Palaeolithic

The Palaeolithic, or Stone Age, is the longest period of human history. The end of this period is traditionally positioned some 10,000 years ago, coinciding with the end of the Ice Age (the Pleistocene) and the onset of the Holocene climatic period. However, the beginnings of the Palaeolithic are more mysterious. Traditionally, Palaeolithic archaeology is considered to begin when hominins started to make stone tools. Until recently, earliest archaeological evidence was placed at 2.5 million years ago, but it is now thought that stone tool use could be pushed back to 3.4 myr. During this long period, many different species of humans populated Earth, lived on a non-productive economy (scavenging, hunting, gathering), and based most of their technology on stone tool-making. Several members of Institute staff conduct research in various parts of the world and on several aspects of Palaeolithic Archaeology.

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