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
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is dark grey, green, white or brown in colour, has a glassy or waxy appearance. A thin layer on the outside of the nodules is different in colour white and rough in texture. From a petrological point of view, "flint" refers to the form of chert which occurs in chalk or marly limestone. "common chert" occurs in limestone. Flint is durable and can be found along streams and beaches, its use to make stone tools dates back millions of years. Due to some properties of flint it breaks into sharp edged pieces making it useful for knife blades and other sharp tools. During the Stone Age access to flint was so important for survival that people would travel or trade to obtain flint. Flint Ridge in eastern Ohio was an important source of flint and Native Americans extracted the flint from hundreds of quarries along the ridge.
This "Ohio Flint" was traded across the eastern United States and has been found as far west as the Rocky Mountains and south around the Gulf of Mexico. The exact mode of formation of flint is not yet clear, but it is thought that it occurs as a result of chemical changes in compressed sedimentary rock formations, during the process of diagenesis. One hypothesis is that a gelatinous material fills cavities in the sediment, such as holes bored by crustaceans or molluscs and that this becomes silicified; this hypothesis explains the complex shapes of flint nodules that are found. The source of dissolved silica in the porous media could be the spicules of silicious sponges. Certain types of flint, such as that from the south coast of England, contain trapped fossilised marine flora. Pieces of coral and vegetation have been found preserved like amber inside the flint. Thin slices of the stone reveal this effect. Puzzling giant flint formations known as paramoudra and flint circles are found around Europe but in Norfolk, England on the beaches at Beeston Bump and West Runton.
Flint sometimes occurs in large flint fields for example, in Europe. The "Ohio flint" is the official gemstone of Ohio state, it is formed from limey debris, deposited at the bottom of inland Paleozoic seas hundreds of millions of years ago that hardened into limestone and became infused with silica. The flint from Flint Ridge is found in many hues like red, pink, blue and gray, with the color variations caused by minute impurities of iron compounds. Flint was used in the manufacture of tools during the Stone Age as it splits into thin, sharp splinters called flakes or blades when struck by another hard object; this process is referred to as knapping. The process of making tools this way is called "flintknapping". In Europe, some of the best toolmaking flint has come from Belgium, the coastal chalks of the English Channel, the Paris Basin, Thy in Jutland, the Sennonian deposits of Rügen, Grimes Graves in England, the Upper Cretaceous chalk formation of Dobruja and the lower Danube, the Cenomanian chalky marl formation of the Moldavian Plateau and the Jurassic deposits of the Kraków area and Krzemionki in Poland, as well as of the Lägern in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland.
Flint mining became more common since the Neolithic. In 1938, a project of the Ohio Historical Society, under the leadership of H. Holmes Ellis began to study the flintknapping "methods and techniques" of Native Americans. Like past studies, this work involved experimenting with actual flintknapping techniques by creation of stone tools through the use of techniques like direct freehand percussion, freehand pressure and pressure using a rest. Other scholars who have conducted similar experiments and studies include William Henry Holmes, Alonzo W. Pond, Sir Francis H. S. Knowles and Don Crabtree; when struck against steel, a flint edge produces. The hard flint edge shaves off a particle of the steel that exposes iron, which reacts with oxygen from the atmosphere and can ignite the proper tinder. Prior to the wide availability of steel, rocks of pyrite would be used along with the flint, in a similar way; these methods are popular in woodcraft and amongst people practising traditional fire-starting skills.
A major use of flint and steel was in the flintlock mechanism, used in flintlock firearms, but used on dedicated fire-starting tools. A piece of flint held in the jaws of a spring-loaded hammer, when released by a trigger, strikes a hinged piece of steel at an angle, creating a shower of sparks and exposing a charge of priming powder; the sparks ignite the priming powder and that flame, in turn, ignites the main charge, propelling the ball, bullet, or shot through the barrel. While the military use of the flintlock declined after the adoption of the percussion cap from the 1840s onward, flintlock rifles and shotguns remain in use amongst recreational shooters. Flint and steel used to strike sparks were superseded by ferrocerium; this man-made material, when scraped with any hard, sharp edge, produces sparks that are much hotter than obtained with natural flint and steel, allowing use of a wider range of tinders. Because it can produce sparks when wet and can start fires
In archaeological terms, a projectile point is an object, hafted to weapon, capable of being thrown or projected, such as a spear, dart, or arrow, or used as a knife. They are thus different from weapons presumed to have been kept in the hand, such as axes and maces, the stone mace or axe-heads attached to them. Stone tools, including projectile points, can survive for long periods, were lost or discarded, are plentiful at archaeological sites, providing useful clues to the human past, including prehistoric trade. A distinctive form of point, identified though lithic analysis of the way it was made, is a key diagnostic factor in identifying an archaeological industry or culture. Scientific techniques exist to track the specific kinds of rock or minerals that used to make stone tools in various regions back to their original sources; as well as stone, projectile points were made of worked bone, antler or ivory. In regions where metallurgy emerged, projectile points were made from copper, bronze, or iron, though the change was by no means immediate.
In North America, some late prehistoric points were fashioned from copper, mined in the Lake Superior region and elsewhere. A large variety of prehistoric arrowheads, dart points, spear points have been discovered. Flint, obsidian and many other rocks and minerals were used to make points in North America; the oldest projectile points found in North America were long thought to date from about 13,000 years ago, during the Paleo-Indian period, however recent evidence suggests that North American projectile points may date to as old as 15,500 years. Some of the more famous Paleo-Indian types include Clovis and Dalton points. Projectile points fall into two general types: dart/spear points, arrow points. Larger points were used to atlatl darts. Arrow points are smaller and lighter than dart points, were used to tip arrows; the question of how to distinguish an arrow point from a point used on a larger projectile is non-trivial. According to some investigators, the best indication is the width of the hafting area, thought to correlate to the width of the shaft.
An alternative approach is to distinguish arrow points by their smaller size. Projectile points come in an amazing variety of shapes and styles, which vary according to chronological periods, cultural identities, intended functions. Typological studies of projectile points have become more elaborate through the years. For instance, Gregory Perino began his categorical study of projectile point typology in the late 1950s. Collaborating with Robert Bell, he published a set of four volumes defining the known point types of that time. Perino followed this several years with a three-volume study of "Selected Preforms and Knives of the North American Indians". Another recent set of typological studies of North American projectile points has been produced by Noel Justice. Bare Island projectile point Cascade point Clovis point Cumberland point Eden point Folsom point Greene projectile point Jack's Reef pentagonal projectile point Lamoka projectile point Levanna projectile point Susquehanna broad projectile point Plano point Elf-arrows Levallois technique Lithic reduction
In archaeology a type site is a site, considered the model of a particular archaeological culture. For example, the type site of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A culture is Jericho, in the West Bank. A type site is often the eponym. For example, the type site of the pre-Celtic/Celtic Bronze Age Hallstatt culture is the lakeside village of Hallstatt, Austria. In geology the term is used for a site considered to be typical of a particular rock formation etc. A type site contains artifacts, in an assemblage. Type sites are the first or foundational site discovered about the culture they represent; the use of this term is therefore similar to that of the specimen type in biology or locus typicus in geology. A river terrace of the River Somme, of the Abbevillian culture Aurignac, of the Aurignacian culture Hallstatt, of the Hallstatt culture La Tène, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, of the La Tène culture Vinča, Serbia, of the Vinča culture Abri de la Madeleine, of the Magdalenian culture Le Moustier, of the Mousterian culture Saint Acheul, of the Acheulean culture Butmir, of the Butmir culture Tell Halaf, for the Halaf culture Tell Hassuna, for the Hassuna culture Jemdet Nasr, for the Jemdet Nasr period Tell al-'Ubaid, for the Ubaid period Uruk, for the Uruk period Uaxactun Dzibilchaltun Monte Alban Folsom, New Mexico, United States Clovis, New Mexico, United States: accepted as the type site for one of the earliest human cultures in the North America La Plata County, United States Barton Gulch of the Blackwater Draw Paleo-Indian culture Adena Mound, United States Borax Lake Site, for two of the earliest cultural traditions in California: the Post Pattern and Borax Lake Pattern.
New Caledonia, of the Lapita culture. Kot Diji Harappa Banpo Liangzhu Town, near Hangzhou Songguk-ri Suemura cluster of kilns--Kilns of Sue warew:ja:須恵器 Sanage cluster of kilns—Kilns of Green Glazed Warew:ja:緑釉陶器 and Ash Glazed Warew:ja:灰釉陶器
The Atapuerca Mountains is a karstic hill formation near the village of Atapuerca, in the Province of Burgos, northern Spain. In a still ongoing excavation campaign, rich fossil deposits and stone tool assemblages were discovered which are attributed to the earliest known hominin residents in Western Europe; this "exceptional reserve of data" has been deposited during extensive Lower Paleolithic presence, as the Atapuerca Mountains served as the preferred occupation site of Homo erectus, Homo antecessor, Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis communities. The earliest specimen so far unearthed and reliably dated confirm an age between 1.2 Million and 630,000 years. Some finds are exhibited in Burgos; the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, under the name, Archaeological Site of Atapuerca. Encompassing 284,119 ha or over 1000 square miles, the Atapuerca Mountains are a mid-altitude karstic range of small foothills around 1,080 m above sea level, they are located at the north-east corner of the Douro basin, to the south of the Cantabrian Mountains that run across northern Spain, stretch alongside the Bureba corridor, a mountain pass that connects the Ebro river valley with the Mediterranean Sea and the Duero basin.
This conjunction constitutes an ecotone, rich in species of both ecosystems. The mountain pass was part of a causeway built by the Romans, as well as part of the pilgrimage route of Saint James; the mountains are strategically located between two major drainage divides and near the mountain pass. In 2008 scholars identified a new genus and species of red-toothed shrew from the Pleistocene layers of the Gran Dolina cave; until this discovery, researchers had believed that the fossils found in this area were of the Beremendia fissidens type, but recent research has been published to support an Asiatic type called Dolinasorex glyphodon that might be endemic and is the earliest known type of soricid in the Iberian peninsula. The archaeological significance of the area became apparent during the construction of a railway line as deep trenches were cut through the rocks and sediments of the Gran Dolina site, the Galería Elefante and at Sima de los Huesos; the subsequent excavation of 1964 under the direction of Francisco Jordá Cerdá succeeded with the discovery of anthropogenic artifacts and human fossils from a broad time range of early humans, hunter-gatherer groups to Bronze Age occupants and modern human settlers.
Further campaigns expanded and interdisciplinary work has been undertaken by several teams, led by Emiliano Aguirre from 1978 to 1990 and jointly by Eudald Carbonell, José María Bermúdez de Castro and Juan Luis Arsuaga. The government of Castile and León has designated the site an Espacio cultural and under the title Zona Arqueológica sierra de Atapuerca the site is protected under Spanish law as it was induced into the Bien de Interés Cultural heritage register; the combined work of archaeologists Jesús Carballo, Geoffrey Clark, José María Apellániz and the current team of Juan Luis Arsuaga account for the documentation of the excavation sequence of ceramic objects from all relevant sediment layers since the Neolithic. The Galería de la Eduarda y el Kolora is a local cave that contains parietal rock paintings, only discovered in 1972 by a group of local speleologists. Among numerous faunal and floral fossils a jaw fragment was found during the 1970s and a skull fragment in 1995, which both belong to Homo heidelbergensis.
They date to between 600,000 and 400,000 years BP. The Gran Dolina site is a huge cavern, being excavated since September 1981, its sediments were divided into eleven stratae TD-11: Mousterian tools found Level TD-10 presumed to have been a Homo heidelbergensis camp with tools and bison fossils. Level TD-8, accessible since 1994, it contained remarkable carnivore fossils. In level TD-7, a bovine leg in anatomical position was recovered in 1994 TD-6: In 1994 and 1995, over 80 bone fragments of five or six hominids found, between 850,000 and 780,000 years old, being at least 250,000 years older than any other hominid yet discovered in western Europe. About 25 % of the bones have manipulation marks. Classification of these remains is still being debated, suggestions range from Homo erectus to Homo heidelbergensis and Homo antecessor; some researchers, who are familiar with the stratigraphic material of Gran Dolina argue that Homo antecessor may be the ancestor of Homo heidelbergensis, who in turn gave rise to Homo neandertalensis.
The Homo erectus-like fossils were found with retouched flake and core stone tools. Level TD-5 is assumed to have been a carnivore den. In TD-4, four lithic pieces were found during the 1991 excavation and several remnants of Ursus dolinensis, a sparsely described bear species. At the lowest levels no fossils Sima de los Huesos accounts for the greatest number of valuable scientific discoveries and knowledge acquired with far-reaching implications; this site is located at the bottom of a 13 m deep shaft, or "chimney" accessible via the narrow corridors of the Cueva Mayor. Since 1997 the excavators have located more than 5,500 human skeletal remains deposited during the Middle Pleistocene period, at least 350,000 years old, which represent 28 individuals of Homo heidelbergensis. Associated finds include Ursus deningeri fossils and a hand axe called
The Clactonian is the name given by archaeologists to an industry of European flint tool manufacture that dates to the early part of the interglacial period known as the Hoxnian, the Mindel-Riss or the Holstein stages. Clactonian tools were made by Homo heidelbergensis, it is named after 400,000-year-old finds made by Hazzledine Warren in a palaeochannel at Clacton-on-Sea in the English county of Essex in 1911. The artefacts found there included flint chopping tools, flint flakes and the tip of a worked wooden shaft along with the remains of a giant elephant and hippopotamus. Further examples of the tools have been found at sites including Barnfield Pit and Rickson's Pit, near Swanscombe in Kent and Barnham in Suffolk; the Clactonian industry involved striking thick, irregular flakes from a core of flint, employed as a chopper. The flakes would have been used as crude scrapers. Unlike the Oldowan tools from which Clactonian ones derived, some were notched implying that they were attached to a handle or shaft.
Retouch is uncommon and the prominent bulb of percussion on the flakes indicates use of a hammerstone. An "Egyptian verson" of the Clactonian industry was proposed in 1972, based on excavations on the banks of the Nile River, at the 100 foot terrace; the Clactonian industry may have co-existed with the Acheulean industry, which used identical basic techniques but which had handaxe technology. The justification for considering "Clactonian" as a tradition distinct from Acheulean has been called into question in a 1994 article; the Clactonian industry may in fact be the same thing as the Acheulean and only assessed as being different due to its tools being Acheulean ones made by individuals who had no need for handaxes on the occasion that they made them. Differences in environment and the availability and quality of local raw materials may account for the differences between the two industries, which, at one point it was inferred, were only perceived by modern archaeologists. However, the 2004 excavation of a butchered Pleistocene elephant at the Southfleet Road site of High Speed 1 in Kent recovered numerous Clactonian flint tools but no handaxes.
As a handaxe would have been more useful than a chopper in dismembering an elephant carcass it is considered strong evidence of the Clactonian being a separate industry. Flint of sufficient quality was available in the area and it is that the people who carved up the elephant did not possess the knowledge to make the more advanced bifacial handaxe. Proponents of the Clactonian as an independent industry point to the lack of concrete evidence in favour of it being an anomalous Acheulean industry; the precise provenance of the few attributed. The traditional chronology of Clactonian being followed by Acheulean is being challenged since finds of Acheulean tools were made at Boxgrove in Sussex and High Lodge in Suffolk; these finds came from deposits connected with the Anglian Stage, the glaciation that preceded the Hoxnian Stage and therefore would have preceded the Clactonian. Whether or not they are separate industries it would seem that the'Clactonian' and'Acheulean' stone tool makers would have had cultural contact with each other.
Acheulean Butler, C, Prehistoric Flintwork, Tempus: Strood, 2005 Drawings of Clactonian tools "Stone Age elephant remains found"