The Info List - Prehistory

Human prehistory is the period between the use of the first stone tools c. 3.3 million years ago and the invention of writing systems. The earliest writing systems appeared c. 5,300 years ago, but writing was not used in some human cultures until the 19th century or even later. The end of prehistory therefore came at very different dates in different places, and the term is less often used in discussing societies where prehistory ended relatively recently. Sumer
in Mesopotamia, the Indus valley civilisation
Indus valley civilisation
and ancient Egypt were the first civilisations to develop their own scripts, and to keep historical records; this took place already during the early Bronze Age. Neighbouring civilizations were the first to follow. Most other civilizations reached the end of prehistory during the Iron
Age. The three-age system of division of prehistory into the Stone Age, followed by the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and Iron
Age, remains in use for much of Eurasia
and North Africa, but is not generally used in those parts of the world where the working of hard metals arrived abruptly with contact with Eurasian cultures, such as the Americas, Oceania, Australasia
and much of Sub-Saharan Africa. These areas also, with some exceptions in Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas, did not develop complex writing systems before the arrival of Eurasians, and their prehistory reaches into relatively recent periods; for example 1788 is usually taken as the end of the prehistory of Australia. The period when a culture is written about by others, but has not developed its own writing is often known as the protohistory of the culture. By definition,[1] there are no written records from human prehistory, so dating of prehistoric materials is crucial. Clear techniques for dating were not well-developed until the 19th century.[2] This article is concerned with human prehistory, the time since behaviorally and anatomically modern humans first appeared until the beginning of recorded history. Earlier periods are also called "prehistoric"; there are separate articles for the overall history of the Earth and the history of life before humans.


1 Definition

1.1 History
of the term

2 Means of research 3 Stone Age

3.1 Palaeolithic 3.2 Mesolithic 3.3 Neolithic 3.4 Chalcolithic

4 Bronze
Age 5 Iron
Age 6 Timeline 7 By region 8 See also 9 References 10 External links


Massive stone pillars at Göbekli Tepe, in southeast Turkey, erected for ritual use by early Neolithic
people 11,000 years ago

A prehistoric man and boy

Man in wilderness

Beginning The term "prehistory" can refer to the vast span of time since the beginning of the Universe
or the Earth, but more often it refers to the period since life appeared on Earth, or even more specifically to the time since human-like beings appeared.[3][4] End The date marking the end of prehistory in a particular culture or region, that is, the date when relevant written historical records become a useful academic resource, varies enormously from region to region. For example, in Egypt
it is generally accepted that prehistory ended around 3200 BC, whereas in New Guinea
New Guinea
the end of the prehistoric era is set much more recently, at around 1900 AD. In Europe the relatively well-documented classical cultures of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
and Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
had neighbouring cultures, including the Celts
and to a lesser extent the Etruscans, with little or no writing, and historians must decide how much weight to give to the often highly prejudiced accounts of these "prehistoric" cultures in Greek and Roman literature. Time periods In dividing up human prehistory in Eurasia, historians typically use the three-age system, whereas scholars of pre-human time periods typically use the well-defined geologic record and its internationally defined stratum base within the geologic time scale. The three-age system is the periodization of human prehistory into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool-making technologies:

Stone Age Bronze
Age Iron

of the term The notion of "prehistory" began to surface during the Enlightenment in the work of antiquarians who used the word 'primitive' to describe societies that existed before written records.[6] The first use of the word prehistory in English, however, occurred in the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1836.[7] The use of the geologic time scale for pre-human time periods, and of the three-age system for human prehistory, is a system that emerged during the late nineteenth century in the work of British, German and Scandinavian archeologists, antiquarians and anthropologists.[5] Means of research The main source for prehistory is archaeology, but some scholars are beginning to make more use of evidence from the natural and social sciences.[8][9][10] This view has been articulated by advocates of deep history. The primary researchers into human prehistory are archaeologists and physical anthropologists who use excavation, geologic and geographic surveys, and other scientific analysis to reveal and interpret the nature and behavior of pre-literate and non-literate peoples.[3] Human population geneticists and historical linguists are also providing valuable insight for these questions.[4] Cultural anthropologists help provide context for societal interactions, by which objects of human origin pass among people, allowing an analysis of any article that arises in a human prehistoric context.[4] Therefore, data about prehistory is provided by a wide variety of natural and social sciences, such as paleontology, biology, archaeology, palynology, geology, archaeoastronomy, comparative linguistics, anthropology, molecular genetics and many others. Human prehistory differs from history not only in terms of its chronology but in the way it deals with the activities of archaeological cultures rather than named nations or individuals. Restricted to material processes, remains and artifacts rather than written records, prehistory is anonymous. Because of this, reference terms that prehistorians use, such as Neanderthal
or Iron Age
Iron Age
are modern labels with definitions sometimes subject to debate. Stone Age The concept of a "Stone Age" is found useful in the archaeology of most of the world, though in the archaeology of the Americas
it is called by different names and begins with a Lithic stage, or sometimes Paleo-Indian. The sub-divisions described below are used for Eurasia, and not consistently across the whole area. Palaeolithic Main article: Paleolithic

Map of early human migrations, according to mitochondrial population genetics. Numbers are millennia before the present (accuracy disputed).

"Palaeolithic" means "Old Stone Age", and begins with the first use of stone tools. The Paleolithic
is the earliest period of the Stone Age. The early part of the Palaeolithic is called the Lower Palaeolithic, which predates Homo
sapiens, beginning with Homo
habilis (and related species) and with the earliest stone tools, dated to around 2.5 million years ago.[11] Evidence of control of fire by early humans during the Lower Palaeolithic
Lower Palaeolithic
Era is uncertain and has at best limited scholarly support. The most widely accepted claim is that H. erectus or H. ergaster made fires between 790,000 and 690,000 BP (before the present period) in a site at Bnot Ya'akov Bridge, Israel. The use of fire enabled early humans to cook food, provide warmth, and have a light source at night. Early Homo
sapiens originated some 200,000 years ago, ushering in the Middle Palaeolithic. Anatomic changes indicating modern language capacity also arise during the Middle Palaeolithic.[12] During the Middle Palaeolithic
Middle Palaeolithic
Era, there is the first definitive evidence of human use of fire. Sites in Zambia have charred bone and wood that have been dated to 61,000 B.P. The systematic burial of the dead, music, early art, and the use of increasingly sophisticated multi-part tools are highlights of the Middle Paleolithic. Throughout the Palaeolithic, humans generally lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers. Hunter-gatherer
societies tended to be very small and egalitarian,[13] though hunter-gatherer societies with abundant resources or advanced food-storage techniques sometimes developed sedentary lifestyles with complex social structures such as chiefdoms[citation needed], and social stratification. Long-distance contacts may have been established, as in the case of Indigenous Australian "highways" known as songlines.[citation needed] Mesolithic Main article: Mesolithic

Dugout canoe

The "Mesolithic", or "Middle Stone Age" (from the Greek "mesos", "middle", and "lithos", "stone") was a period in the development of human technology between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic
periods of the Stone Age. The Mesolithic
period began at the end of the Pleistocene
epoch, some 10,000 BP, and ended with the introduction of agriculture, the date of which varied by geographic region. In some areas, such as the Near East, agriculture was already underway by the end of the Pleistocene, and there the Mesolithic
is short and poorly defined. In areas with limited glacial impact, the term "Epipalaeolithic" is sometimes preferred. Regions that experienced greater environmental effects as the last ice age ended have a much more evident Mesolithic
era, lasting millennia. In Northern Europe, societies were able to live well on rich food supplies from the marshlands fostered by the warmer climate. Such conditions produced distinctive human behaviours that are preserved in the material record, such as the Maglemosian
and Azilian
cultures. These conditions also delayed the coming of the Neolithic
until as late as 4000 BC (6,000 BP) in northern Europe. Remains from this period are few and far between, often limited to middens. In forested areas, the first signs of deforestation have been found, although this would only begin in earnest during the Neolithic, when more space was needed for agriculture. The Mesolithic
is characterized in most areas by small composite flint tools — microliths and microburins. Fishing tackle, stone adzes and wooden objects, e.g. canoes and bows, have been found at some sites. These technologies first occur in Africa, associated with the Azilian cultures, before spreading to Europe through the Ibero-Maurusian culture of Northern Africa and the Kebaran culture of the Levant. Independent discovery is not always ruled out. Neolithic Main article: Neolithic

Entrance to the Ġgantija
phase temple complex of Ħaġar Qim, Malta, 3900 BC.[14]

An array of Neolithic
artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. Neolithic
stone artifacts are by definition polished and, except for specialty items, not chipped.

"Neolithic" means "New Stone Age." Although there were several species of human beings during the Paleolithic, by the Neolithic
only Homo sapiens sapiens remained.[15] ( Homo
floresiensis may have survived right up to the very dawn of the Neolithic, about 12,200 years ago.)[16] This was a period of primitive technological and social development. It began about 10,200 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world[17] and ended between 4,500 and 2,000 BC. The Neolithic
is a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals. Early Neolithic
farming was limited to a narrow range of plants, both wild and domesticated, which included einkorn wheat, millet and spelt, and the keeping of dogs, sheep and goats. By about 6,900–6,400 BC, it included domesticated cattle and pigs, the establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements, and the use of pottery. The Neolithic
period saw the development of early villages, agriculture, animal domestication, tools and the onset of the earliest recorded incidents of warfare.[18] The Neolithic
era commenced with the beginning of farming, which produced the " Neolithic
Revolution". It ended when metal tools became widespread (in the Copper
Age or Bronze
Age; or, in some geographical regions, in the Iron
Age).The term Neolithic
is commonly used in the Old World, as its application to cultures in the Americas
and Oceania
that did not fully develop metal-working technology raises problems.

The monumental building at Luni sul Mignone in Blera, Italy, 3500 BC.

Settlements became more permanent with some having circular houses with single rooms made of mudbrick. Settlements might have a surrounding stone wall to keep domesticated animals in and protect the inhabitants from other tribes. Later settlements have rectangular mud-brick houses where the family lived together in single or multiple rooms. Burial findings suggest an ancestor cult where people preserved skulls of the dead. The Vinča culture
Vinča culture
may have created the earliest system of writing.[19] The megalithic temple complexes of Ġgantija are notable for their gigantic structures. Although some late Eurasian Neolithic
societies formed complex stratified chiefdoms or even states, states evolved in Eurasia
only with the rise of metallurgy, and most Neolithic
societies on the whole were relatively simple and egalitarian.[20] Most clothing appears to have been made of animal skins, as indicated by finds of large numbers of bone and antler pins which are ideal for fastening leather. Wool cloth and linen might have become available during the later Neolithic,[21][22] as suggested by finds of perforated stones that (depending on size) may have served as spindle whorls or loom weights.[23][24][25] Chalcolithic Main article: Chalcolithic

Artist's impression of a Copper
Age walled city, Los Millares, Iberia

In Old World
Old World
archaeology, the "Chalcolithic", "Eneolithic" or "Copper Age" refers to a transitional period where early copper metallurgy appeared alongside the widespread use of stone tools. During this period, some weapons and tools were made of copper. This period was still largely Neolithic
in character. It is a phase of the Bronze
Age before it was discovered that adding tin to copper formed the harder bronze. The Copper
Age was originally defined as a transition between the Neolithic
and the Bronze
Age. However, because it is characterized by the use of metals, the Copper
Age is considered a part of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
rather than the Stone Age.

copper mine in Timna Valley, Negev Desert, Israel

An archaeological site in Serbia
contains the oldest securely dated evidence of copper making at high temperature, from 7,500 years ago. The find in June 2010 extends the known record of copper smelting by about 800 years, and suggests that copper smelting may have been invented in separate parts of Asia and Europe at that time rather than spreading from a single source.[26] The emergence of metallurgy may have occurred first in the Fertile Crescent, where it gave rise to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
in the 4th millennium BC
4th millennium BC
(the traditional view), though finds from the Vinča culture
Vinča culture
in Europe have now been securely dated to slightly earlier than those of the Fertile Crescent. Timna Valley contains evidence of copper mining 9,000 to 7,000 years ago. The process of transition from Neolithic
to Chalcolithic
in the Middle East is characterized in archaeological stone tool assemblages by a decline in high quality raw material procurement and use. North Africa and the Nile Valley imported its iron technology from the Near East and followed the Near Eastern course of Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and Iron
Age development. However the Iron Age
Iron Age
and Bronze Age
Bronze Age
occurred simultaneously in much of Africa. Bronze
Age Main article: Bronze

Ox-drawn plow, Egypt, ca. 1200 BCE.

The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
is the earliest period in which some civilizations have reached the end of prehistory, by introducing written records. The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
or parts thereof are thus considered to be part of prehistory only for the regions and civilizations who adopted or developed a system of keeping written records during later periods. The invention of writing coincides in some areas with the early beginnings of the Bronze
Age. Soon after the appearance of writing, people started creating texts including written accounts of events and records of administrative matters. The term Bronze Age
Bronze Age
refers to a period in human cultural development when the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread use) included techniques for smelting copper and tin from naturally occurring outcroppings of ores, and then combining them to cast bronze. These naturally occurring ores typically included arsenic as a common impurity. Copper/tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before 3000 BC. The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
forms part of the three-age system for prehistoric societies. In this system, it follows the Neolithic
in some areas of the world. While copper is a common ore, deposits of tin are rare in the Old World, and often had to be traded or carried considerable distances from the few mines, stimulating the creation of extensive trading routes. In many areas as far apart as China and England, the valuable new material was used for weapons but for a long time apparently not available for agricultural tools. Much of it seems to have been hoarded by social elites, and sometimes deposited in extravagant quantities, from Chinese ritual bronzes and Indian copper hoards to European hoards of unused axe-heads. By the end of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
large states, which are often called empires, had arisen in Egypt, China, Anatolia
(the Hittites) and Mesopotamia, all of them literate. Iron
Age Main articles: Iron Age
Iron Age
and Classical antiquity The Iron Age
Iron Age
is not part of prehistory for all civilizations who had introduced written records during the Bronze
Age. Most remaining civilizations did so during the Iron
Age, often through conquest by the empires, which continued to expand during this period. For example, in most of Europe conquest by the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
means that the term Iron Age
Iron Age
is replaced by "Roman", "Gallo-Roman" and similar terms after the conquest. In archaeology, the Iron Age
Iron Age
refers to the advent of ferrous metallurgy. The adoption of iron coincided with other changes in some past cultures, often including more sophisticated agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles, which makes the archaeological Iron Age
Iron Age
coincide with the "Axial Age" in the history of philosophy. Although iron ore is common, the metalworking techniques necessary to use iron are very different from those needed for the metal used earlier, and iron was slow-spreading and for long mainly used for weapons, while bronze remained typical for tools, as well as art. Timeline

Human timeline

view • discuss • edit

-10 — – -9 — – -8 — – -7 — – -6 — – -5 — – -4 — – -3 — – -2 — – -1 — – 0 —

Human-like apes











Earlier apes

LCA-Gorilla separation

Possibly bipedal

LCA-Chimpanzee separation

Earliest bipedal

Earliest stone tools

Earliest exit from Africa

Earliest fire use

Earliest in Europe

Earliest cooking

Earliest clothes

Modern speech

Modern humans

P l e i s t o c e n e

P l i o c e n e

M i o c e n e









Axis scale: million years Also see: Life
timeline and Nature timeline

Further information: Timeline of human evolution, Timeline of the Stone Age, and Timeline of human prehistory All dates are approximate and conjectural, obtained through research in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, genetics, geology, or linguistics. They are all subject to revision due to new discoveries or improved calculations. BP stands for " Before Present (1950)." BCE stands for Before Common Era".

Lower Paleolithic

c. 2.8 million BP – Genus Homo
appears c. 2.5 million BP – Evidence of early human tools c. 600,000 BP – Hunting-gathering c. 400,000 BP – Control of fire
Control of fire
by early humans

Middle Paleolithic

c. 300,000–30,000 BP – Mousterian
(Neanderthal) culture in Europe.[27] c. 200,000 BP – Anatomically modern humans
Anatomically modern humans
( Homo
sapiens sapiens) appear in Africa, one of whose characteristics is a lack of significant body hair compared to other primates. See e.g. Omo remains. c. 170,000?–83,000 BP – Invention of clothing[28] c. 75,000 BP – Toba Volcano supereruption.[29] c. 80,000–50,000 BP – Homo
sapiens exit Africa as a single population.[30][31] In the next millennia, descendants from this population migrate to southern India, the Malay islands, Australia, Japan, China, Siberia, Alaska, and the northwestern coast of North America.[31] c. 80,000-50,000? BP – Behavioral modernity, by this point including language and sophisticated cognition

Upper Paleolithic

c. 45,000 BP / 43,000 BCE – Beginnings of Châtelperronian
culture in France. c. 40,000 BP / 38,000 BCE – First human settlement in the southern half of the Australian mainland, by indigenous Australians (including the future sites of Sydney,[32][33] Perth,[34] and Melbourne.[35]) c. 32,000 BP / 30,000 BCE – Beginnings of Aurignacian
culture, exemplified by the cave paintings ("parietal art") of Chauvet Cave
Chauvet Cave
in France. c. 30,500 BP / 28,500 BCE – New Guinea
New Guinea
is populated by colonists from Asia or Australia.[36] c. 30,000 BP / 28,000 BCE – A herd of reindeer is slaughtered and butchered by humans in the Vezere Valley in what is today France.[37] c. 28,000–20,000 BP – Gravettian
period in Europe. Harpoons, needles, and saws invented. c. 26,500 BP – Last Glacial
Maximum (LGM). Subsequently, the ice melts and the glaciers retreat again (Late Glacial
Maximum). During this latter period human beings return to Western Europe (see Magdalenian
culture) and enter North America from Eastern Siberia
for the first time (see Paleo-Indians, pre- Clovis culture
Clovis culture
and Settlement of the Americas). c. 26,000 BP / 24,000 BCE – People around the world use fibers to make baby-carriers, clothes, bags, baskets, and nets.[citation needed] c. 25,000 BP / 23,000 BCE – A settlement consisting of huts built of rocks and mammoth bones is founded near what is now Dolní Věstonice in Moravia
in the Czech Republic. This is the oldest human permanent settlement that has been found by archaeologists.[38] c. 23,000 BP / 21,000 BCE – Small-scale trial cultivation of plants in Ohalo II, a hunter-gatherers' sedentary camp on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Israel.[39] c. 16,000 BP / 14,000 BCE – Wisent
sculpted in clay deep inside the cave now known as Le Tuc d'Audoubert in the French Pyrenees near what is now the border of Spain.[40] c. 14,800 BP / 12,800 BCE – The Humid Period begins in North Africa. The region that would later become the Sahara
is wet and fertile, and the Aquifers are full.[41]


c. 12,500 to 9,500 BCE – Natufian culture: a culture of sedentary hunter-gatherers who may have cultivated Rye
in the Levant
(Eastern Mediterranean)


c. 9,400–9,200 BCE – Figs
of a parthenocarpic (and therefore sterile) type are cultivated in the early Neolithic
village Gilgal I (in the Jordan Valley, 13 km north of Jericho). The find predates the domestication of wheat, barley, and legumes, and may thus be the first known instance of agriculture.[42] c. 9,000 BCE – Circles of T-shaped stone pillars erected at Göbekli Tepe in the Southeastern Anatolia
Region of Turkey during pre-pottery Neolithic
A (PPNA) period. As yet unexcavated structures at the site are thought to date back to the epipaleolithic. c. 8,000 BC / 7000 BCE – In northern Mesopotamia, now northern Iraq, cultivation of barley and wheat begins. At first they are used for beer, gruel, and soup, eventually for bread.[43] In early agriculture at this time the planting stick is used, but it is replaced by a primitive plow in subsequent centuries.[44] Around this time, a round stone tower, now preserved at about 8.5 meters high and 8.5 meters in diameter is built in Jericho.[45]


c. 3,700 BCE – Cuneiform
writing appears in Sumer, and records begin to be kept. According to the majority of specialists, the first Mesopotamian writing was a tool that had little connection to the spoken language.[46] c. 3,300 BCE – Approximate date of death of " Ötzi
the Iceman", found preserved in ice in the Ötztal Alps
Ötztal Alps
in 1991. A copper-bladed axe, which is a characteristic technology of this era, was found with the corpse. c. 3,000 BCE – Stonehenge
construction begins. In its first version, it consisted of a circular ditch and bank, with 56 wooden posts.[47]

By region

Old World

Prehistoric Africa

Predynastic Egypt Prehistoric Central North Africa

Prehistoric Asia

East Asia:

Prehistoric China Prehistoric Thailand Prehistoric Korea Japanese Paleolithic East Asian Bronze
Age Chinese Bronze

South Asia

of India South Asian Stone Age Prehistory
of Sri Lanka

of Central Asia Prehistoric Siberia Southwest Asia (Near East)

of Iran Aurignacian Natufian culture Ubaid period Uruk period Ancient Near East

Prehistoric Europe

Prehistoric Caucasus

Prehistoric Georgia Prehistoric Armenia

Europe Neolithic
Europe Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Europe Iron Age
Iron Age
Europe Atlantic fringe

Prehistoric Britain Prehistoric Ireland Prehistoric Iberia

Prehistoric Balkans

New World

Pre-Columbian Americas

Prehistoric Southwestern cultural divisions 2nd millennium BCE in North American history 1st millennium BCE in North American history 1st millennium in North American history

Prehistoric Australia

See also

Archaeoastronomy Archaeology Archaic Homo
sapiens Band society Behavioral modernity History
of the family Holocene Human evolution Lineage-bonded society Paleoanthropology Pantribal sodalities Periodization Prehistoric art

List of Stone Age
Stone Age

Prehistoric medicine Prehistoric migration Prehistoric music Prehistoric religion Prehistoric technology Prehistoric warfare Three-age system Younger Dryas


^ "Dictionary Entry". Retrieved 8 August 2017.  ^ Graslund, Bo. 1987. The birth of prehistoric chronology. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press. ^ a b Fagan, Brian. 2007. World Prehistory: A brief introduction New York:Prentice-Hall, Seventh Edition, Chapter One ^ a b c Renfrew, Colin. 2008. Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind. New York: Modern Library ^ a b Matthew Daniel Eddy (Ed.) (2011). Prehistoric Minds: Human Origins as a Cultural Artefact. Royal Society of London. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Eddy, Matthew Daniel (2011). "The Line of Reason: Hugh Blair, Spatiality and the Progressive Structure of Language". Notes and Records of the Royal Society. 65: 9–24. doi:10.1098/rsnr.2010.0098.  ^ Eddy, Matthew Daniel (2011). "The Prehistoric Mind as a Historical Artefact". Notes and Records of the Royal Society. 65: 1–8. doi:10.1098/rsnr.2010.0097.  ^ The Prehistory
of Iberia: Debating Early Social
Stratification and the State edited by María Cruz Berrocal, Leonardo García Sanjuán, Antonio Gilman. Pg 36. ^ Historical Archaeology: Back from the Edge. Edited by Pedro Paulo A. Funari, Martin Hall, Sian Jones. Pg 8. ^ Through the Ages in Palestinian Archaeology: An Introductory Handbook. By Walter E. Ras. Pg 49. ^ The Essence of Anthropology
3rd ed. By William A. Haviland, Harald E. L. Prins, Dana Walrath, Bunny McBrid. Pg 83. ^ Race and Human Evolution. By Milford H. Wolpoff. Pg 348. ^ Vanishing Voices : The Extinction of the World's Languages. By Daniel Nettle, Suzanne Romaine Merton Professor of English Language University of Oxford. pp. 102–103. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  ^ "World Museum of Man: Neolithic
/ Chalcolithic
Period". World Museum of Man. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.  ^ Lyras; et al. (2008). "The origin of Homo
floresiensis and its relation to evolutionary processes under isolation". Anthropological Science.  ^ Figure 3.3 from First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies by Peter Bellwood, 2004 ^ The Perfect Gift: Prehistoric Massacres. The twin vices of women and cattle in prehistoric Europe Archived 2008-06-11 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Winn, Shan (1981). Pre-writing in Southeastern Europe: The Sign System of the Vinča Culture ca. 4000 BC. Calgary: Western Publishers.  ^ Leonard D. Katz Rigby; S. Stephen Henry Rigby (2000). Evolutionary Origins of Morality: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives. United kingdom: Imprint Academic. p. 158. ISBN 0-7190-5612-8.  ^ Harris, Susanna (2009). "Smooth and Cool, or Warm and Soft: Investigatingthe Properties of Cloth in Prehistory". North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles X. Academia.edu. Retrieved 5 September 2013.  ^ "Aspects of Life
During the Neolithic
Period" (PDF). Teachers' Curriculum Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2013.  ^ Gibbs, Kevin T. (2006). "Pierced clay disks and Late Neolithic textile production". Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on the Archaeology
of the Ancient Near East. Academia.org. Retrieved 5 September 2013.  ^ Green, Jean M (1993). "Unraveling the Enigma of the Bi: The Spindle Whorl as the Model of the Ritual Disk". Asian Perspectives. University of Hawai'i Press. 32 (1): 105–24. Archived from the original on 2015-02-11.  ^ Cook, M (2007). "The clay loom weight, in: Early Neolithic
ritual activity, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
occupation and medieval activity at Pitlethie Road, Leuchars, Fife". Tayside And Fife Archaeological Journal. 13: 1–23.  ^ "Serbian site may have hosted first copper makers". ScienceNews. July 17, 2010.  ^ Shea, J. J. 2003. Neanderthals, competition and the origin of modern human behaviour in the Levant. Evolutionary Anthropology
12: 173–187. ^ "Origin of Clothing
Lice Indicates Early Clothing
Use by Anatomically Modern Humans in Africa". Molecular Biology
and Evolution. September 2010.  ^ "Mount Toba Eruption – Ancient Humans Unscathed, Study Claims". Retrieved 2008-04-20.  ^ Zimmer, Carl (September 21, 2016). "How We Got Here: DNA Points to a Single Migration From Africa". New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2016.  ^ a b This is indicated by the M130 marker in the Y chromosome. "Traces of a Distant Past", by Gary Stix, Scientific American, July 2008, pages 56–63. ^ Macey, Richard (2007). "Settlers' history rewritten: go back 30,000 years". The Sydney
Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2014.  ^ "Aboriginal people and place". Sydney
Barani. 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2014.  ^ Sandra Bowdler. "The Pleistocene
Pacific". Published in 'Human settlement', in D. Denoon (ed) The Cambridge History
of the Pacific Islanders. pp. 41–50. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. University of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2008.  ^ Gary Presland, The First Residents of Melbourne's Western Region, (revised edition), Harriland Press, 1997. ISBN 0-646-33150-7. Presland says on page 1: "There is some evidence to show that people were living in the Maribyrnong River
Maribyrnong River
valley, near present day Keilor, about 40,000 years ago." ^ James Trager, The People's Chronology, 1994, ISBN 0-8050-3134-0 ^ Gene S. Stuart, "Ice Age Hunters: Artists in Hidden Cages." In Mysteries of the Ancient World, a publication of the National Geographic Society, 1979. Pages 11–18. ^ Stuart, Gene S. (1979). "Ice Age Hunters: Artists in Hidden Cages". Mysteries of the Ancient World. National Geographic Society. p. 19.  ^ The Origin of Cultivation and Proto-Weeds, Long Before Neolithic Farming Ainit Snir et al., PLOS July 22, 2015 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131422 ^ Stuart, Gene S. (1979). "Ice Age Hunters: Artists in Hidden Cages". Mysteries of the Ancient World. National Geographic Society. pp. 8–10.  ^ "Shift from Savannah to Sahara
was Gradual", by Kenneth Chang, New York Times, May 9, 2008. ^ Kislev et al. (2006a, b), Lev-Yadun et al. (2006) ^ Kiple, Kenneth F. and Ornelas, Kriemhild Coneè, eds., The Cambridge World History
of Food, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 83 ^ "No-Till: The Quiet Revolution", by David Huggins and John Reganold, Scientific American, July 2008, pages 70–77. ^ Fagan, Brian M, ed. The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1996 ISBN 978-0-521-40216-3 p 363 ^ Glassner, Jean-Jacques. The Invention of Cuneiform: Writing In Sumer. Trans.Zainab, Bahrani. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Ebook. ^ Caroline Alexander, "Stonehenge", National Geographic, June 2008.

External links

Submerged Landscapes Archaeological Network The Neanderthal
site at Veldwezelt-Hezerwater, Belgium. North Pacific Prehistory
is an academic journal specialising in Northeast Asian and North American archaeology. Prehistory
in Algeria and in Morocco Early Humans a collection of resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library.

v t e

Prehistoric technology


timeline outline Stone Age subdivisions New Stone Age






founder crops New World crops

Ard / plough Celt Digging stick Domestication Goad Irrigation Secondary products Sickle Terracing

Food processing

Fire Basket Cooking

Earth oven

Granaries Grinding slab Ground stone Hearth

Aşıklı Höyük Qesem Cave

Manos Metate Mortar and pestle Pottery Quern-stone Storage pit


Arrow Boomerang

throwing stick

Bow and arrow


Nets Spear

Spear-thrower baton harpoon woomera Schöningen Spears

Projectile points

Arrowhead Bare Island Cascade Clovis Cresswell Cumberland Eden Folsom Lamoka Manis Site Plano Transverse arrowhead


Game drive system

Buffalo jump


Earliest toolmaking

Oldowan Acheulean Mousterian

Clovis culture Cupstone Fire hardening Gravettian
culture Hafting Hand axe


Langdale axe industry Levallois technique Lithic core Lithic reduction

analysis debitage flake

Lithic technology Magdalenian
culture Metallurgy Microblade technology Mining Prepared-core technique Solutrean
industry Striking platform Tool
stone Uniface Yubetsu technique

Other tools

Adze Awl


Axe Bannerstone Blade


Bone tool Bow drill Burin Canoe

Oar Pesse canoe



Cleaver Denticulate tool Fire plough Fire-saw Hammerstone Knife Microlith Quern-stone Racloir Rope Scraper


Stone tool Tally stick Weapons Wheel




Göbekli Tepe Kiva Standing stones

megalith row Stonehenge



architecture British megalith architecture Nordic megalith architecture Burdei Cave Cliff dwelling Dugout Hut

Quiggly hole

Jacal Longhouse Mud brick


long house Pit-house Pueblitos Pueblo Rock shelter

Blombos Cave Abri de la Madeleine Sibudu Cave

Stone roof Roundhouse Stilt house

Alp pile dwellings

Wattle and daub

Water management

Check dam Cistern Flush toilet Reservoir Water well

Other architecture

Archaeological features Broch Burnt mound

fulacht fiadh

Causewayed enclosure

Tor enclosure

Circular enclosure


Cursus Henge


Oldest buildings Megalithic architectural elements Midden Timber circle Timber trackway

Sweet Track

Arts and culture

Material goods

Baskets Beadwork Beds Chalcolithic Clothing/textiles


Cosmetics Glue Hides

shoes Ötzi


amber use

Mirrors Pottery

Cardium Grooved ware Linear Jōmon Unstan ware

Sewing needle Weaving Wine

Winery wine press


Art of the Upper Paleolithic Art of the Middle Paleolithic

Blombos Cave

List of Stone Age
Stone Age
art Bird stone Bradshaw rock paintings Cairn Carved Stone Balls Cave

painting pigment

Cup and ring mark Geoglyph Golden hats Guardian stones Megalithic art Petroform Petroglyph Petrosomatoglyph Pictogram Rock art

Stone carving

Sculpture Statue menhir Stone circle

list British Isles and Brittany

Venus figurines


Burial mounds

Bowl barrow Round barrow

Mound Builders
Mound Builders

U.S. sites

Chamber tomb



Dartmoor kistvaens

Clava cairn Court tomb Cremation Dolmen

Great dolmen

Funeral pyre Gallery grave

transepted wedge-shaped

Grave goods Jar burial Long barrow

unchambered Grønsalen

Megalithic tomb Mummy Passage grave Rectangular dolmen Ring cairn Simple dolmen Stone box grave Tor cairn Tumulus Unchambered long cairn

Other cultural


sites lunar calendar

Behavioral modernity Origin of language


Prehistoric medicine Evolutionary musicology

music archaeology

Prehistoric music

Alligator drum flutes Divje Babe flute gudi

Prehistoric numerals Origin of religion

religion Prehistoric religion Spiritual drug use

Prehistoric warfare Symbols