The Mesolithic period represents a major advance for humanity in the Stone Age . This period of Prehistory includes the years between 10,000 BC and 6,000 BC. After the end of the Ice Age, man had to change his life habits to adapt to the new ecosystem in which he had to live. For this, he had to leave the caves and start developing the architecture to create their homes outside the caves, make new stone, bone and wood tools to feed on the new animals that appeared in their territories and develop their skills in the fishing.


What is the nMesolithic?

The Mesolithic period represents the second stage of the Stone Age , which includes the years between 10,000 BC and 6,000 BC The first stage is called Paleolithic (Ancient stone), the second Mesolithic (Half stone) and the third, the Neolithic (the New stone) where the Metal Age begins.


This climate change, made them go from gatherers and hunters to producers and from stationary nomads to sedentary people who started in the art of agriculture and livestock to give rise to the first civilizations . The territories where more Mesolithic populations have been identified are located in the Southwest and Northwest of Europe in countries such as France , Spain , Scandinavian countries, among others.


In the development of science and technology of this period, significant advances were made since means of transport such as dog sleds and canoes were created to move through rivers, in addition to the creation of the microlithic industry with the construction of hunting tools and fishing like the hook.

All the architectural, technological, economic and social advances of this time are part of what scientists call the Mesolithic revolution that will have its peak in the Neolithic or New Stone period.

In this period the first cemeteries and burials appear under the Mesolithic dwellings.

Mesolithic main characteristics

The Mesolithic period presents the following characteristics:

  • A period that marks the end of the ice age and the beginning of a more temperate climate.
  • The men of this period change their lifestyles and the first sedentary societies appear.
  • Colonies and race differences begin to appear.
  • Fishing begins to develop as a form of food.
  • New tools are created for hunting and fishing such as hooks, nets and small boats.
  • It is divided into two stages: The Epipaleolithic which means above the Paleolithic and the Protoneolithic which means the period that precedes the Neolithic .
  • The first cemeteries are created.

Economy in the Mesolithic

Its diet based on hunting, fishing and the gathering of fruits makes its economy a gathering economy, but in the transition from nomadic life to sedentary life, it will make it go from being a gatherer to a producer with the appearance and development of agriculture and livestock in the Neolithic period.

On the other hand, the Mesolithic period develops the microlithic industry which is characterized by the construction of small tools made of stone, used for hunting and fishing, such as hooks, arrowheads, scrapers and burins.

Vehicles were also built to be transported by land and by water. The sled was invented, which at first was pulled by men and then by dogs; and small wooden canoes to navigate the rivers.

Many researchers specializing in prehistory claim that this period created the economic and social foundations of the Neolithic.

Architecture in the Mesolithic

In the Mesolithic period, open-air huts and the first villages appear.

The houses were built with logs and branches, had a single room and were semi-excavated on the ground . The dead were buried in cemeteries near villages or under the floor of their houses.

The populations of the Mesolithic epoch were seasonal nomads because they moved from one place to another according to the seasons; but this was changing little by little. They built houses for the winter and camps for the summer around the places where it was easier to get food. The characteristics of these settlement areas allowed them to settle for longer than indicated by the station and to remain in these sites for a whole year or to settle permanently.

The first Mesolithic populations identified in their initial or Epipaleolithic phase were:

  • Aziliense located in France, Cantabria and Asturias.
  • Maglemoisense located in northern Europe.
  • Ertebölliense located south of the Scandinavian peninsula ).
  • Ahrensburgian located in northwestern Europe.
  • Asturian located Iberian Peninsula.


Product of climate change, Mesolithic art is manifested through painting on skins where battles and acts of war are drawn . It is also stated that at this stage ceramics began to be developed .

The Mesolithic period has a rationalist and conceptual art that uses the abstract and the geometric in its pictorial manifestations.

Among their hunting tools they developed arrowheads made of bone and wood to kill their prey without damaging their skins.

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