As a result, the term “Paleolithic” refers to the prehistoric stone period.

The Paleolithic Period is an epoch in human technical history that is defined by the invention and usage of primitive chipped stone implements. Simple pebble tools (rock shaped by pounding another stone to create tools with a serrated crest that served as a chopping blade), hand adzes (tools shaped from a block of stone to create a rounded butt and a single-bevel straight or curved cutting edge), stone scrapers, cleavers, and points were among these. Additionally, such implements were fashioned from bone and wood.

The Paleolithic Period was also marked by the production of miniature sculptures (e.g., carved stone statuettes of women, clay animal figurines, and various bone and ivory carvings), as well as paintings, engraved motifs, and reliefs on cave walls.

Paleolithic Age Commencement:

The Paleolithic Period came to an end with the advent of the Neolithic Period. This changeover moment, however, is hotly contested, as different portions of the world reached the Neolithic era at varying dates. It is widely believed to have occurred about 10,000 BCE.

Humans developed the ability to cultivate crops and manage domestic cattle during this time period, and therefore were less reliant on hunting, fishing, and gathering wild vegetation. These societies produced more effective stone tools by grinding and polishing tougher rocks rather than just chipping softer rocks to form.

The production of cereal grains enabled people to settle in one spot, construct permanent houses, and establish communities, and their liberation from nomadism and a hunting-and-gathering economy freed them to pursue specialized skills.

Species that developed to a Paleolithic level:

At least three species of Homo developed to Paleolithic levels of development. There is substantial evidence that the species H. erectus (which most likely originated in Africa and lasted between 1.9 million and about 200,000 years ago), H. neanderthalensis (that is, the Neanderthals, who inhabited Eurasia from at least 200,000 to as recently as 24,000 years ago), and H. sapiens (which originated in Africa more than 315,000 years ago and includes all living people) created and used stone tools.

Additionally, if the age of the earliest known hand tools is right, they might have been manufactured by one or more Australopithecus species (which lived in Africa between 4.4 million and 1.4 million years ago) or potentially a more archaic member of Homo.

Paleolithic Age in India:

In India, the ancient stone age, or palaeolithic period, is split into three phases based on the kind of stone tools employed by the inhabitants and also on the nature of climatic change.

  • Lower Palaeolithic Period: around 100,000 BC It spans the majority of the Ice Age. Hunters and gatherers of food; hand axes, choppers, and cleavers were utilised.

The tools were crude and cumbersome. Bori in Maharashtra is one of the earliest lower Paleolithic sites. Limestone was also employed in the manufacture of tools.

Major locations of the lower Paleolithic period include the Soan valley (in modern Pakistan), the Thar Desert, Kashmir, the Mewar plains, Saurashtra, Gujarat, Central India, the Deccan Plateau, Chotanagpur plateau, and areas north of the Cauvery River.

Habitats include caverns and rock shelters. Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh is a significant location.

  • Middle Palaeolithic Period: 100,000–40,000 B.C. Flakes, blades, pointers, scrapers, and borers were employed as tools. The tools were more compact, lighter, and thin.

Hand axes were used less often than other implements.

Important sites from the middle Palaeolithic period include the Belan valley in Uttar Pradesh, the Luni valley in Rajasthan, the Son and Narmada rivers, the Bhimbetka and Tungabhadra river basins, the Potwar Plateau (between the Indus and Jhelum rivers), and the Sanghao cave (near Peshawar, Pakistan)

  • Upper Palaeolithic Period: around 40,000 BC to 10,000 BC The upper palaeolithic period corresponded to the end of the last ice age, during which the temperature became comparably warmer and less humid. Homo sapiens’ emergence.

The time is characterised by technological and tool innovation. Numerous bone tools, including needles, harpoons, blades with parallel sides, fishing tools, and burin tools. Bhimbhetka (south of Bhopal) was one of the key sites, including hand axes and cleavers, blades, scrapers, and a few burins discovered. Major Upper Palaeolithic sites include Belan, Son, Chota Nagpur plateau (Bihar), Maharashtra, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh’s Eastern Ghats. Bone tools have been discovered exclusively at the Andhra Pradesh cave sites of Kurnool and Muchchatla Chintamani Gavi.

Main Characteristics of Paleolithic Age:

1. It is thought that the Indian people were members of the ‘Negrito’ race and lived in the open, river valleys, caves, and rock shelters.

2. They foraged for food, ate wild fruits and vegetables, and subsisted solely on hunting.

3. No knowledge of buildings, pottery, or agriculture existed. They found fire only in the latter stages.

4. There is evidence of art in the upper Paleolithic period in the form of paintings.

5. Humans fashioned hand axes, choppers, blades, burins, and scrapers from unpolished, rough stones.

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