A broad prehistoric period during which stone was used to make tools and weapons and is synonymous with Stone Age. During the paleolithic, hunting and gathering (foraging) was the primary subsistence method. The period ended with a flourishing of culture, not only in the manufacture of new stone (and bone tools) and other innovations (such spear thrower, bow and arrow, eyed needle, fishing implements), but also the development of splendid cave art paintings and engravings. Subdivisions:

  • Lower Paleolithic: ~3.4 mya - 300 kya.
  • Middle Paleolithic: Consists of use of prepared cores (i.e. Levallois Technique) and hafted tools and weapons. ~300 - 30 kya.
  • Upper Paleolithic: Coincides with behavioral modernity and predates the advent of agriculture. Artifacts include finely crafted stone blades and bone and antler tools, such as harpoons and needles. ~50 - 10 kya.