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Paleolithic

 
Author Assif
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 2 Feb 2010 06:20 
Why don't we have a Paleolithic connection but only Neolithic and Bronze Age?

Author Assif
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 6 Feb 2010 04:14 
Let me introduce one then:

Palaeolithic/Mesolithic Age:
Oland, Orkhon, Altamira, Coa, Bhimbetka, Lascaux (Dordogne), Valcamonica

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 6 Feb 2010 04:42 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The Upper Cave at Zhoukoudian ("Peking Man") contains Paleolithic remains.

A problem to be addressed is that many "prehistoric" sites will contain remains of virtually every "period". The same will be true of many "modern" sites which stand on locations which have been occupied since prehistory. If we are not selective we just list every period for every site! Could have a rule about "significant" remains?

Another issue is whether "Paleolithic" refers to a "cultural level" which the inhabitants had reached or to a specific period in the past which is recognised as e.g "Paleolithic". This is particularly relevant for sites in the Americas an indeed in more modern Africa. So, for instance what period is represented by "Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump" - According to the AB review it was first used as long ago as 3600 BC through, on and off, until 19th century AD. For much of this time the hunters there were "paleolithic" in their technology and operated in this way much later than Eurasian definitions would allow. And indeed various reports on the Web call it Paleolithic e.g http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-95777104.html
I have also checked the Lope-Okanda AB evaluation and it contains the following descriptions of cultural sites within the inscribed boundaries
" Early Stone Age sites, Middle Stone Age and Late Stone Age sites, Neolithic sites, Early Iron Age sites ....Late Iron Age sites"

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 8 Feb 2010 08:31 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Apparently one of the significant aspects of Sangiran is the stratographic record of the development of the human species over an enormous period. The AB evaluation states "This evidence indicates that hominids have inhabited the area for at least 1.5 million years. The palaeolithic tools can be dated to c 800,000 BP, and the sequence of cultural material from this period through to the Neolithic illustrates continuous evolution of man in relation to the ecosystem over a long Period."
Does that make it a "Paleolithic site"?

It does appear that there is considerable vagueness and variability, even among "professionals", in the use of terms like Paleolithic and Mesolithic. Rather like the use of a term like "modern history" I guess. The original "Three-age" system of classification of prehistory (Stone, Bronze, Iron) developed in the early 19th century has undergone many developments as knowledge increased and even the split of Stone Age into Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic has been found wanting. A common theme is that this division only works in Europe, N Africa and the Middle East (not quite sure about S East Asia) with other categorisations being used in for prehistoric cultures in the Americas (the term "Paleo Indian" seems to be widely used despite seeming very non-PC!).
Because sub Saharan Africa didn't experience a "Bronze age" there seems to be an unwilliness among its Archaeologists to use the exact phrase "Paleolithic" etc from the original (or at least "early") system - instead "Old/Middle/Late Stone Age" is preferred - see my quote from the AB review of Lope Okanda. Do we take that as being equivalent to "Paleolithic" etc ?

Any views on where that leaves us re a "Paleolithic" connection? Why, by the way, mix Paleolithic and Mesolithic in 1 Connection but not Neolithic (i.e Have a single "Stone Age" or "lithic" Connection?) - is the latter really a more easily identified break with the past?

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 Paleolithic

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