By voluntary agreement, archaeologists respect the decisions of the Pan-African Congress on Prehistory, which meets every four years to resolve archaeological business brought before it. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. To date no reasons for the variants have been ascertained:.  The genus Homo is known from H. habilis and H. rudolfensis from 2.3 to 2.0 mya, with the latest habilis being an upper jaw from Koobi Fora, Kenya, from 1.4 mya. Alongside the hand-axe tradition there developed a distinct and very different stone-tool industry, based on flakes of stone: special tools were made from worked (carefully shaped) flakes of flint. The Stone Age is the first of the three-age system of archaeology, which divides human technological prehistory into three periods: the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. The majority of the animals at the site were of "Palaearctic biogeographic origin". Stone Age.  The Early Stone Age therefore is contemporaneous with the Lower Paleolithic and happens to include the same main technologies, Oldowan and Acheulean, which produced Mode 1 and Mode 2 stone tools respectively. According to this chronology Mode 1 was inherited by Homo from unknown Hominans, probably Australopithecus and Paranthropus, who must have continued on with Mode 1 and then with Mode 2 until their extinction no later than 1.1 mya. The terms "Stone Age", "Bronze Age", and "Iron Age" are not intended to suggest that advancements and time periods in prehistory are only measured by the type of tool material, rather than, for example, social organization, food sources exploited, adaptation to climate, adoption of agriculture, cooking, settlement, and religion. The chief focus of study has always been on the society and the living people who belonged to it. Modern humans spread out further across the Earth during the period known as the Upper Paleolithic. The animals are accompanied by signs that suggest a possible magic use. One distinguishing criterion is the size of the flakes. It does not appear in China and Korea until after 1mya and not at all in Indonesia. The Stone Age is divided into three different time periods: Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic. This lesson will look at human evolution in the prehistoric times known as the Stone Age.  Whether any tools would be found in it and what type was not known.  A comparison of art in the two ages leads some theorists to conclude that Neolithic cultures were noticeably more hierarchical than the Paleolithic cultures that preceded them.. The period lasted for roughly 3.4 million years, and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE , with the advent of metalworking. In North Africa, the presence of Mode 2 remains a mystery, as the oldest finds are from Thomas Quarry in Morocco at 0.9 mya. Ideal for your Stone Age lessons. Erectus was found also at Dmanisi, Georgia, from 1.75 mya in association with pebble tools. The last traces are from Kent's Cavern, dated 0.5 mya. In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, iron-working technologies were either invented independently or came across the Sahara from the north (see iron metallurgy in Africa). Shelters might now be made out of mud bricks and plaster, with beams supporting the roof. Evidence for symbolic behavior such as body ornamentation and burial is ambiguous for the Middle Paleolithic and still subject to debate. Once humans got better at making tools and using fire, discoveries happened more quickly and included better shelters, art, pottery, and agriculture. They continued a tradition of yet unknown origin. Iron age 1200 B.C - 500 B.C-found gold and copper-extracted rocks For example, "the marching Warriors", a rock painting at Cingle de la Mola, Castellón in Spain, dated to about 7,000–4,000 BCE, depicts about 50 bowmen in two groups marching or running in step toward each other, each man carrying a bow in one hand and a fistful of arrows in the other. The first wheels are developed, including wheels for making pottery. What do you think of when you hear the words Stone Age? The term Bronze Age is used to describe the period that followed the Stone Age, as well as to describe cultures that had developed techniques and technologies for working copper into tools, supplanting stone in many uses. The first Neolithic cultures started around 7000 BCE in the fertile crescent and spread concentrically to other areas of the world; however, the Near East was probably not the only nucleus of agriculture, the cultivation of maize in Meso-America and of rice in the Far East being others. While it is possible to speak of a general 'stone age' period for the whole of humanity, some groups never developed metal-smelting technology, and so remained in the so-called 'stone age' until they encountered technologically developed cultures. People also begin making tents out of animal skins. The manufacturers had already left pebble tools at Yiron, Israel, at 2.4 mya, Riwat, Pakistan, at 2.0 mya, and Renzidong, South China, at over 2 mya.  The net effect was to fragment the vast ranges required by the large animals and extinguish them piecemeal in each fragment. The first evidence of human metallurgy dates to between the 6th and 5th millennia BCE in the archaeological sites of Majdanpek, Yarmovac, and Pločnik in modern-day Serbia (including a copper axe from 5500 BCE belonging to the Vinca culture); though not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic, this provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy. The tools were formed by knocking pieces off a river pebble, or stones like it, with a hammerstone to obtain large and small pieces with one or more sharp edges.  The proto-Inca cultures of South America continued at a Stone Age level until around 2000 BCE, when gold, copper, and silver made their entrance. The earliest documented stone tools have been found in eastern Africa, manufacturers unknown, at the 3.3 million year old site of Lomekwi 3 in Kenya. Stone tools now include spear points, arrowheads, and harpoon tips. It officially ends once the people in a particular area begin using metal (such as bronze) to replace stone in their tools. To describe any living group as 'primitive' or 'Stone Age' inevitably implies that they are living representatives of some earlier stage of human development that the majority of humankind has left behind. 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