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Stone age cultures & technologies

In archaeology and anthropology, human technological prehistory is subdivided in the three-age system i.e. three periods: the Stone age, the Bronze Age & the Iron Age.

On this and related articles, we will be focusing on 3 broad categories:

1. The Old Stone Age or Palaeolithic Age
2. The Mesolithic or Epipalaeolithic Age
3. The Neolithic Age

The Old Stone Age is also known as the Palaeolithic Age

“Palaeo” means old, “lithic” means stone.

Stone age is a broad prehistoric period which humans widely used stone for tool making. Stone tools were made from a variety of different sorts of stone. For example, flint and chert were shaped (or chipped) for use as cutting tools and weapons, while basalt and sandstone were used as ground stone tools. Wood, bone, shell, antler (deer) were widely used, as well. During the most recent part of the period, sediments (like clay) were used to make pottery.

This period is referred to as ‘a’ stone age instead of ‘the’ stone age because in reality, the succession of the phases (prehistoric periods) varies enormously from one region (and culture) to another.

The stone age period encompasses the first use of stone tools in Gona, Ethiopia and its spread and widespread use elsewhere soon after. It ends with the development of agriculture, the domestication of certain animals and smelting of copper ore to produce metal.

The Palaeolithic (Old Stone) Age is further divided into 3 broad periods:

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