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What is the Stone Age?
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  11/27/11
By: Yona Williams

When it comes to the Stone Age, there are actually two different time periods to consider. The Old Stone Age lasted from about 2,000,000 BC to around 10,000 BC. The New Stone Age lasted from around 10,000 to 3300 BC. During these time periods, humans used stone tools. In this article, you will learn more about the Stone Age and some of the changes that took place in the world at the time.

During the Old Stone Age (also known as the Paleolithic Age), man was moving away from the characteristics of their apelike ancestors. They were becoming more like the hunter gatherers of modern times. The progress of early modern man continued to advance until the end of the Old Stone Age, which was around 10,000 BC. With the end of the Ice Age and the continued warming of the Earth, the hunter gatherers started to make important changes to the way they lived.

Early man roamed the Earth, but as they became more advanced – they learned that settling down helped them gain better control over their food supply. Agriculture started to become a more significant part of their life as the New Stone Age was established.

During the New Stone Age, humans saw many changes in the way they evolved and developed. Instead of collecting berries and relying on other means of getting food (hunting and fishing), they started to actively produce their own food. Wild berries and nuts were no longer at the forefront of food sources. They learned how to cultivate their own crops, domesticate animals, as well as use more sophisticated tools that allowed them to build and cook more efficiently.
 
During the New Stone Age, the humans of this time period made pottery and weaved textiles out of fiber and hair. They hammered materials to make weapons. They grinded and polished hard stone, such as jasper and granite, in order to create other things. Houses and more structured communities started to emerge. Fortified villages were established that would serve as the stepping stone for early civilizations.

When the end of the New Stone Age neared, metal started to come into play, as craftsmen in the Middle East learned how to use the material to make tools and weapons. Around 8000 BC, the earliest manmade copper objects in the world (such as beads, pins and awls) were created in Turkey and Iran.  Archeologists have also found evidence that copper mining may have taken place in the Balkans around 5000 BC. The technology most likely spread further west. The result was the start of the Copper Age that is typically recognized as starting around 4000 BC and lasting until 2200 BC.


 

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