Dating a prehistoric find

The Paleolithic is the earliest period of the Stone Age.The early part of the Palaeolithic is called the Lower Palaeolithic, which predates Homo sapiens, beginning with Homo habilis (and related species) and with the earliest stone tools, dated to around 2.5 million years ago. ergaster made fires between 790,000 and 690,000 BP (before the present period) in a site at Bnot Ya'akov Bridge, Israel.For example, in Egypt it is generally accepted that prehistory ended around 3200 BCE, whereas in New Guinea the end of the prehistoric era is set much more recently, at around 1900 common era.In Europe the relatively well-documented classical cultures of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome had neighbouring cultures, including the Celts and to a lesser extent the Etruscans, with little or no writing, and historians must decide how much weight to give to the often highly prejudiced accounts of these "prehistoric" cultures in Greek and Roman literature.Earlier periods are also called "prehistoric"; there are separate articles for the overall history of the Earth and the history of life before humans.

The concept of a "Stone Age" is found useful in the archaeology of most of the world, though in the archaeology of the Americas it is called by different names and begins with a Lithic stage, or sometimes Paleo-Indian.Neighboring civilizations were the first to follow.Most other civilizations reached the end of prehistory during the Iron Age.This view has been articulated by advocates of deep history.The primary researchers into human prehistory are archaeologists and physical anthropologists who use excavation, geologic and geographic surveys, and other scientific analysis to reveal and interpret the nature and behavior of pre-literate and non-literate peoples.

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The three-age system of division of prehistory into the Stone Age, followed by the Bronze Age and Iron Age, remains in use for much of Eurasia and North Africa, but is not generally used in those parts of the world where the working of hard metals arrived abruptly with contact with Eurasian cultures, such as the Americas, Oceania, Australasia and much of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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