Ages of Prehistory – Secondary Agenda –

With the appearance of the first hominid, approximately 4,000,000 years ago, prehistory begins, ending with the invention of writing, approximately in the year 3,300 BC Thanks to the discovery of archaeological remains, such as cave paintings, utensils, bones, etc., we have been able to learn how prehistoric men lived and see the hominization process more clearly. Today we are going to know the different prehistoric ages in which they lived.

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The writing It was a truly significant milestone for humanity and it did not happen until about 5,000 years ago, when it was possible to leave thoughts and events written on some type of support that would allow another human being to read it. For this reason, because the human being could tell his own story and it is accessible to us today, it is considered a milestone that marked the second part of human history, which is why it is only called History.

And, therefore, the first great stage prior to writing is called Prehistory. And, in turn, it is also the reason why the science that studies the 3,500,000 years of man’s life on earth is called prehistory, trying to reconstruct how man evolved, survived, and adapted to the different conditions weather or living with other groups.

Prehistoric science, in order to obtain information about all that life prior to writing, is based on the study of objects, material remains and evidence that have been preserved. It uses another science as a method of work and information, such as archeology (locate, recover, study and date).

Taking all this brief and necessary introduction into account, we can already say that Prehistory is divided into two ages:

  • Stone Age
  • The age of metals

Let’s see each one of them.

Stone Age

The Stone age receives this name because it is the stage in which the first humans began to create tools from stones, rudimentary tools that were perfected. Later they incorporated other materials such as bones, ivory or wood.

The Stone Age is divided into 3 periods:

  • Paleolithic
  • Mesolithic
  • Neolithic

The Stone Age did not arise at the same time in all parts of the world, since the dates vary depending on the territory. We know all this from the archaeological remains discovered and analyzed and they have varied and may even continue to vary with future new discoveries.

From the studies carried out on the different stone tools, we know that the Stone Age started in africa does 2,500,000 years, in Asia 1,800,000 years ago and in Europe 1,000,000 years ago. With these data and today, we can say that it was in Africa where the first humans developed.

Paleolithic (Ancient Stone)

The population in the Paleolithic is nomadic that is, they did not live established in the same place. They needed to migrate following the migratory currents of the animals since they moved in search of food and warmer temperatures and with them the first humans since they were Hunter-gatherers.

It is during the Paleolithic, when one of the greatest discoveries in the history of humanity took place and it totally changed the way of life of the first men, the discovery of fire.

Paleolithic men They used carved stones, bones and woodswith them they made their first weapons for hunting and utensils for cutting or cooking. paleolithic man had no religious beliefs.

It is also during the Palaeolithic when the first artistic manifestations, the so-called cave paintings, representing everyday scenes and even leaving the shapes of their hands. These manifestations were carried out on stones or rocks, mainly inside caves.

So far we know that:

  • The Paleolithic It was the oldest and longest period in human history.
  • There were ice ages (4 glaciations) that alternated with warmer and rainier periods called interglacial periods
  • Practically the northern hemisphere was frozen.

Inside of the Paleolithic we can distinguish 3 stages, Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic

  • Lower Paleolithic
    • the man was nomadiclived in camps
    • His diet was based on gathering, fishing and hunting
    • used weapons and stone tools carved
    • I know arranged in small groups
    • It is the time when the first hominids appear:
      • In Africa: Homo habilis (first to carve stone) and homo ergaster (evolution of Homo Habilis)
      • In Asia: The homo erectus. the first to discover the fire
        In Europe: The oldest Homo species was the Homo Ancestor and the Homo Heidelbergensis or Goliath, ancestor direct from Neanderthal man
  • Middle Paleolithic
    • appears the Homo Neandethalensis (Neanderthal man), who lived for 70,000 years
    • Neanderthal Man, man hunter and nomad. Lives in caves
    • In the Middle Paleolithic use fire for cooking and lighting
    • are perfected hunting techniques
    • Language appears to communicateguttural noises, squeaks and screams (communication necessary for group hunting)
    • They improve social relationships and groups of individuals expand
    • It appears in Africa the first homo sapiens sapiens (current man)
  • Superior paleolithic
    • I know extinct Neanderthal man
    • Dominance of Homo Sapiens Sapiens
    • invention of the bow
    • The residential activity was hunting and gathering
    • The dog is tamed
    • The first artistic representations with engravings and paintings (Cave Art)
    • I know improve stone carving techniques and more sophisticated tools and weapons are born

Mesolithic (Between Stones)

intermediate period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic. (Old Stone-New Stone), located about 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. During the Mesolithic ice age endswith the rise in temperatures, conditions improve for humans who, although they continue to be nomads, begin to leave the caves in summer, creating the first open-air villages. In areas near the coast, with the abundance of food, they settle throughout the year.

At this stage and thanks to the weather conditions favorable, more seeds grow and there are greater abundance of animals so it is the most prosperous period for the gathering, fishing and hunting.

appear new techniques and weapons for hunting What the arrows, with them men did not need to approach the animals, they hunt from a distance. They begin to use bone and wood as materials that, together with the stones, serve to better grip the utensils. With the appearance of new weapons for hunting, piles are obtained without damaging them, the leather tanning.

In the Mesolithic:

  • Great collecting activity of vegetables and greater activity in hunting
  • First tools for fishing such as hooks and nets, the first and rudimentary boats
  • the man of the Coast zones becomes sedentary
  • They create whats first open-air villagesabandoning the caves, construction of rudimentary huts
  • As an artistic expression, geometric and abstract paintings begin
  • The man becomes aware of the different races at the same time that they begin to colonize the planet
  • if you have awareness of deaththey suffer for the loss and therefore the first burials

Neolithic (New Stone)

The Stone Age ends with the Neolithic. The Neolithic is about 10,000-4,000 years.

The Neolithic is of great importance in the evolution of man, his way of life begins to change. I know abandon the nomadic way of life for the sedentary one, giving rise to the first settlements giving rise to what could be a fledgling organized society.

with a sedentary lifestyle agriculture and livestock appear, the new needs cause the improvement of the tools, making more polished stones. The need to store products from livestock and agriculture has as a consequence the appearance of pottery.

Farming and ranching cause the subsistence economy change to a more stable one.

This period was called the neolithic revolution because it was the first radical transformation of the human way of life. In this phase, man ceases to be a nomad and the first settlements appear, humanity becoming sedentary and therefore, social organization.

It is discovered agriculture and livestockstarts the perfecting your toolss and the polishing of stones, develop pottery and even the creation of textile garments. jobs are specialized With the appearance of a more complex society, each individual performs a different job, which gives rise to the private property.

In the Neolithic:

  • boom of the livestock and agriculture
  • appears the barter trade, exchange of crafts for products
  • job specialization
  • appears the private property and therefore the wealth
  • begin the social inequalitiestrade-private property- barter-surplus
  • religion appearsThey worshiped the fertility of the earth, the sun, the water, the mountains, the tides, etc.

After the Stone Age comes the Metal Age.

Age of metals

The Metal Age arises faced with the need to manufacture harder tools and is divided into 3 stages:

  • copper age
  • Bronze Age
  • iron age

Possibly the most used metals at the beginning of the Metal Age, perhaps due to the great availability of them in their natural form, was gold and copperboth were soft materials and easy to melt in fire. The development of metallurgy It walked parallel to that of producing more powerful fire and therefore of creating containers that could support the molten metal.

Gold, for example, is a metal that with slight heating softens until it melts and therefore transforms, which is why many ornamental pieces of this precious metal have appeared in archaeological sites.

Copper Age, is between 5,000 – 1,800 BC

It was one of the first metals used, surely at first was used in its natural formwould be rudimentarily modified. in the copper age metallurgy ariseswith the extraction and subsequent transformation.

Bronze Age, is between 1,800 – 800 BC

The first alloysspecifically the alloy of copper and tin that gave rise to bronze.

Iron Age, is between 800 BC – 1 AD

The need to search stronger and more durable metals to create both tools and weapons, were the ones who drove the iron as an essential material.

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