The Old Stone Age is also known as the Paleolithic Era and began at the dawn of human existence, about 2.5 million years ago, until 12,000 years ago. The New Stone Age is also called the Neolithic Era and lasted from about 10,000 B.C. until 3,000 B.C.
The Stone Age was named such because it was the time period in history when humans began crafting tools from stone. At first, tools were simple and fulfilled basic needs relating to food and shelter. This practice soon evolved into making hunting weapons. One of the most important technologies of the Stone Age was flaking, which is the process of banging a hammer stone against an object to create sharp edges. This was used to make and sharpen arrow heads and spears. Old Stone Age humans were typically nomadic, moving frequently and living in temporary homes, based on hunting and gathering conditions. It is believed that less than 1,000,000 humans lived during this time, and they traveled in small groups.
Humans in the New Stone Age also used stone tools, but the two ages are separated because of a climate change that marked the beginning of the Neolithic Era. Warmer climates ended an ice age, and animals and humans were able to live in the same place for longer periods of time. Some humans began settling instead of traveling as nomads. With new settlements came domestication of animals and the invention of agriculture. This led to surpluses of food and community sharing, providing the foundation for the towns and cities of today.