Stone Age


The term ” Stone Age ” was awarded at the end of the nineteenth century by the Danish scholar Christian J. Thomsen , who devised a framework for the study of past human, known as the ” System of the Three Ages “. The basis of this framework is technological as it revolves around the notion of three successive periods or ages: the Stone Age , the Bronze Age and the Iron Age , each age being technologically more complex than the previous one. A Thomsen thought of this idea after noticing that artifacts found in different archaeological sitesThey showed a certain kind of regularity in terms of the material they were made of, as in these there were always tools made of stone , bronze artifacts layered over the deeper layers, and finally iron artifacts were found closer to the surface. This suggests that metal technology developed later than tools made of stone.


What is the Stone Age?

It is the prehistoric period in which human beings developed tools made of stone , and in which human evolution occurred , the discovery of fire and the use of caves as dwellings. It was the stage in which the dispersal of man throughout the world began.


Stages of the Stone Age

The Stone Age was divided into three different stages which are:

  • Paleolithic Stage or Ancient Stone Age:  begins with the first production of stone artifacts , approximately 2.5 million years ago, until the end of the last Ice Age . It is considered to be the longest period of the Stone Age. The main evidence is fossilized human remains and stone tools , which were gradually increasing in complexity. On the basis of the techniques employed and the quality of the tools, there were several stone industries that were known as ” lithic ” industries .
  • The Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age:  In purely scientific terms, the Mesolithic begins at the end of a period known in geology as the last cold snap, marking the end of the Ice Age . This period culminates when agriculture begins . This is the time of the last hunter-gatherers . Because agriculture developed at different times in different regions of the world, there is no single date to mark the end of the Mesolithic period. Important changes took place on our planet. As the weather warmed and the ice melted, some areas in the northern latitudes rose as the weight of the ice was released. Sea levels rose, submerging the areas low, prompting major changes in land worldwide.
  • The Neolithic or New Stone Age:  begins with the introduction of agriculture in the Near East, Southeast Europe , East Asia, and even later in other regions. This is the time when the cultivation of cereals and the domestication of animals was introduced.

Stone Age Features

Among the most outstanding characteristics of the Stone Age we mention:

  • It starts from the last ice age.
  • Great advances and discoveries occurred that evolved man.
  • Fire arose .
  • Weapons were created to be used in hunting and fishing.
  • They were made canoes and boats .
  • The intellectual capacities of man were developed.
  • sedentary lifestyle began so tents and huts were created.
  • Materials other than stone were used to make weapons.
  • Agriculture was born .

How Stone Age Man Lived

Thanks to the discovery of fire , man increased his chances of survival as it was a source of heat for cold climates. They were gatherers , scavengers and hunters , although it is considered that they were not very good at this. With the passing of time, they improved their capacities and adapted to the environment. Some scientists consider that they were dedicated to collecting fruits, roots and seeds to feed themselves. The Homo erectus was the first who introduced techniques of hunting to achieve catch large animals. Most of the men lived in small nomadic groups in caves. All the members had the same functions and their main purpose was to survive . It is not known exactly if they had any type of religion , but it is believed in it due to funeral rituals .

Stone Age tools and utensils

The main tool used and manufactured was made of stone . This stone was known as flint , and it was easy to polish and carve. Axes, punches, hammers were made, all of them quite rudimentary elements carved by hand . Biface, burins, hand axes, spearheads, Clovis points, knives, and scrapers were some of the most widely used tools.


The main type of art in the Stone Age was rock art , which represented the need to tell what happened every day. The first paintings found inside the caves showed an account of the battles in which they were involved. Later they were also made outside the caves.


The economy of the Stone Age was based on the exchanges that began to be carried out with the gathering , the accumulation of different foods, the domestication of animals and the manufacture of weapons and canoes used for hunting.


It comprised a set of constructions made of stone . They built caverns or grottos, huts or huts and stilt houses that were constructions made of wood. They used among the manufacturing materials the bones of animals , their skins and branches for the roofs. According to historians, there were funerary pantheons , which were large stones that were placed in front of a tomb.

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