Paleolithic vs. Neolithic

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The Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages were both part of the Stone Age. The Paleolithic Age is considered the “Old Stone Age” while the Neolithic Age is the “New Stone Age.” During the Paleolithic era, humans had more of a nomadic lifestyle and tended to move with the herds. They used animal skins as clothing and chipped stones or animal bones as tools. Their main focus was to find food by hunting animals and gathering what they could from plants growing in the area.

The Neolithic Age gave way to a much more complex culture and way of life. They began to build houses and developed communities. They watched the life cycles of different plants and began to grow and harvest various food sources. The domestication of animals for food also took place during this time, making it possible for humans to remain in one area for a longer period of time. The advancement of tools also made day-to-day life a little easier. Copper could be heated and transformed into agricultural tools while pottery made the cooking and transportation of food a simpler process.

Primary sources of evidence are those that come directly from the time being studied. For instance, the tools used by both the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages. The Paleolithic people would have left behind rudimentary tools, such as chipped stones, wood, and animal bones. From the Neolithic era we might find copper tools, stones that have been polished to a point, and pottery used for cooking. We also know that Paleolithic humans moved from place to place and would dwell in caves where they made their infamous cave paintings. The Neolithic era may leave behind decorated clay vessels, bones turned into figurines, or even etchings into stone made with their more advanced tools.
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