Far back in prehistory, before the man could write, was a period of time known as the Stone Age. Man has lived on the earth for at least 500,000 years, but he did not begin to write until about 5,000 years ago. So pre- history covers a very long time.
Because man learned to make stone tools during this time, it is called the Stone Age. The early part of it is known as the Old Stone Age. The first type of stone tool that was made was probably a big stone chipped so that it had a sharp cutting edge all around. Scientists have called it a “hard ax”. Chips struck off pieces of stone were also used as tools. The hand ax and the chips, or flakes, were all-purpose tools that man kept making and using for thousands of years.
Later, in the Ice Age, there were people living in Europe who are called Neanderthal by scientists. They had better tools than the people who had lived in the earliest days, and they hunted in groups instead of alone.
After the Neanderthals came the Cro-Magnon men, who were more advanced people. They had all kinds of tools: spear points, harpoons, scrapers, and knives. They, too, lived by hunting. About 6000 B.C., there came a great change in man’s way of life. He learned to grow crops. This marked the beginning of the Neolithic or New Stone Age.
He used animals as a source of food and skins for clothing. He kept flocks of animals, built homes, and soon began to make new things that were not found in nature.
Clay could be molded into dishes and bowls. When it was baked it could be used for cooking food. Wool and flax could be spun into yarn. When men worked together, villages and then cities grew. And from these beginnings, all that we call civilization came into being.
What Are The 3 Stone Ages?
The Stone Age, whose origin coincides with the discovery of the oldest known stone tools, which have been dated to some 3.3 million years ago, is usually divided into three separate periods—Paleolithic Period, Mesolithic Period, and Neolithic Period