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The Lower Paleolithic
Paleolithic
(or Lower Palaeolithic) is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 3.3 million years ago when the first evidence for stone tool production and use by hominins appears in the current archaeological record,[1] until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the Oldowan
Oldowan
("mode 1") and Acheulean
Acheulean
("mode 2") lithics industries. In African archaeology, the time period roughly corresponds to the Early Stone Age, the earliest finds dating back to 3.3 million years ago, with Lomekwian stone tool technology, spanning Mode 1 stone tool technology, which begins roughly 2.6 million years ago and ends between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago, with Mode 2 technology.[1][2][3] The Middle Paleolithic
Paleolithic
followed the Lower Paleolithic
Paleolithic
and recorded the appearance of the more advanced prepared-core tool-making technologies such as the Mousterian. Whether the earliest control of fire by hominins dates to the Lower or to the Middle Paleolithic
Paleolithic
remains an open question.[4]

Contents

1 Gelasian 2 Calabrian 3 Middle Pleistocene 4 Transition to the Middle Paleolithic 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Gelasian[edit] Further information: Gelasian, Homo
Homo
habilis, and Olduvai Gorge The Lower Paleolithic
Paleolithic
began with the appearance of the oldest stone tools in the world, roughly 3.3 million years ago in eastern Africa, which were produced by an as-yet undetermined hominin.[1] The Gelasian (Lower Pleistocene), some 2.5 million years ago, saw the appearance of the Homo
Homo
genus ( Homo
Homo
habilis), possibly developing from australopithecine forebears (such as Australopithecus garhi). These early members of the Homo
Homo
genus produced primitive tools, summarized under the Oldowan
Oldowan
or Mode 1 horizon, which remained dominant for nearly a million years, from about 2.5 to 1.7 million years ago. Homo habilis is assumed to have lived primarily on scavenging, using tools to cleave meat off carrion or to break bones to extract the marrow. The move from the mostly frugivorous or omnivorous diet of hominin Australopithecus to the carnivorous scavenging lifestyle of early Homo has been explained by the climate changes in East Africa
East Africa
associated with the Quaternary glaciation. Decreasing oceanic evaporation produced a drier climate and the expansion of the savannah at the expense of forests. Reduced availability of fruits stimulated some proto-australopithecines to search out new food sources found in the drier savannah ecology. Derek Bickerton
Derek Bickerton
(2009) has designated to this period the move from simple animal communication systems found in all great apes to the earliest form of symbolic communication systems capable of displacement (referring to items not currently within sensory perception) and motivated by the need to "recruit" group members for scavenging large carcasses.[5] Homo
Homo
erectus appeared by about 1.8 million years ago, via the transitional variety Homo
Homo
ergaster. Calabrian[edit] Main articles: Calabrian (stage) and Homo Homo
Homo
erectus moved from scavenging to hunting, developing the hunting-gathering lifestyle that would remain dominant throughout the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
into the Mesolithic. The unlocking of the new niche of hunting-gathering subsistence drove a number of further behavioral and physiological changes leading to the appearance of Homo heidelbergensis by some 600,000 years ago. Homo
Homo
erectus migrated out of Africa and dispersed throughout Eurasia. Stone tools in Malaysia
Malaysia
have been dated to be 1.83 million years old.[6] The Peking Man
Peking Man
fossil, discovered in 1929, is roughly 700,000 years old. In Europe, the Olduwan
Olduwan
tradition (known in Europe as Abbevillian) split into two parallel traditions, the Clactonian, a flake tradition, and the Acheulean, a hand-axe tradition. The Levallois technique
Levallois technique
for knapping flint developed during this time. The carrier species from Africa to Europe was undoubtedly Homo erectus. This type of human is more clearly linked to the flake tradition, which spread across southern Europe through the Balkans
Balkans
to appear relatively densely in southeast Asia. Many Mousterian
Mousterian
finds in the Middle Paleolithic
Paleolithic
have been knapped using a Levallois technique, suggesting that Neanderthals evolved from Homo
Homo
erectus (or, perhaps, Homo
Homo
heidelbergensis; see below). Monte Poggiolo, near Forlì, Italy, is the location of an Acheulian littoral handaxe industry dating from 1.8 to 1.1 million years ago.[7] Middle Pleistocene[edit] Main article: Middle Pleistocene Further information: Homo
Homo
heidelbergensis and Archaic humans The appearance of Homo
Homo
heidelbergensis about 600,000 years ago heralds a number of other new varieties, such as Homo
Homo
rhodesiensis and Homo cepranensis about 400,000 years ago. Homo
Homo
heidelbergensis is a candidate for first developing an early form of symbolic language. Whether control of fire and earliest burials date to this period or only appear during the Middle Paleolithic
Paleolithic
is an open question. Also, in Europe, a type of human appeared that was intermediate between Homo
Homo
erectus and Homo
Homo
sapiens, sometimes summarized under archaic Homo
Homo
sapiens, typified by such fossils as those found at Swanscombe, Steinheim, Tautavel, and Vertesszollos
Vertesszollos
(Homo palaeohungaricus). The hand-axe tradition originates in the same period. The intermediate may have been Homo
Homo
heidelbergensis, held responsible for the manufacture of improved Mode 2 Acheulean
Acheulean
tool types, in Africa, after 600,000 years ago. Flakes and axes coexisted in Europe, sometimes at the same site. The axe tradition, however, spread to a different range in the east. It appears in Arabia and India, but more importantly, it does not appear in southeast Asia. Transition to the Middle Paleolithic[edit] Further information: Homo
Homo
rhodesiensis and Anatomically modern humans From about 300,000 years ago, technology, social structures and behaviour appear to grow more complex, with prepared-core technique lithics, earliest instances of burial and hunting-gathering subsistence. Homo
Homo
sapiens first appear about 200,000 years ago. See also[edit]

Control of fire
Control of fire
by early humans Lomekwi, site of the oldest tools discovered

References[edit]

^ a b c Harmand, Sonia; et al. (21 May 2015). "3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi
Lomekwi
3, West Turkana, Kenya". Nature. 521 (7552): 310–315. doi:10.1038/nature14464. PMID 25993961.  ^ "Early Stone Age
Stone Age
Tools". What does it mean to be human?. Smithsonian Institution. 2014-09-29. Retrieved 2014-09-30.  ^ Barham, Lawrence; Mitchell, Peter (2008). The First Africans: African Archaeology from the Earliest Toolmakers to Most Recent Foragers. New York: Cambridge. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-521-61265-4.  ^ "Lower Paleolithic". Dictionary com. Retrieved December 30, 2016.  ^ Derek Bickerton, Adam's Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans, New York: Hill and Wang 2009. ^ Malaysian scientists find stone tools 'oldest in Southeast Asia' ^ ". Location of Acheulian
Acheulian
handaxes industries (Mode 2) and... - study of Early and Lower Palaeolithic lithic industries. The most ancient European prehistoric sites, dated from 1.8 to 1.1 Ma, have been discovered in a variety of contexts: fl uvio- lacustrine (Dmanisi, Georgia; Orce, Spain), littoral (Monte Poggiolo, Italy)". researchgate. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 

External links[edit]

The First People and Culture at Indiana University Bloomington

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