- Paleolithic Age (50,000 B.C. – 10,000 B.C.)
- Sahara Desert
- Algeria Region, North Africa
- Specimen measures approx. 2″ long and will come in the 3.25″ x 4.25″ Riker Mount with Label as Shown
The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic is a period in human prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone tools that covers c. 95% of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene c. 11,650 cal BP.
The Paleolithic is followed in Europe by the Mesolithic, although the date of the transition varies geographically by several thousand years.
During the Paleolithic, hominins grouped together in small societies such as bands, and subsisted by gathering plants and fishing, hunting or scavenging 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, due to their nature, these have not been preserved to any great degree.
About 50,000 years ago, there was a marked increase in the diversity of artifacts. In Africa, bone artifacts and the first art appear in the archaeological record. The first evidence of human fishing is also noted, from artifacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa. Archaeologists classify artifacts of the last 50,000 years into many different categories, such as projectile points, engraving tools, knife blades, and drilling and piercing tools.