An oceanic climate known as a marine climate or maritime climate, is the Köppen classification of climate typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, features mild summers and mild winters, with a narrow annual temperature range and few extremes of temperature, with the exception for transitional areas to continental and highland climates. Oceanic climates are defined as having a monthly mean temperature below 22 °C in the warmest month, above 0 °C in the coldest month, it lacks a dry season, as precipitation is more evenly dispersed throughout the year. It is the predominant climate type across much of Western Europe including the United Kingdom, the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada, portions of central Mexico, southwestern South America, southeastern Australia including Tasmania, New Zealand, as well as isolated locations elsewhere. Oceanic climates are characterised by a narrower annual range of temperatures than in other places at a comparable latitude, do not have the dry summers of Mediterranean climates or the hot summers of humid subtropical.
Oceanic climates are most dominant in Europe, where they spread much farther inland than in other continents. Oceanic climates can have considerable storm activity as they are located in the belt of the stormy westerlies. Many oceanic climates have frequent cloudy or overcast conditions due to the near constant storms and lows tracking over or near them; the annual range of temperatures is smaller than typical climates at these latitudes due to the constant stable marine air masses that pass through oceanic climates, which lack both warm and cool fronts. Locations with oceanic climates tend to feature cloudy conditions with precipitation, though it can experience clear, sunny days. London is an example of an oceanic climate, it experiences constant precipitation throughout the entire year. Despite this, thunderstorms are quite rare since hot and cold air masses meet infrequently in the region. In most areas with an oceanic climate, precipitation comes in the form of rain for the majority of the year.
However, some areas with this climate see some snowfall annually during winter. Most oceanic climate zones, or at least a part of them, experience at least one snowfall per year. In the poleward locations of the oceanic climate zone, snowfall is more commonplace. Overall temperature characteristics of the oceanic climates feature cool temperatures and infrequent extremes of temperature. In the Köppen climate classification, Oceanic climates have a mean temperature of 0 °C or higher in the coldest month, compared to continental climates where the coldest month has a mean temperature of below 0 °C. Summers are cool, with the warmest month having a mean temperature below 22 °C. Poleward of the latter is a zone of the aforementioned subpolar oceanic climate, with long but mild winters and cool and short summers. Examples of this climate include parts of coastal Iceland, Norway, the Scottish Highlands, the mountains of Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii in Canada, in the Northern Hemisphere and extreme southern Chile and Argentina in the Southern Hemisphere, the Tasmanian Central Highlands, parts of New Zealand.
Oceanic climates are not always found in coastal locations on the aforementioned parallels. The polar jet stream, which moves in a west to east direction across the middle latitudes, advances low pressure systems and fronts. In coastal areas of the higher middle latitudes, the prevailing onshore flow creates the basic structure of most oceanic climates. Oceanic climates are a reflection of the ocean adjacent to them. In the fall and early spring, when the polar jet stream is most active, the frequent passing of marine weather systems creates the frequent fog, cloudy skies, light drizzle associated with oceanic climates. In summer, high pressure pushes the prevailing westerlies north of many oceanic climates creating a drier summer climate; the North Atlantic Gulf Stream, a tropical oceanic current that passes north of the Caribbean and up the East Coast of the United States to North Carolina heads east-northeast to the Azores, is thought to modify the climate of Northwest Europe. As a result of the Gulf Stream, west-coast areas located in high latitudes like Ireland, the UK, Norway have much milder winters than would otherwise be the case.
The lowland attributes of western Europe help drive marine air masses into continental areas, enabling cities such as Dresden and Vienna to have maritime climates in spite of being located well inland from the ocean. Oceanic climates in Europe occur in Northwest Europe, from Ireland and Great Britain eastward to central Europe. Most of France, the Netherlands, Germany, the north coast of Spain, the western Azores off the coast of Portugal, the south of Kosovo and southern portions of Sweden have oceanic climates. Examples of oceanic climates are found in Glasgow, Bergen, Dublin, Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastian, Bayonne, Züri
Loess is a clastic, predominantly silt-sized sediment, formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust. Ten percent of the Earth's land area is covered by similar deposits. Loess is an aeolian sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown silt in the 20–50 micrometer size range, twenty percent or less clay and the balance equal parts sand and silt that are loosely cemented by calcium carbonate, it is homogeneous and porous and is traversed by vertical capillaries that permit the sediment to fracture and form vertical bluffs. The word loess, with connotations of origin by wind-deposited accumulation, came into English from German Löss, which can be traced back to Swiss German and is cognate with the English word loose and the German word los, it was first applied to Rhine River valley loess about 1821. Loess is homogeneous, friable, pale yellow or buff coherent non-stratified and calcareous. Loess grains are angular with little polishing or rounding and composed of crystals of quartz, feldspar and other minerals.
Loess can be described as a dust-like soil. Loess deposits may become thick, more than a hundred meters in areas of China and tens of meters in parts of the Midwestern United States, it occurs as a blanket deposit that covers areas of hundreds of square kilometers and tens of meters thick. Loess stands in either steep or vertical faces; because the grains are angular, loess will stand in banks for many years without slumping. This soil has a characteristic called vertical cleavage which makes it excavated to form cave dwellings, a popular method of making human habitations in some parts of China. Loess will erode readily. In several areas of the world, loess ridges have formed that are aligned with the prevailing winds during the last glacial maximum; these are called "paha ridges" in "greda ridges" in Europe. The form of these loess dunes has been explained by a combination of tundra conditions. Loess comes from the German Löss or Löß, from Alemannic lösch meaning drop as named by peasants and masons along the Rhine Valley.
The term "Löß" was first described in Central Europe by Karl Cäsar von Leonhard who reported yellowish brown, silty deposits along the Rhine valley near Heidelberg. Charles Lyell brought this term into widespread usage by observing similarities between loess and loess derivatives along the loess bluffs in the Rhine and Mississippi. At that time it was thought that the yellowish brown silt-rich sediment was of fluvial origin being deposited by the large rivers, it wasn't until the end of the 19th century that the aeolian origin of loess was recognized the convincing observations of loess in China by Ferdinand von Richthofen. A tremendous number of papers have been published since focusing on the formation of loess and on loess/palaeosol sequences as archives of climate and environment change; these water conservation works were carried out extensively in China and the research of Loess in China has been continued since 1954. Much effort was put into the setting up of regional and local loess stratigraphies and their correlation.
But the chronostratigraphical position of the last interglacial soil correlating to marine isotope substage 5e has been a matter of debate, owing to the lack of robust and reliable numerical dating, as summarized for example in Zöller et al. and Frechen, Horváth & Gábris for the Austrian and Hungarian loess stratigraphy, respectively. Since the 1980s, thermoluminescence, optically stimulated luminescence and infrared stimulated luminescence dating are available providing the possibility for dating the time of loess deposition, i.e. the time elapsed since the last exposure of the mineral grains to daylight. During the past decade, luminescence dating has improved by new methodological improvements the development of single aliquot regenerative protocols resulting in reliable ages with an accuracy of up to 5 and 10% for the last glacial record. More luminescence dating has become a robust dating technique for penultimate and antepenultimate glacial loess allowing for a reliable correlation of loess/palaeosol sequences for at least the last two interglacial/glacial cycles throughout Europe and the Northern Hemisphere.
Furthermore, the numerical dating provides the basis for quantitative loess research applying more sophisticated methods to determine and understand high-resolution proxy data, such as the palaeodust content of the atmosphere, variations of the atmospheric circulation patterns and wind systems, palaeoprecipitation and palaeotemperature. According to Pye, four fundamental requirements are necessary for the formation of loess: a dust source, adequate wind energy to transport the dust, a suitable accumulation area, a sufficient amount of time. Periglacial loess is derived from the floodplains of glacial braided rivers that carried large volumes of glacial meltwater and sediments from the annual melting of continental icesheets and mountain icecaps during the spring and summer. During the autumn and winter, when melting of the icesheets and icecaps ceased, the flow of meltwater down these rivers either ceased or was reduced; as a consequence, large parts of the submerged and unvegetated floodplains of these braided rivers dried out and were exposed to the wind.
Because these floodplains consist of sediment containing a high content of glacial
Brown earth is a type of soil. Brown earths are located between 35° and 55° north of the Equator; the largest expanses cover western and central Europe, large areas of western and trans-Uralian Russia, the east coast of America and eastern Asia. Here, areas of brown earth soil types are found in Japan, China, eastern Australia and New Zealand. Brown earths cover 45 % of the land in Wales, they are common in lowland areas on permeable parent material. The most common vegetation types are deciduous grassland. Due to the reasonable natural fertility of brown earths, large tracts of deciduous woodland have been cut down and the land is now used for farming, they are located in regions with a humid temperate climate. Rainfall totals are moderate below 76 cm per year, temperatures range from 4 °C in the winter to 18 °C in the summer, they are well-drained fertile soils with a pH of between 5.0 and 6.5. They have three horizons: the A, B and C horizon. Horizon A is a brownish colour, over 20 cm in depth.
It is composed of mineral matter. It is biologically active with many soil organisms and plant roots mixing the mull humus with mineral particles; as a result, the boundary between the A and B horizons can be ill-defined in unploughed examples. Horizon B is composed of mineral matter, weathered from the parent material, but it contains inclusions of more organic material carried in by organisms earthworms, it is lighter in colour than the A horizon, is weakly illuviated. Due to limited leaching only the more soluble bases are moved down through the profile. Horizon C is made up of the parent material, permeable and non- or acidic, for example clay loam. Brown Earths are important, because they are permeable and easy to work throughout the year, so they are valued for agriculture, they support a much wider range of forest trees than can be found on wetter land. They are drained soils with well-developed A and B horizons, they develop over permeable bedrock of some kind, but are found over unconsolidated parent materials like river gravels.
Some soil classifications include well-drained alluvial soils in the brown earths too. The Brown Earths have dark brown topsoils with loamy particle size-classes and good structure – under grassland; the B horizon lacks the grey mottles characteristic of gley soils. The rich colour is the result of iron compounds complex oxides which, like rust, have a reddish-brown colour; some of these soils are, in fact, red. For example, in the UK reddish brown earths occur on the Old Red Sandstone and the New Red Sandstone, are red because the rocks from which they formed are derived from oxidised deposits that were laid down under desert conditions millions of years ago. In long-cultivated soils the pH in the topsoil tends to be higher than in the subsoil as a result of the addition of lime over the years. In general, the wetter the climate, the more acidic the soils; this is. Of course, the parent material has an effect, hard acidic rocks give rise to more acidic soils than do the softer sandstones; the landscapes where these lowland soils occur are undulating, interesting variations in the profiles relate to the slopes where they are found.
We think of soils as static and unchanging, but in fact they are never stationary. The processes of weathering and plant growth that were responsible for the formation of soils from bare parent materials in the first place are still going on; this is most seen on a hill slope. The top of the hill is convex, it is here that most erosion is taking place – upper slopes and summits are more exposed to wind, rain, gravity is but moving the topsoil down the hill, thus soils on the brow of the hill tend to be shallower than those in mid-slope positions, where soil is moving down, but being replaced by material from above. At the base of the slope we find a concave area where the eroded soil has accumulated. Here the topsoils will be thicker than elsewhere. A brown earth soil is affected by several different factors; these include: climate, soil drainage, parent material and the soil biota that live in the soil itself. Brown earths have a long history of being a major grouping in most soil classifications.
In France they have been included with "sol brun acide", although these soils may tend to have more iron and aluminium in the B horizon, tend to what, in the British classification, is called a brown podzolic soil. Brown earths are classified in the German and Austrian soil taxonomy as "Braunerde." Braunerden are widespread and occur on unconsolidated parent sand or loess parent materials. "Parabraunerde" is the classification for a brown earth with an eluvial horizon above a argillic, clayey illuvial horizon. This gives rise to a universal division of these brown and well drained soils into the weakly leached brown earths - called cambisols in the international World Reference Base for Soil Resources; these are called Umbrisols in the WRB, are common in western Europe, covering large areas in NW Spain. Further east in Europe, in more continental climates, the soils show greater leaching of clay and other minerals, are mapped as luvisols in the WRB; these are ra
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Continental climates have a significant annual variation in temperature. They tend to occur in the middle latitudes, where prevailing winds blow overland, temperatures are not moderated by bodies of water such as oceans or seas. Continental climates occur in the Northern Hemisphere, which has the kind of large landmasses on temperate latitudes required for this type of climate to develop. Most of northern and northeastern China and southeastern Europe and southeastern Canada, the central and upper eastern United States have this type of climate. In continental climates, precipitation tends to be moderate in amount, concentrated in the warmer months. Only a few areas—in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest of North America and in Iran, northern Iraq, adjacent Turkey, Afghanistan and Central Asia—show a winter maximum in precipitation. A portion of the annual precipitation falls as snowfall, snow remains on the ground for more than a month. Summers in continental climates can feature frequent hot temperatures.
The timing of intermediate spring-like or autumn-like temperatures in this zone vary depending on latitude and/or elevation. For example, spring may arrive as soon as early March in the southern parts of this zone or as late as May in the north. Annual precipitation in this zone is between 600 millimetres and 1,200 millimetres, most of it in the form of snow during winter, it has cold winters and warm summers. Most such areas fit Dwb. Dry summer continental climates exist in high altitude areas near Mediterranean climates. In some cases, the semi-arid climate classification of BSk can be considered to be continental as long as it has cold winters; the definition of this climate regarding temperature is as follows: the mean temperature of the coldest month must be below −3 °C and there must be at least four months whose mean temperatures are at or above 10 °C. Continental climates exist where cold air masses infiltrate during the winter and warm air masses form in summer under conditions of high sun and long days.
Places with continental climates are as a rule are either far from any moderating effect of oceans or are so situated that prevailing winds tend to head offshore. Such regions get quite warm in the summer, achieving temperatures characteristic of tropical climates but are colder than any other climates of similar latitude in the winter. In the Koppen climate system, these climates grade off toward temperate climates equator-ward where winters are less severe and semi-arid climates where precipitation becomes inadequate for tall-grass prairies. In Europe these climates may grade off into oceanic climates in which the influence of cool oceanic air masses is more marked toward the west; the subarctic climate, with cold and dry winters, but with at least one month above 10 °C, might be considered a sub-type of the continental climate. Canada: throughout much of Southern Canada from the Rocky Mountains to Atlantic Canada. Major cities: Whistler. Marie. While there are no major cities in South America that fall in to the classification of a continental climate, there are some remote places that have this climate.
Due to the influence of the Ocean, including cities such as Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, have an average winter temperature above 0°C, so are classified as an oceanic climate. Argentina: Moderately high elevations in the central Andes west of Mendoza, Argentina towards the Argentine Patagonia's internal areas (e.g.
North German Plain
The North German Plain or Northern Lowland is one of the major geographical regions of Germany. It is the German part of the North European Plain; the region is bounded by the coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the north and Germany's Central Uplands to the south. In the west, the southern boundary of the North German Plain is formed by the Lower Saxon Hills: the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest, the Wiehen Hills, the Weser Hills and the Lower Saxon Börde, which separate it from that area of the Plain known as the Westphalian Lowland. Elements of the Rhenish Massif act a part of the southern boundary of the plain: the Eifel, Bergisches Land and the Sauerland. In the east the North German Plain spreads out beyond the Harz Mountains and Kyffhäuser further to the south as far as the Central Saxon hill country and the foothills of the Ore Mountains, it is known that the North German Plain was formed during the Pleistocene era as a result of the various glacial advances of terrestrial Scandinavian ice sheets as well as by periglacial geomorphologic processes.
The terrain may be considered as part of the Old or Young Drift, depending on whether or not it was formed by the ice sheets of the last glacial period, the Weichselian Ice Age. The surface relief varies from level to undulating; the lowest points are low moorlands and old marshland on the edge of the ridge of dry land in the west of Schleswig-Holstein and in the north west of Lower Saxony. The highest points may be referred to as Vistula and Hall glaciation terminal moraines – e.g. on the Fläming Heath and the Helpt Hills. Following the ice ages, rain-fed, raised bogs originated in western and northern Lower Saxony during warm periods of high precipitation; these bogs were widespread but much of this terrain has now been drained or otherwise superseded. The coastal areas consist of Holocene lake and river marshes and lagoons connected to Pleistocene Old and Young Drift terrain in various stages of formation and weathering. After or during the retreat of the glaciers, wind-borne sand formed dunes, which were fixed by vegetation.
Human intervention caused the emergence of open heath such as the Lüneburg Heath, measures such as deforestation and the so-called Plaggenhieb caused a wide impoverishment of the soil. The most fertile soils are the Börde areas. High level bog peat can be found in e.g. in the Teufelsmoor. In the loess areas of the lowland are found the oldest settlement locations in Germany; the north eastern part of the plain is geomorphologically distinct and contains a multitude of lakes which are vestiges of the last ice age. The retreating glaciers left this landscape behind around 16,000 to 13,000 years ago. In comparison, the dry plains of northwestern Germany are more weathered and levelled as the last large scale glaciations here occurred at least 130,000 years ago; the region is drained by rivers that flow northwards into the Baltic. The Rhine, Weser and Havel are the most important rivers which drain the North German Lowlands into the North Sea and created woods in their flood plains and folds, e.g. the Spreewald.
Only a small area of the North German Plain falls within the catchment area of the Oder and Neiße rivers which drain into the Baltic. The North Sea coast and the adjacent coastal areas of the facing East and North Frisian Islands are characterised by a maritime climate. South of the coast, a broad band of maritime and sub-maritime climate stretches from the east coast of Schleswig-Holstein to the western edges of the Central Uplands. To the south east and east, the climate becomes subcontinental: characterised by temperature differences between summer and winter which progressively increase away from the tempering effect of the ocean. Locally, a drier continental climate can be found in the rain shadow of the Harz and some smaller areas of upland like the Drawehn and the Fläming. Special microclimates occur in bogs and heathlands and, for example, in the Altes Land near Hamburg, characterised by mild temperatures year round due to the proximity of the North Sea and lower Elbe river, providing excellent conditions for fruit production.
Azonal vegetation complexes of moors, riparian forests and water bodies stretched along the rivers Ems, Elbe and Spree. Distinctive salt marshes and tidal reed beds in the estuaries existed permanently in the tidal zone of the North Sea coast; the natural vegetation of the North German Plain is thought to have been forest formed by the dominant species European Beech. According to Germany's Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the BfN, the North German Plain consists of the natural regions listed below. Where possible, their names have been derived from authoritative English-language source, as indicated by the references. * D01 Mecklenburg Coastal Lowland * D02 Northeast Mecklenburg Lowland * D03 Mecklenburg Lake Plateau Hinterland * D04 Mecklenburg Lake Plateau * D05 North Brandenburg Plateaux and Upland * D06 East Brandenburg Plateau * D07 Oder Valley * D08 Lusatian Basin and Spreew
The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking. Stone Age artifacts include tools used by modern humans and by their predecessor species in the genus Homo, by the earlier contemporaneous genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus. Bone tools were used during this period as well but are preserved in the archaeological record; the Stone Age is further subdivided by the types of stone tools in use. The Stone Age is the first period in the three-age system of archaeology, which divides human technological prehistory into three periods: The Stone Age The Bronze Age The Iron Age The Stone Age is contemporaneous with the evolution of the genus Homo, the only exception being the early Stone Age, when species prior to Homo may have manufactured tools. According to the age and location of the current evidence, the cradle of the genus is the East African Rift System toward the north in Ethiopia, where it is bordered by grasslands.
The closest relative among the other living primates, the genus Pan, represents a branch that continued on in the deep forest, where the primates evolved. The rift served as a conduit for movement into southern Africa and north down the Nile into North Africa and through the continuation of the rift in the Levant to the vast grasslands of Asia. Starting from about 4 million years ago a single biome established itself from South Africa through the rift, North Africa, across Asia to modern China, called "transcontinental'savannahstan'" recently. Starting in the grasslands of the rift, Homo erectus, the predecessor of modern humans, found an ecological niche as a tool-maker and developed a dependence on it, becoming a "tool equipped savanna dweller"; the oldest indirect evidence found of stone tool use is fossilised animal bones with tool marks. Archaeological discoveries in Kenya in 2015, identifying the oldest known evidence of hominin use of tools to date, have indicated that Kenyanthropus platyops may have been the earliest tool-users known.
The oldest stone tools were excavated from the site of Lomekwi 3 in West Turkana, northwestern Kenya, date to 3.3 million years old. Prior to the discovery of these "Lomekwian" tools, the oldest known stone tools had been found at several sites at Gona, Ethiopia, on the sediments of the paleo-Awash River, which serve to date them. All the tools come from the Busidama Formation, which lies above a disconformity, or missing layer, which would have been from 2.9 to 2.7 mya. The oldest sites containing tools are dated to 2.6–2.55 mya. One of the most striking circumstances about these sites is that they are from the Late Pliocene, where previous to their discovery tools were thought to have evolved only in the Pleistocene. Excavators at the locality point out that: "...the earliest stone tool makers were skilled flintknappers.... The possible reasons behind this seeming abrupt transition from the absence of stone tools to the presence thereof include... gaps in the geological record."The species who made the Pliocene tools remains unknown.
Fragments of Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus aethiopicus and Homo Homo habilis, have been found in sites near the age of the Gona tools. In July 2018, scientists reported the discovery in China of the oldest stone tools outside Africa, estimated at 2.12 million years old. Innovation of the technique of smelting ore began the Bronze Age; the first most significant metal manufactured was bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, each of, smelted separately. The transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age was a period during which modern people could smelt copper, but did not yet manufacture bronze, a time known as the Copper Age, or more technically the Chalcolithic, "copper-stone" age; the Chalcolithic by convention is the initial period of the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age; the transition out of the Stone Age occurred between 6000 BCE and 2500 BCE for much of humanity living in North Africa and Eurasia. The first evidence of human metallurgy dates to between the 5th and 6th millennium BCE in the archaeological sites of Majdanpek and Pločnik in modern-day Serbia, though not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or "Copper Age", this provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy.
Note the Rudna Glava mine in Serbia. Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy from about 3300 BCE carried with him a flint knife. In regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Stone Age was followed directly by the Iron Age; the Middle East and southeastern Asian regions progressed past Stone Age technology around 6000 BCE. Europe, the rest of Asia became post-Stone Age societies by about 4000 BCE; the proto-Inca cultures of South America continued at a Stone Age level until around 2000 BCE, when gold and silver made their entrance. The Americas notably did not develop a widespread behavior of smelting Bronze or Iron after the Stone Age period, although the technology existed. Stone tool manufacture continued after the Stone Age ended in a given area. In Europe and North America, millstones were in use until well into the 20th century, still are in many parts of the world; the terms "Stone Age", "Bronze Age", "Iron Age" were never meant to suggest that advancement and time periods in prehistory are only measured by the type of tool material, rather than, for