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only be lightly touched upon. The remains may be classified under : i. Monoliths, or single upright stones, also known as menhirs, a well-known example 63 feet high, 14 feet in diameter, and weighing 260 tons, being at Carnac, Brittany. Another example is at Locmariaker, also in Brittany (No. 2 B). ii. Dolmens (Daul, a table, and maen, a stone), consisting of one large flat stone supported by upright stones. Examples are to be found near Maidstone and other places in England, also in Ireland, Northern France, the Channel Islands, Italy (No. 2 F) and India. iii. Cromlechs, or circles of stone, as at Stonehenge (No. 2 G), Avebury (Wilts), and elsewhere, consisting of a series of upright stones arranged in a circle and supporting horizontal slabs. iv. Tumuli, or burial mounds, were probably prototypes of the Pyramids of Egypt (No. 4) and the beehive huts found in Wales, Cornwall, Ireland (No. 2 D, E) and elsewhere. That at New Grange (Ireland) resembles somewhat the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae (No. 15). v. Lake Dwellings, as discovered in the lakes of Switzerland, Italy and Ireland consisted of wooden huts supported on piles, and were so placed for protection against hostile attacks of all kinds. Divided according to period as follows:i.Paleolithic Age ii.Mesolithic Age iii.Neolithic Age iv.Chalcolithic Age v.Bronze Age
It covers the greatest portion of humanity's time (roughly 99% of human history) on Earth, extending from 2.5 or 2.6 million years ago, with the introduction of stone tools by hominids such as Homo habilis , to the introduction of agriculture and the end of the Pleistocene around 10,000 BC. The Paleolithic era ended with the Mesolithic, or in areas with an early neolithisation, the Epipaleolithic. During the Paleolithic humans were grouped together in small scale societies such as bands and gained their subsistence from gathering plants and hunting wild animals. The Paleolithic is characterized by the use of knapped stone tools, although at the time, humans also used wood and bone tools. Other organic commodities were adapted for use as tools, including leather and vegetable fibers; however, given their nature, these have not been preserved to any great degree.Throughout the stone age, man was a food gatherer. Lower Paleolithic Age The oldest recognizable tools made by members of the family of man are simple stone choppers, such as those discovered at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. Lower Paleolithic stone industries of the early species of humans called Homo erectus. Stone tools of this period are of the core type, made by chipping the stone to form a cutting edge, or of the flake type, fashioned from fragments struck off a stone. Hand axes were the typical tool of these early hunters and food-gatherers.
Middle Paleolithic Age It includes the Mousterian culture, often associated with Neanderthal man, an early form of man, living between 40,000 and 100,000 years ago. Neanderthal remains are often found in caves with evidence of the use of fire. Neanderthals were hunters of prehistoric mammals, and their cultural remains, though unearthed chiefly in Europe, have been found also in N Africa, Palestine, and Siberia. Stone tools of this period are of the flake tradition, and bone implements, such as needles, indicate that crudely sewn furs and skins were used as body coverings. Since the dead were painted before burial, a kind of primitive religion may have been practiced.
Upper Paleolithic Age In this period Neanderthal man disappears and is replaced by a variety of Homo sapiens such as Cro-Magnon man and Grimaldi man. Pit houses, the first man-made shelters, were built, sewn clothing was worn, and sculpture and painting originated. Tools were of great variety, including flint and obsidian blades and projectile points. Their stone tools are finely worked, and they made a typical figure eight–shaped blade. They also used bone, horn, and ivory and made necklaces and other personal ornaments. They carved the so-called Venus figures, ritual statuettes of bone, and made outline drawings on cave walls.
The houses and dwellings of the Palaeolithic period are generally classified as, • Huts (Terra Amata, Nice) are the earliest known structures. In this case they were built by nomadic hunters who returned to the same sandy beaches, each spring. The construction consists of walls made of a palisade of timber stakes, arranged in an oval plan, with a bracing ring of stoners on the outside. The interior had a central hearth and the floor was made of a beaten layer of ash and organic material. There is no evidence that suggests the shape of the roof. • Lean-to (Le Lazaret, Nice) was erected against one wall of a cave. The assembly probably consisted of a timber frame with post supports and a skin covering, pinned to the ground by a circle of stones. • Tents Tepee-like tents were a common feature of glacial Europe (Czechoslovakia, Germany and France). The structure consisted of a timber framework covered with animal (mammoth?) skins. The skirts were invariably weighed down with stones and the interior paved.
Middle Stone Age, period in human development between the end of the Paleolithic period and the beginning of the Neolithic period. It began with the end of the last glacial period over 10,000 years ago and evolved into the Neolithic period; this change involved the gradual domestication of plants and animals and the formation of settled communities at various times and places. While Mesolithic cultures lasted in Europe until almost 3000 B.C., Neolithic communities developed in the Middle East between 9000 and 6000 B.C. Mesolithic cultures represent a wide variety of hunting, fishing, and food gathering techniques. This variety may be the result of adaptations to changed ecological conditions associated with the retreat of glaciers, the growth of forests in Europe and deserts in N Africa, and the disappearance of the large game of the Ice Age. Characteristic of the period were hunting and fishing settlements along rivers and on lake shores, where fish and mollusks were abundant. Microliths, the typical stone implements of the Mesolithic period, are smaller and more delicate than those of the late Paleolithic period. Pottery and the use of the bow developed, although their presence in Mesolithic cultures may only indicate contact with early Neolithic peoples.The Maglemosian, named for a site in Denmark, is found in the Baltic region and N England. It occurs in the middle of the Mesolithic period. It is there that hafted axes, an improvement over the Paleolithic hand axe, and bone tools are found. The Ertebolle culture, also named for a site in Denmark, spans most of the late Mesolithic. It is also known as the kitchen-midden culture for the large deposits of mollusk shells found around the settlements. Other late Mesolithic cultures are the Campignian and Asturian, both of which may have had Neolithic contacts. Domestication of the dog as a hunting companion probably dates to this period. The earliest known battle occurred during the Mesolithic period at a site in Egypt known as Cemetery 117.
The Neolithic, New Stone Age, was characterized by the adoption of agriculture, the so-called Neolithic Revolution, the development of pottery, polished stone tools and more complex, larger settlements such as Çatal Hüyük and Jericho. The first Neolithic cultures started around 7000 BC in the fertile crescent. Agriculture and the culture it led to spread to the Mediterranean, the Indus valley, China and Southeast Asia. Due to the increased need to harvest and process plants, ground stone and polished stone artifacts became much more widespread, including tools for grinding, cutting, and chopping. The first large-scale constructions were built, including settlement towers and walls, e.g., Jericho and ceremonial sites, eg: Stonehenge. These show that there was sufficient resources and co-operation to enable large groups to work on these projects. To what extent this was a basis for the development of elites and social hierarchies is a matter of on-going debate. Although some late Neolithic societies formed complex stratified chiefdoms similar to Polynesian societies such as the Ancient Hawaiians, most Neolithic societies were relatively simple and egalitarian though Neolithic cultures were noticeably more hierarchical than the Paleolithic cultures that preceded them and Hunter-gatherer cultures in general. The earliest evidence for established trade exists in the Neolithic with newly settled people importing exotic goods over distances of many hundreds of miles. The Ġgantija temples of Gozo in the Maltese archipelago are the oldest surviving free standing structures in the world, erected c. 3600-2500 BC. Skara Brae located on Orkney island off Scotland is one of Europe's best examples of a Neolithic village. The community contains stone beds, shelves and even an indoor toilet linked to a stream.The Aztec and Inca empires came into existence during this particular time. Petroglyphs were developed during this period.
The dwellings of the Neolithic period were generally small timber-framed, uni-cellular, single-family houses, or large longhouses for extended and multiple families. Dry-stone multi-cellular houses were also built. Between 4500 – 1500BC, there originated a widespread practice of burial in Megalithic collective tombs, particularly in Western Europe, as far as Scandinavia and the Mediterranean. These are of two types, passage and gallery graves. They differed from region to another in their purpose, plans, and methods of construction. Temples from this period (Ggantija and Hal Tarxien, Malta) represent some of the earliest European buildings with a specific function. They were formally planned with trilithion entrance passages. The structure consisted of megalithic stone-faced earthen walls.
The principal form of construction is known as megalithic (megas-lithos, Gk. great stone). Huge stone blocks were assembled without mortar in basic structural configurations that are still used today. Sometimes blocks were set-up merely to rest against each other. More important is the post-and-lintel (or trabeated construction) in which a horizontal beam rests on vertical uprights. This is the single most important structural device used in architecture.Megalithic structures may be of two categories, • Tombs Apart from the hypogea, or rock-cut caves, they are of three basic arrangements; • Chamber tomb (a single stone roof supported by two or more uprights) • Passage grave (a rectangular or polygonal chamber with an entrance passage, generally used for collective burials) • Gallery grave (an elongated, rectangular grave that was sometimes sub-divided further, without an entrance passage). All varieties were covered by a circular or oval mound of earth, often fortified with retaining walls of stone. • Non-sepulchral single uprights Usually standing alone (menhirs) or in composite, circular groups (cromlechs or henge monuments).
By 8000 B.C. people began to to grow wheat, barley and peas instead of gathering them wild. By 7000 B.C. they domesticated sheep , pigs and goats. By 6000 B.C. they also domesticated cattle. By 5000 B.C. farming has started in China And In Indus Valley Civilization. By 4000 B.C. people used oxen to plough and even wagons. Donkey was also used. Also by 5000 B.C. they learnt to dig canals to bring water from rivers to their crops. As a result they began to farm the arid land between the Tigris And Euphrates. This area came to be known as Mesopotamia. People began to lived in settled communities instead of being Nomadic, when food supply improved . New skills were developed example, making pottery using metals. Finally they invented writing. Pottery was 1 st made in the middle-east and South Africa about 7000 B.C. Also around the same time horses were domesticated in the steppes of Eurasia.
Stonehenge is surely Britain's greatest national icon, symbolizing mystery, power and endurance. Its original purpose is unclear to us, but some have speculated that it was a temple made for the worship of ancient earth deities. It has been called an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the prehistoric calendar. Others claim that it was a sacred site for the burial of high-ranking citizens from the societies of long ago. While we can't say with any degree of certainty what it was for, we can say that it wasn't constructed for any casual purpose. Only something very important to the ancients would have been worth the effort and investment that it took to construct Stonehenge. The stones we see today represent Stonehenge in ruin. Many of the original stones have fallen or been removed by previous generations for home construction or road repair. There has been serious damage to some of the smaller bluestones resulting from close visitor contact (prohibited since 1978) and the prehistoric carvings on the larger sarsen stones show signs of significant wear. It consists of the ring of enormous stones built in stages beginning 5000 yrs ago. Built And re-built over a 1500 yrs period Construction started around 3100 B.C. when the outer ditch and banks were built. An inner circle of granite stones called bluestones from their organic covering ( colouring). Inner part was erected 1000 yrs later. Stones weighed up to 4 tons each and were brought from the preseli mountains in the southern Wales, nearly 250 miles away. Around 1500 B.C. the huge stones which make Stonehenge instantly recognizable were dragged to the site erected in a circle and topped by equally massive lintel to make the sarsen (the type of sandstone) trilithons.
Carnac Stones , France
Carnac (Breton: Karnag) is a commune beside the Gulf of Morbihan on the south coast of Brittany in the Morbihan department in north-western France. Its inhabitants are called Carnacois. Carnac is renowned for the Carnac stones – one of the most extensive Neolithic menhir collections in the world – as well as its beaches, which are popular with tourists.
Carnac is famous as the site of more than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones. The stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin (Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle). The Carnac stones were erected during the Neolithic period which lasted from around 4500 BC until 2000 BC. The precise date of the stones is difficult to ascertain as little dateable material has been found beneath them, but the site's main phase of activity is commonly attributed to c. 3300 BC. One interpretation of the site is that successive generations visited the site to erect a stone in honour of their ancestors.
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