Stone Age Habitats Resources For Students, Teachers, and Kids
The Stone Age is the period of time beginning about 600,000 to 700,000 years ago and ending around 6,000 BC. It is divided into three periods: Neolithic, Mesolithic, and Paleolithic. Each period is characterized by the type of tools that were created and used by the humans of each period. The tools used by humans determined the sophistication of the dwellings they inhabited.
Based on detritus found during excavations of archaeological sites, Stone Age humans inhabited caves and cliff overhangs and created shelters from stones, animal skins, and bones. As mainly nomadic peoples who relied on hunting and gathering for survival, changing seasons determined the types of shelter necessary. In temperate climates or seasons, a light shelter like a lean-to would have been used to protect a hearth fire or to keep people and provisions dry. On plains and steppes, shelters were constructed from bones, stones, trees, and animal skins.
As the glaciers diminished and the Stone Age climate warmed, the large animals they hunted disappeared, and people became more nomadic in search of wildlife to hunt. Various cultures intermingled and exchanged knowledge. Shelters began to be improved as groups learned from each other.
Resources about the Stone Age
Resources about the ancient habitats found by archeologists.
The Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, Central Africa has been dated at about 2,000,000 BCE, and is the earliest known man-made habitat. Among the findings were bones of humans and animals and rock placements indicating campsites.
The Archeulean hut found in the Grotte du Lazaret, Nice, France, dates back to 500,000 to 400,000 BCE. Found inside a cave, the hut was comprised of a frame made of wood and covered with animal hides.
An Upper Paleolithic site containing five huts about 24,000 years old were found at Dolni Vestonice, Czechoslovakia, and was home to Ice-Age mammoth hunters. Used by Cro-Magnons as a winter camp, the first potter’s kiln was found at this site.
An Upper Paleolithic Magdalenian tent was found at Plateau Parain, France. The Magdalenian sites show evidence of hearths and that the sites were occupied many times over by different groups of people.
Dolmens are stone structures that have a flat stone supported over upright stone. The most well known of these structures is Stonehenge. These structures have also appeared in Israel, Britain, Ireland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Jordan, and Holland and are thought to be burial sites.