(sometimes lowercase)Anthropology. of, relating to, or characteristic of the cultures of the late Pliocene and the Pleistocene epochs, or early phase of the Stone Age, which appeared first in Africa and are marked by the steady development of stone tools and later antler and bone artifacts, engravings on bone and stone, sculpted figures, and paintings and engravings on the walls of caves and rock-shelters: usually divided into three periods (Lower Paleolithic, c2,000,000–c200,000 b.c., Middle Paleolithic, c150,000–c40,000 b.c., Upper Paleolithic, c40,000–c10,000 b.c.).
- pre·pa·le·o·lith·ic, adjective
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How to use Paleolithic in a sentence
All of them—Scarsdale, Zone, South Beach, Paleolithic, Israeli Army—OK, maybe not eating placentas.
This pattern of behavior has haunted human societies since Paleolithic times.
The first, the Paleolithic men, may have died out or retired before successors arrived.
Remains characteristic of the oldest Paleolithic epochs occur between thirty and forty-five feet below the surface.
In all cases the work is very rude compared with the best specimens of Paleolithic time.
Pottery appears first in the transition epoch from Paleolithic to Neolithic, at Campigny and in the kitchen-middens.
Paleolithic man had learned by long experience the value of flint as the best material for his tools.
Scientific definitions for Paleolithic
The cultural period of the Stone Age that began about 2.5 to 2 million years ago, marked by the earliest use of tools made of chipped stone. The Paleolithic Period ended at different times in different parts of the world, generally around 10,000 years ago in Europe and the Middle East. Also called Old Stone Age♦ The Lower Paleolithic is by far the longest division of this period, lasting until about 200,000 years ago and characterized by hammerstones and simple core tools such as hand axes and cleavers. The earliest tools belong to the Oldowan tool culture and may have been made by australopithecines as well as by Homo habilis. Later Lower Paleolithic cultures include the Abbevilian, Clactonian, Acheulian, and Levalloisian, associated with early Homo erectus.♦ The Middle Paleolithic is generally dated to about 40,000 years ago and is associated with archaic Homo sapiens, primarily the Neanderthals and their Mousterian tool culture. The tools produced during this period represent improvements on those of the Lower Paleolithic, especially in flaking techniques, but remain little changed throughout the duration of the period.♦ The Upper Paleolithic dates to about 10,000 years ago in Europe and the Middle East and is associated with modern Homo sapiens. Various distinctive local tool cultures such as the Aurignacian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian flourished during this relatively brief period, producing a great variety of skillfully flaked tools as well as tools made of bone, antler, wood, and other materials. Compare Mesolithic Neolithic.
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