20 Facts About Paleolithic


The Paleolithic Age is characterized by the use of knapped stone tools, although at the time humans used wood and bone tools.

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Conditions during the Paleolithic Age went through a set of glacial and interglacial periods in which the climate periodically fluctuated between warm and cool temperatures.

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Archaeological and genetic data suggest that the source populations of Paleolithic humans survived in sparsely-wooded areas and dispersed through areas of high primary productivity while avoiding dense forest-cover.

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Paleolithic coincides almost exactly with the Pleistocene epoch of geologic time, which lasted from 2.

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Paleolithic is often held to finish at the end of the ice age, and Earth's climate became warmer.

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The economy of a typical Paleolithic society was a hunter-gatherer economy.

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At the beginning of the Paleolithic, hominins were found primarily in eastern Africa, east of the Great Rift Valley.

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Lower Paleolithic humans used a variety of stone tools, including hand axes and choppers.

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Lower Paleolithic humans constructed shelters, such as the possible wood hut at Terra Amata.

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Upper Paleolithic cultures were probably able to time the migration of game animals such as wild horses and deer.

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Social organization of the earliest Paleolithic societies remains largely unknown to scientists, though Lower Paleolithic hominins such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus are likely to have had more complex social structures than chimpanzee societies.

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Raymond C Kelly speculates that the relative peacefulness of Middle and Upper Paleolithic societies resulted from a low population density, cooperative relationships between groups such as reciprocal exchange of commodities and collaboration on hunting expeditions, and because the invention of projectile weapons such as throwing spears provided less incentive for war, because they increased the damage done to the attacker and decreased the relative amount of territory attackers could gain.

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Additionally, recent research by anthropologist and archaeologist Steven Kuhn from the University of Arizona is argued to support that this division of labor did not exist prior to the Upper Paleolithic and was invented relatively recently in human pre-history.

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Upper Paleolithic humans produced works of art such as cave paintings, Venus figurines, animal carvings, and rock paintings.

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However, during the early Upper Paleolithic it was probably more common for all members of the band to participate equally and fully in religious ceremonies, in contrast to the religious traditions of later periods when religious authorities and part-time ritual specialists such as shamans, priests and medicine men were relatively common and integral to religious life.

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Paleolithic hunting and gathering people ate varying proportions of vegetables, fruit, seeds and insects, meat, fish, and shellfish.

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The Paleolithic was an extended period of time, during which multiple technological advances were made, many of which had impact on human dietary structure.

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Paleolithic peoples suffered less famine and malnutrition than the Neolithic farming tribes that followed them.

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Paleolithic humans consumed animal organ meats, including the livers, kidneys, and brains.

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Late Upper Paleolithic societies appear to have occasionally practiced pastoralism and animal husbandry, presumably for dietary reasons.

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