What is prehistory? Prehistory is the term used to refer to the long history that occurs when a person comes in increments until you produce the first written documents.

To know how was this long period, it is necessary to resort to the remains they have left people of those times. “Reading” these remains show that although slow, prehistoric man-made giant leaps in what is often called history.

The study of prehistory

So far more than 150 years, all the knowledge I had about the beginnings of humanity were likely mythical. Currently, however, prehistory is studied with the most sophisticated scientific advances. The rationale behind the remarkable change of attitude towards this subject is nothing but the complexity involved in trying to answer the questions that can be asked about the beginning of human history.

The evolution theory implies acceptance that there is a precise moment in which to speak of intelligent human beings. The process of evolution over millions of years and the first beings who can be considered ancestors of modern man were races or species that lived thousands of years ago without develops, sometimes up to total extinction.

All these difficulties have made studies prehistory be oriented materials found. Analysis of these remains has allowed establishing several stages, the first of which has more than two million years. The following are progressively shorter as the quantity and variety of archaeological remains in the same period increased. This means that the beginning of mankind has been very slow and that in those times, the smallest discovery was an advance which sometimes has not been exceeded in one million years.

The few remnants of prehistoric geographical distribution sometimes confused them and a great variety of morphologically with these remains are studies Prehistory to undergo constant changes every time when a new site.

Methods of study and science involved

Methodology prehistoric knowledge is mainly based on archaeological sources. It deals with the study of human techniques used in the manufacture of tools. It is possible to reconstruct room categories to recognize debris kitchen, ritual and artistic events, social organization, physical environment and appearance of our ancestors.

For the study needed auxiliary science competition:

  • Typology: studying industries lithic, bone and ceramic;
  • Stratigraphy: shows the order and the conditions under which the sediments were deposited with respect to time;
  • Paleontology: analyzes and classifies species, reports on when they lived warns relations hunting or domestication, and a fixed part of human nutritional conditions;
  • Palynology: its purpose is to study the technique increases, and the pollen grains of the plant to reconstruct the landscape;
  • Palentology: try, with actual knowledge societies “primitive” ways to reproduce the behavior of prehistoric man;
  • Physical anthropology: human remains interested in their evolution and their dispersion in space and time;
  • Paleoclimatology: reproducing the climatic conditions of a period, either by absolute procedures (curves of solar radiation, oxygen, radioactive, etc.) or by the combination of fauna and flora;
  • Timeline: provides a temporal relationship (relative chronology) or data (absolute chronology). Radioactive methods (carbon 14, potassium-argon, etc.) are complemented by others, such as paleomagnetism, dendrochronology; or glaciers.
    Regarding varves can say that it is a technique that analyzes the temporary lake bottom sediments, which are arranged in thin layers of fine clay alternative materials, and other coarser; each pair of layers (fine-coarse) marks a freeze-thaw cycle, ie an annual cycle in a climate periglaţional region, allowing a chronological study very closely.
  • Petrographic: indicates the composition of the materials used and their origin.

Prehistory: Timeline – Long Road to man

Prehistory arrangement in different stages has varied over time and was highlighted on as new archaeological remains.Prehistory: Steps prehistory

Thus there are two major periods: Paleolithic and Neolithic, with an interim period, Mesolithic.

Prehistory: Timeline


Paleolithic overall has a duration of approximately 2.5 million, is divided into three periods:

  • Lower Paleolithic: about 2.4 million years,
  • Middle Paleolithic: 60,000 years
  • Paleolithic higher: 40,000 years.

Lower Paleolithic

It was the era in which the process of humanization was formed in a species like Homo. Decide if these first beings were men or not, it seems to make sense; in any case, was being able to make some tools, for what was called H. habilis. Technical progress of this period was very slow, as required by the development process itself and as demonstrated by the length.

Middle Paleolithic

Age is showing the first primitive Homo sapiens (Homo sapiens Neanderthal), although it is possible that these species have disappeared and it was only another test of the evolutionary process to develop a truly intelligent species.

However, Neanderthal man was a being more developed and therefore was able to produce more varied and precise objects. This race should be practiced certain funeral rites for their peers.

Palaeolithic higher

Age is direct ancestors of modern man, with an age of about 40,000 years, are so-called Homo sapiens. Many remains are known of this species, but the type Cro-Magnon (France) and Grimaldi (northern Italy).

These people are the first to produce artistic events, in addition to manufacturing a wide range of tools becoming more specialized.


Mesolithic is announcing an interim period Neolithic because it presents the first animal forms and primitive agriculture, who was charged with predatory activities of hunting and gathering, typical Paleolithic.

This period came from the desire to classify certain advanced cultures located in the Middle East, although after Mesolithic cultures were considered all appear useful stone small (2-3 cm), so-called Micro Lite.


This is the time they are available for future foundations of ancient civilizations, many of them began to develop in the Neolithic period. It is where agriculture and livestock are imposed, the cause of these remarkable changes, we are talking about the Neolithic revolution when referring to this period.

Prehistory: The evolution of tools and gear

Human type of this is already a modern man, Homo sapiens little differently late Paleolithic. From a technical standpoint, Neolithic pottery and tissue appearance require constant improvement of its vessels and the emergence of new, dedicated to agriculture.

Prehistory: human evolution

At the end of the period the use of the first metals is known, and although the occurrence of metallurgy took place in Neolithic societies, the name of the age of metals or the age of bronze and the age of iron is frequent to indicate more precisely the moment in which each of these metals predominates.

Metallurgy spread was very uneven and, in any case, it appears the iron, there are already many people who developed writing and therefore are outside prehistory.

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