Paleolithic 2-2

Paleolithic age ranges from 3.3 mya lomekwi. ago till 12000 ya.

Lower Paleolithic 2.5 million till 300 thousand years ago. Homo erectus. H habilis. Core tools. 

Middle. 300kya to 40kya. Upper 40kya to 10kya.  H sapiens neanderthal heidelbergensis. 

Climate.  periodic glaciations. 

Tool culture - Oldowan and acheulian tools. Handaxe, cleaver chopping flake tools blades points burin. 

Material. Quartz. Quartzite. Bone. Jasper. Chalcedony. 

Oldowan by homo habilis and A. garhi. 2.5 to 1.7mya. changing diet from omnivorous to carnivorous scavenging due to dry climate and Savannah.  

Europe oldowon tradition is called as abbevillian. Split into clactonian flake tradition and acheulean hand axe tradition. Levallois technique emerged later.

Acheuloan tools 1.5 million till 1 million years ago.  uniform and standardized. Oldest from peninj river Tanzania 1.5 mya. Unlike oldowan, acheulian more large tools created in standard designs and shapes. Oldowan tools have sharp edges made by few blows but acheulian tools are created by knocking off flakes. 

Acheulian - hand axe common. It is tear drop shaped bifacial flacked tool with thin Sharp tip. Other tools : cleaver, Scrapers and picks. Earlier made from hard stone blow but later from soft hammer of bone or antlers - for better control over tool. Thin sharp and different shapes can be created. Lawrence Keeley show that and handaxe wer good for animal butchery, shaping wood and digging. Found in Africa Europe and West Asia.

Human evolution

H. erectus/ H. ergaster emerged about 1.8 million years ago. Homo erectus move from scavenging to hunting and hunting gathering. 

Home erectus found in all areas of old world but tool traditions differ from west to east. Like bifacial hand axe, cleaver and pick not found in eastern and southeast Asia. Yamaei 2000.

600,000 years ago behaviour and physiological changes lead to homo heidelbergensis. 

Heidelbergensis homo rhodesiensis and later archaic humans from swanscombe, steinheim, tautavel etc. 


Big game - elephants - hunting. Ambrona spain. FC Howell. Cooperative activity. 

Fire. Allowing winter area habitat. First evidence kenya 1.4 mya. Conclusive evidence in 8,00,000 ya Israel gesher benot. Cooking. Heating. Predator away. 

Location close to much vegetation, water resources and stalk of herbivorous animals. Campsites like terra Amata, Nice, France. Elephant stags oxen. 

Religion and rituals. Red ochre remains found in lower paleolithic sites. Dickson 1990. But unclear if home erectus buried there dead. 

Art. Engraved bone found

Regional variation. 

Europe clacton-on-sea and Terra Mata, France prominent. Abbevillian then Acheulian culture (400 - 100kya)  prominent

East Africa. Oldwan gorge chopper chopping tools. 

India Attirampakkam. (2.2 million years ago. Chopper chopping tools ), Sohan Valley, Madrasian culture. 

lower paleolithic ended about 300 thousand years ago when Technology, social structure and behaviour got more complex (prepared core technique and changes in hunting gathering ) and emergence of Homo sapiens - oldest Fossil in Morocco jebel irhoud( 2018 science. )