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Paleolithic Age (Old Stone Age)

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

Paleolithic Age refers to the period from 2 Million Years Ago (2MYA) to 10000 BC. It can be further classified into:

  1. Lower Paleolithic Age (2MYA to 37000 BC)

  2. Middle Paleolithic Age (37000 BC to 21000 BC)

  3. Upper Paleolithic Age (21000 BC to 10000 BC)

  • During excavations of Paleolithic sites, we get Upper Paleolithic tools from the upper layers and Lower Paleolithic tools from the lower layers of the ground.

Evolution of Human Beings During Paleolithic Age


  • Human beings evolved from primates (apes).

  • During Lower Paleolithic age, the ancestors of humans were known as 'Homo Habilis' (hand using man). They started use their hands to hit stones with each other.

  • In this phase (Homo Habilis), apes started walking on two feet in a bent position; they started using their front legs as hands.


  • In the next phase, 'Homo Habilis' was evolved into 'Homo Erectus' (Upright man). From bent position, they started walking in upright position.


  • In the Middle Paleolithic Age, 'Homo Erectus' was evolved into 'Homo Sapiens Archaic' (brain using man).

  • During Upper Paleolithic Age, Homo Sapiens Archaic was evolved into 'Homo Sapiens Sapiens' (modern man). In this phase, the brain was fully developed.

Increase in brain size during human evolution

Tool Technology During Paleolithic Age

  • Stone Age man used stone tools. Tools were made by hitting one stone with another one.


  • During Lower Paleolithic Age, tools were made using 'core technology', i.e.. outer layers of the rocks were removed and inner core was used as stone tool. These tools were bigger in size and were unrefined.


  • Lower Paleolithic tools were used to dig the earth and to hit the animals during hunting.


  • During Middle Paleolithic Age, flakes (outer layers of the rock) were used as stone tools. Because the flakes were more sharp and easy to use.


  • During Upper Paleolithic Age, 'blade technology' was used to make tools, i.e.. tools were sharpened from one side so that cutting became easy.

Stone Blades

Economic Life During Paleolithic Age

  • During Lower Paleolithic Age, man was vegetarian; he survived on roots and fruits. Because the anatomy of apes does not allow the digestion of meat.


  • As human anatomy evolved, man started consuming meat. So hunting activities began and as a result, the economy became 'hunting and food gathering economy'. Throughout the Paleolithic Age, the economy remained 'hunting and food gathering economy'.


Living Pattern During Paleolithic Age

  • During Paleolithic Age, people lived in caves or rock shelters. Eg: Bhimbetka caves in Raisin district of Madhya Pradesh.


Social Life During Paleolithic Age

  • During Paleolithic Age, the population size was small. A few people (usually the members of a family) were living together. The concept of social life was absent at that time.


Cultural Life During Paleolithic Age

  • Paleolithic people practiced painting. Paintings belonging to these periods are found from Bhimbetka caves of Madhya Pradesh. These paintings depicts scenes of day today life such as communal dancing, hunting scenes, etc.


  • From the cave paintings, we can assume that dancing was known to the Stone Age people. Since dancing is not possible without music, we can assume that music was also known to them.


  • Since Upper Paleolithic Age, people were burying dead bodies. This shows the emergence of religious life. Because people start burying dead bodies due to the belief in life after death. First evidence of burial practice was observed in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.




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Andy
Andy
23 nov 2023

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