The denomination that geology gives to this time period is Quaternary or Pleistocene. Thanks to the research of geology we know that there were great weather changes during this period: they are known as alternation between glacial and interglacial periods. These changes in climate forced early humans to continuous adaptations to the environment. They favoured migrations and the development of techniques for survival.
The archaeological sources that we can use to study the Paleolithic are:
- Human fossils. You should differentiate different races, its location in geography and of course the temporary space in which they lived.
- Tools and instruments that have been recovered, usually made of stone or bone allow us to get to know each human species, their behaviour and skills.
- Art that were created by human populations of the Paleolithic. Their purpose is always in discussion, but there is no doubt about the artistic genius of many of the creators of the works that have come down to us.
During the Paleolithic man was transformed as a specie, evolved from the more primitive forms similar to primates and gradually acquired the characteristics of modern man. It is the time of mankind more difficult to interpret and study, because the information reaches us fragmented. It's like having a great book where we can only read small fragments which should be sufficient to know our history.
Traditionally Paleolihic has been separated in three stages based on the type of tools and supplies that archaeology has unearthed:
It is the oldest stage, including the Culture of Pebbles, the Acheulean culture and Abbevillian and the Clactonian culture. It's the first steps in the techniques of transformation of the stone tools.
It is formed mainly by the Mousterian culture.
It is the most modern stage corresponding to the Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian cultures.
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