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The Stone Age is the term given to the earliest period of human culture when our ancestors started to use stone tools. It began around 3.7 million years ago until about 2000 B.C.E. The era ended when humans began smelting metal.
See the fact file below for more interesting Stone Age facts or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Facts & Information
The Stone Age
- The Stone Age is the longest era in the history of mankind. It began 3.7 million years ago.
- Before the Stone Age, people used to live in caves.
- During the Stone Age, humans only had to get food and protect themselves from wild predators.
- During the Stone Age that people learned to farm. Humans hunted and harvested fruits and nuts. They learned about agriculture towards the end of the Stone Age. They planted maize, wheat, and barley.
- During the Stone Age, humans used animal skins for warmth throughout the winter.
Beginning of the Stone Age
- Anthropologists believe that the Homo habilis was the first to make stone tools around 2.3 million years ago.
- Aside from the skilled man (Homo habilis), other Hominins also appeared during the Stone Age. After 2 million years, the existence of Homo erectus marked another stage of Hominin evolution. They learned how to use fire against cold and for cooking. Furthermore, they were the earliest ancestors of Homo sapiens with similar body proportions. It was believed that they first lived in Africa before migrating to Europe and Asia.
- Archaeologists discovered fossils of Kenyanthropus in Lake Turkana Kenya, a hominin genus that lived 3.3 million years ago that was believed to be the first to use tools.
- The oldest stone tools were found in Africa. They were dated to be about 3.4 million years old. In addition, the earliest man-made structure was also found in Africa.
- Stone tools outside Africa dated 2.12 million years ago were located in China.
- Archaeologists divide the Stone Age into three phases, namely: Paleolithic (old stone age), Mesolithic (middle stone age), and Neolithic (new stone age). The term ‘-lithic’ comes from the ancient Greek word lithos, which means stone or rock.
Three Phases of the Stone Age
- During the Paleolithic Era, humans used stones to bash, hit, and scrape. Flint was commonly used in making stone tools. People were nomadic hunter-gatherers. They did not have permanent settlements.
- The Paleolithic period can be categorized into three groups: Lower, Middle, and Upper Era. The Lower Paleolithic Era has three stages: The Oldowan stage, about 2.6 million years ago, which focused on the use of pebbles as chopping tools, and the Acheulean stage, about 1.7 million years ago which cleaving tools were developed and the Lomekwian Stage in which on the use of hammering tools emerged.
- Stone tools gradually evolved from an all-purpose tool to more complex functionality based on design. Paleolithic people developed the simple to complex manufacture of stone tools from pebble-tool tradition to bi-facial or hand-ax practices to flake-tool traditions until the blade-tool traditions.
- During the Mesolithic Age, dogs were first domesticated to help people hunt. More refined stone tools, such as spearheads and arrows, were created. Humans learned how to fish using hooks and nets during the middle stone age.
- During the Neolithic period, people enhanced the domestication of animals such as goats, pigs, and sheep. Furthermore, they gradually developed sophisticated farming and agriculture in settled communities. Pottery was also a breakthrough during this time, as well as the systems of writing and weaving.
- Neolithic villages were formed. One example was the Skara Brae that can be found in Scotland. Enormous buildings such as the Ancient Jericho, Stonehenge, and the Temples of Gozo in Malta were also built. Stone Age people lived in huts made of wood, stone, or animal bones that were covered with clay or animal skins. In 1850, the Stone Age village of Skara Brae, located in the Orkney Islands, was excavated with beds, cupboards, shelves, chairs, toilets, and drainage systems. It was dated to exist around 3000 B.C.E.
Stone Age Tools
- Early Stone Age tools were hammerstones, sharp stone flakes, and stone cores. Around 1.76 million years ago, early humans began to make Acheulean handaxes and other large cutting tools.
- During the Middle Stone Age, pointed tools were developed. Examples were stone awls, scrapers, and spears used to hunt animals and other materials.
- During the Late Stone Age, people started to use animal bones such as mammoth ivory and antler horns as tools.
Stone Age People
- About 24,000 years ago, the Neanderthal lived in Europe and parts of Asia. They had a giant nose and a prominent ridge over the eyebrows to cope with frigid climates.
- Stone Age people hunted dangerous and giant animals such as the woolly mammoth. Woolly Mammoths were one of the popular subjects of neolithic cave paintings. By the end of the Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, they became extinct.
- In very cold places such as Canada, Alaska, and Siberia, mummified mammoths have been discovered in ice blocks with intact skeletons and blood samples.
- Around 75,000 years ago, Stone Age people started to use shells, bones, and tusks as ornaments and jewelry.
- Some of the Stone Age beliefs include contacting the spirit of animals when hunting, telling stories of thunderstorms and sunrise, worshipping nature, and constructing megaliths or tomb boulders.
Stone Age Art
- The Upper Paleolithic, a later Stone Age epoch that began around 40,000 years ago, is when the earliest Stone Age art was first discovered. Around this period, art started to appear in several regions of Europe, the Near East, Asia, and Africa.
- The earliest known Stone Age art is from the Upper Paleolithic period, some 40,000 years ago. One of the most impressive animal paintings on cave walls, dated 31,000 B.C.E, may be seen at Chauvet, France. Around this period, art began to appear in portions of Europe, the Near East, Asia, and Africa.
- In a little ivory sculpture of a female figure with enlarged breasts and genitalia, the oldest known representation of a person in Stone Age art may be found. The statue is known as the Venus of Hohle Fels after the German cave where it was found. It dates back roughly 40,000 years.
- These ancient paintings, also known as petroglyphs, include scenarios with animals. Some of them would have served as early maps, including markings for time and distance traveled as well as paths, rivers, landmarks, and astronomical markers.
End of the Stone Age
- The Stone Age lasted for nearly 2.5 million years.
- Smelting or the process of applying heat to ore ended the Stone Age and started the Bronze Age.
- At the end of the old stone age, people started to live together in small bands.
- People built enclosures by piling up circular earth walls at the end of the Stone Age, maybe to protect themselves and their animals and bury their dead in massive earth mounds and under stone slabs.
Stone Age Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Stone Age worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about The Stone Age which is the term given to the earliest period of human culture when our ancestors started to use stone tools. It began around 3.7 million years ago until about 2000 B.C. The era ended when humans began smelting metal.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Stone Age Facts
- Stone Age Hominids
- Stone Tools
- Phases of the Stone Age
- First Technologies
- Let’s Hunt!
- Tell Us Something
- Stone Age Artifacts
- Stone Age Way of Life
- Cave Painting
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Stone Age?
The Stone Age is the term given to the earliest period of human culture when our ancestors started to use stone tools.
When did the Stone Age take place?
It began around 3.7 million years ago until about 2000 B.C.E.
What are the three phases of the Stone Age?
The three phases of the Stone Age are Paleolithic (old stone age), Mesolithic (middle stone age), and Neolithic (new stone age).
What kind of tools were invented during the Stone Age?
Chopping tools, cleaving tools, and hammering tools were developed during the Stone Age.
How did the Stone Age come to an end?
The Stone Age lasted for nearly 2.5 million years. Smelting or the process of applying heat to ore ended the Stone Age and started the Bronze Age.
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Link will appear as Stone Age Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 19, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.