Q:

What are some facts relating to the Stone Age?

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Quick Answer

The period of time commonly referred to as the Stone Age, or more specifically the "Old" or "Early" Stone Age, began with the first emergence of human beings and ended about 12,000 years ago. The descriptive term "Stone Age" is derived from the fact that the early humans living during this time first began to use tools made from stone to help them meet their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. One of the methods used to produce their stone tools was a process called "flaking" that involved using one stone to strike another to produce sharp edges.

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Full Answer

The archaeological term which is usually used to describe the entirety of the Stone Age is the Paleolithic Era. The term is derived from the Greek words "palaios" and "lithos," which mean "old" and "stone" respectively. The people living during the Paleolithic Era are often referred to as hunter-gatherers because of the manner in which they obtained food before the development of agriculture. Their lifestyle was a nomadic existence as they followed the migrations of the animal herds that provided them with their primary food source. The homes they built were temporary shelters rather than permanent structures.

The Paleolithic Era reflects a portion of the general period of archaeological time known as prehistory. Prehistory refers to the part of human existence prior to the development of writing systems. The significant change that marked the end of the Stone Age was the development of smelting techniques that enabled metals to be extracted from ores, which were then used in the production of metal tools. This new development represents the beginning of what is commonly called the Bronze Age, which began between 6,000 B.C. and 2,500 B.C.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When did the Stone Age begin and end?

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    The Stone Age began 2 to 3 million years ago and ended at around 3300 B.C. The dates for the beginning and end of the Stone Age are ranges because the definition of the age refers to the tools which were developed at different times around the world.

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  • Q:

    What did Stone Age people eat?

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    People who lived during the Stone Age ate meat, vegetation and grains. Their diets are likely similar to the diets of many farmers who live in Asia, especially in India and China.

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  • Q:

    What are some foods from the Paleolithic era?

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    The Scientific American states that, Paleolithic, or Stone Age, people lived as hunter-gatherers. Their diets varied according to geography, season and availability of foods. Paleolithic people did not farm to produce food, plant crops or keep domesticated animals. Their food sources consisted of: hunting for animals, fishing, scavenging remains left by animals and gathering wild plants, nuts, berries and seeds. Paleolithic diets did not contain grains, legumes or dairy products.

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  • Q:

    What happened during the Cambrian explosion?

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    The Cambrian explosion saw the rapid evolution and emergence of various life forms. However, geologists claim that organisms belonging to some major phyla already diversified prior to the Cambrian period, with further evidence suggesting that the evolutionary process at that time was gradual, rather than explosive.

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