The Paleolithic age
The Paleolithic age is a period also termed as the Old Stone Age which began more than 2,000,000 years back. This people moved around searching and gathering food, and also hunting animals. They were called nomads and found in small numbers as many of them died of injury, disease, lack of food and hunger at a very early age. They were reasonably intelligent and to make life easier they used simple tools and used sticks, bones, stones, etc to create weapons for defense and hunting.
As compared to the modern man, the Paleolithic age man was powerfully built, had brow ridges that were quite thick and had distinct facial features. During the Ice Age period they inhabited Europe and survived in most harsh climatic conditions due to which they developed muscular and stout body frames. Babbles and grunts like that of a baby were used for communication purposes.
Way Of Life
They discovered fire and used it for providing warmth, light and cooking purposes. Animals were hunted down and almost every part of the animal was used for food, making clothing with the skin and making weapons and tools with the bones. Bones were used to make pins for sewing clothing made from animal skin. The Paleolithic man did not know farming or methods of growing of crops. They gathered and lived in small groups, dwelled in caves, beneath overhanging huge rocks and in rocky regions.
They would also make primitive shelters by using wood and skin. Women played the important role of gatherers for berries and nuts and carrying on life while the men hunted for food.
Animism was their religious belief in which they believe that spirits existed in all living beings. Special care was taken to bury the dead as they believed that life existed even after death. They would bury the dead along with weapons, flowers, tools and food. In the earlier societies, there were little tribes led by leaders where the eldest person ruled the tribe till his death. After his death, the next oldest person would rule the tribe.
It was during this period that the Paleolithic man started believing that there was a mightier power and another world. He slowly started developing technically and socially after the harsh life conditions of the glacial age. From the primitive man or Homo Neanderthal, he became Homo Sapiens, the modern man, during the last phases of the Paleolithic period itself. He started making various tools to make other tools.
He made figurines, low reliefs, paintings and works of art on the cave walls, which marked his intellectual beginning. His first aesthetic concern is demonstrated in the making of ornate objects using shells, teeth and animal bones. They also began switching over to a marine diet which included shellfish instead of just animal meat. They moved towards the coasts of Australia, Indonesia and India about 65000 years ago as indicated by researchers.
At a distance of 30 km on the northwest region of Anatolia which was inhabited is seen the Karian Cave where one gets to see art works of the Lower, Middle and Upper Phases of the Paleolithic Age besides unburned and burned bone and animal fossils, teeth and bone remains, movable types of art objects and tools made from bone and stone.
This period can be termed as a transition period for humans to the New Stone Age from the Old Stone Age. People had begun storing food for future consumption, animals were domesticated, especially dogs. As of now people are able to learn more about them since they left cave paintings behind which help in understanding religious beliefs and lives of the Paleolithic people.