Stone Age: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Stone Age.

  • The Stone Age began about 3.7 million years ago, and lasted until about 2000 BC. This long period was one in which stone was widely used to make tools or utensils.

  • Archaeologists divide the Stone Age into three periods: Paleolithic, Mesolithic and then Neolithic. About 99 percent of humans’ time on earth took place during the Paleolithic period.
  • The Paleolithic age saw humans use stones to bash, hit and scrape. By the end of the Paleolithic era, humans had learned to make sharp tools, and lived together in small groups.
  • One of the oldest stone tools found is about 3.4 million years old and was found in Africa. The first man-made structure was also built in Africa, about 2 million years ago.
  • Farming was introduced during the Neolithic part of the Stone Age, and people cared for goats, sheep and pigs. Pottery was invented during this time, and people used writing for the first time.
  • Painting animals on cave walls was popular, and these may have been used in rituals. Some of the best paintings are in the caves at Chauvet, France, dating to 31,000 BC.
  • Much of the world was colder during the Stone Age. People learned to keep warm and to move regularly so that they could hunt the herds of animals.
  • Stone Age people lived in huts made of wood or stone, often covered with animal skins, or clay. Some huts were also made from the huge bones of woolly mammoths.
  • A Stone Age village, Skara Brae, dating from about 3000 BC, was excavated on the Orkney Islands. The houses had seats, dressers and storage units, as well as a drainage system and toilets.
  • Stone Age people ate wild plants, nuts, berries and grains, as well as animals. Some archaeologists believe that people living in colder regions ate more meat and fish.

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