The Stone Age was a time thousands of years ago, when early humans lived in caves and jungles. Life was simple, and there were only two main things to do – to protect themselves from the wild animals and to gather food. It started almost with the evolution of mankind.
For both purposes, people made tools from stone. The oldest stone tool that we have as an evidence is almost 3.4 million years old . It was found in Lower Awash Valley in Ethiopia. Stones were also used to make fire. And since in those times humans used stone for almost everything they did, we call it The Stone Age. The Stone Age ended somewhere in between 6000 BC to 2500 BC; around this time stone tools got replaced by tools made of copper.
In the early years of the Stone Age, humans used stones besides wood and bone tools for chopping tasks (these were the choppers). Later, they learnt to develop a special kind of sharp stone called flint – which was used to cut and chip things quickly. As the humans became smarter they started to make even more complex tools than before. The flints were probably used as barbs on arrows, spears and other composite tools.
The Stone Age people just ate animals and plants. They wrapped themselves in animal fur and sat around fire to keep warm. Stone Age people could communicate with written symbols. All their words and ideas were expressed in symbols. They were talented artists.
The Stone Age went on for a long time. Obviously in the beginning of the Stone Age rock shelters were the way to go. Any signs of trouble and the humans would go hiding in the caves. In India, the Bhimbetka rock shelters show the earliest signs of human life in the region. They are almost 30,000 years old. Some researchers have discovered Stone Age art in European caves. The inside walls of the cave are adorned with paintings of animals like horses, deer, and mammoths !
With time the stone age humans moved out of their rock shelters and needed to live near water sources. An early settlement near the banks river Danube in Serbia called Lepenski Vir is a village like settlement with a lot of sculptures carved out of stones and cobbles. This was the time when for the first time humans kept dogs as pets. Wow! dogs have been our best friends for a long time then.
The last stage of Stone Age was when people discovered farming and life became more systematic. Pots and pans were made out of clay. Large scale buildings were built. Stone walls and straw roof were common. Stonehenge is a wonderful example of that time.
Now, let us see if you can guess the name of a very popular cartoon which is about Stone Age men and how they lived?