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Encyclopedia > Mesolithic
This time period is part of the
Holocene epoch.
Pleistocene
Paleolithic
Lower Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
Châtelperronian culture
Aurignacian culture
Gravettian culture
Solutrean culture
Magdalenian culture
Holocene
Mesolithic or Epipaleolithic
Kebaran culture
Natufian culture
Neolithic
Halafian culture
Hassuna culture
Ubaid culture
Uruk culture
Chalcolithic
Kurgan culture

The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the 'Middle Stone Age'[1]) was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. The Holocene epoch is a geological period that extends from the present day back to about 10,000 radiocarbon years, approximately 11,430 ± 130 calendar years BP (between 9560 and 9300 BC). ... The Pleistocene epoch (IPA: ) on the geologic timescale is the period from 1,808,000 to 11,550 years BP. The Pleistocene epoch had been intended to cover the worlds recent period of repeated glaciations. ... // The Paleolithic is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of stone tools. ... The Lower Paleolithic (or Lower Palaeolithic) is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. ... The Middle Paleolithic (or Middle Palaeolithic) is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. ... The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. ... Châtelperronian was the earliest industry of the Upper Palaeolithic in central and south western France. ... Aurignacian is the name of a culture of the Upper Palaeolithic present in Europe and south west Asia. ... The Gravettian was an industry of the European Upper Palaeolithic. ... The Solutrean industry was an advanced flint tool making style of the Upper Palaeolithic. ... The Magdalenian, also spelt Magdalénien, refers to one of the later culture of the Upper Palaeolithic in western Europe. ... The Holocene epoch is a geological period that extends from the present day back to about 10,000 radiocarbon years, approximately 11,430 ± 130 calendar years BP (between 9560 and 9300 BC). ... The Epipalaeolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic, Epipaleolithic, or Epi-Paleolithic) was a period in the development of human technology that immediately precedes the neolithic period, as an alternative to mesolithic. ... Kebarans were the first anatomically modern humans to live in the eastern Mediterranean area (c. ... The Natufian culture existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... Hunting scene relief in basalt found at Tell Halaf, dated 850-830 BCE Tell Halaf is an archaeological site in the Al Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, near the Turkish border. ... Hassuna was a Mesopotamian town in Mosul, Iraq. ... The tell (mound) of Ubaid near Ur in southern Iraq has given its name to the prehistoric culture which represents the earliest settlement on the alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia. ... Uruk (Sumerian Unug, Biblical Erech, Greek Orchoë and Arabic وركاء Warka), was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates, on the line of the ancient Nil canal, in a region of marshes, about 140 miles (230 km) SSE from Baghdad. ... The Chalcolithic (Greek khalkos + lithos copper stone) period, also known as the Eneolithic (Aeneolithic) or Copper Age period, is a phase in the development of human culture in which the use of early metal tools appeared alongside the use of stone tools. ... Typical Yamna burial with the skeleton in supine position, with bent knees. ... This article is about modern humans. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... // The Paleolithic is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of stone tools. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... Stone Age fishing hook. ...


Remains from this period are few and far between, often limited to middens (rubbish heaps which grew over time). In forested areas of the world, the first signs of deforestation have been found, although this would only start in earnest during the Neolithic, when extra space for farming was needed. A midden, also known as kitchen middens, is a dump for domestic waste. ... This article is about the process of deforestation in the environment. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ...


The Mesolithic is characterized by small composite flint tools (microliths and microburins) in most areas. Fishing tackle, stone adzes and wooden objects such as canoes and bows have been found preserved at some sites. This article is about the sedimentary rock. ... A microlith is a small stone tool, typically knapped of flint or chert, usually about three centimetres long or less. ... A microburin is the residual product of the creation of a microlith during flint tool manufacture in the European Mesolithic. ... Fishing tackle refers to the equipment and gear used when engaing in the pursuit of fish for sport and commercial value. ... Adze The tool known as the adze [pronounced adds] serves for smoothing rough-cut wood in hand woodworking. ... It has been suggested that Canadian canoe be merged into this article or section. ... This image depicts a typical bow, as made by the Huns, lying against a tree. ...

Contents

The term

"Mesolithic" mainly applies to the development in Northern Europe. However, it is also used for the Levant, with some criticism. Others[attribution needed] like to call the same period in the Levant the Epipalaeolithic period. The Epipalaeolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic, Epipaleolithic, or Epi-Paleolithic) was a period in the development of human technology that immediately precedes the neolithic period, as an alternative to mesolithic. ...


British archaeologist Steven Mithen, in his award-winning book After the Ice, identifies the term specifically with a certain subset of European hunter-gatherer cultures that were directly descendant from the European Paleolithic and rejects the Mesolithic label for the Levant and Anatolia, where the contemporary cultures were Neolithic and had evolved directly out of the Paleolithic cultures of West Asia.[2]


Mesolithic cultures, as designated in this way, are distinct from Paleolithic cultures in their tendency toward more partially sedentary settlements, emphasis on fishing, reliance on bow-hunting over spear-hunting, and far more advanced social and ritual structure. They are distinct from Neolithic cultures in their absence of farming and pastoralism.[3]


In Europe

It began at the end of the Pleistocene epoch around 8000 BC and ended with the introduction of farming, the date of which varied in each geographical region. In some areas, such as the Near East, farming was already in use by the end of the Pleistocene, and there the Mesolithic is short and poorly defined. In areas with limited glacial impact, the term Epipaleolithic is sometimes preferred. Regions that experienced greater environmental effects as the last ice age ended have a much more apparent Mesolithic era, lasting millennia. In Northern Europe, for example, societies were able to live well on rich food supplies from the marshlands created by the warmer climate. Such conditions produced distinctive human behaviors which are preserved in the material record, such as the Maglemosian and Azilian cultures. Such conditions also delayed the coming of the Neolithic until as late as 5000 BC in Northern Europe. The Pleistocene epoch (IPA: ) on the geologic timescale is the period from 1,808,000 to 11,550 years BP. The Pleistocene epoch had been intended to cover the worlds recent period of repeated glaciations. ... Agriculture (encompassing farming, grazing, and the tending of orchards, vineyards and timberland) is the production of food, feed, fiber and other goods by the systematic raising of plants and animals. ... The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists, geographers and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing Anatolia (the Asian portion of modern Turkey), the Levant (modern Israel/Palestine, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Georgia, Armenia, and... The Epipalaeolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic, Epipaleolithic, or Epi-Paleolithic) was a period in the development of human technology that immediately precedes the neolithic period, as an alternative to mesolithic. ... This article or section should be merged with Wisconsinan glaciation The Wisconsin (in North America), Weichsel (in Scandinavia), Devensian (in the British Isles) or Würm glaciation (in the Alps) is the most recent period of the Ice Age, and ended some 10,000 Before Present (BP). ... Maglemosian is the name given to a culture of the early Mesolithic period in Northern Europe. ... The Azilian is a name given by archaeologists to an industry of the terminal Palaeolithic and early Mesolithic in northern Spain and south western France. ...


As what Mithen terms the "Neolithic package," including farming, herding, polished axes, timber longhouses and pottery, spread into Europe, by routes that remain controversial among scholars, the Mesolithic way of life was marginalized and eventually disappeared. Some late Mesolithic groups, such as Denmark's Erdbolle culture, did make some pottery and did engage in significant trade with Neolithic groups directly to their south.[4]


Mithen notes that Mesolithic cultures were a historical dead end, unlike the somewhat earlier cultures of the late Paleolithic period in West Asia, which were evolving steadily toward the Neolithic. At the same time, genetic studies strongly suggest that modern Europeans' ancestry, especially their matrilineal mitochondrial DNA, is descended directly from these Mesolithic peoples, who must have eventually adopted the Neolithic way of life that had come to them from West Asia.[5]


In the Levant

The designation of Asian cultures as Mesolithic is so controversial that many scholars would prefer the term were not applied in Asia. When it is used, the cultures are both earlier than and utterly dissimilar to the European cultures for which the term is normally used.


For those who do apply the term in Asia, there are two designated periods. Mesolithic 1 (Kebara culture; 20-18,000 BC to 12,150 BC) followed the Aurignacian or Levantine Upper Paleolithic throughout the Levant. By the end of the Aurignacian, gradual changes took place in stone industries. Microliths and retouched bladelets can be found for the first time. The microliths of this culture period differ greatly from the Aurignacian artifacts. Aurignacian is the name of a culture of the Upper Palaeolithic present in Europe and south west Asia. ... The Levant The Levant (IPA: ) is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the northern Arabian Desert and Upper Mesopotamia to the east. ...


By 20,000 to 18,000 BC the climate and environment had changed, starting a period of transition. The Levant became more arid and the forest vegetation retreated, to be replaced by steppe. The cool and dry period ended at the beginning of Mesolithic 1. The hunter-gatherers of the Aurignacian would have had to modify their way of living and their pattern of settlement to adapt to the changing conditions. The crystallization of these new patterns resulted in Mesolithic 1. New types of settlements and new stone industries developed.


The inhabitants of a small Mesolithic 1 site in the Levant left little more than their chipped stone tools behind. The industry was of small tools made of bladelets struck off single-platform cores. Besides bladelets, burins and end-scrapers were found. A few bone tools and some ground stone have also been found. In lithic reduction, a burin is a special type of lithic flake with a chisel-like edge which prehistoric humans may have used for engraving or for carving wood or bone. ... In archeology, scrapers are unifacial tools that were used either for hideworking or woodworking purposes. ...


These so-called Mesolithic sites of Asia are far less numerous than those of the Neolithic and the archeological remains are very poor.


Mesolithic 1 started somewhere around 18,000 BC in Palestine. The change from Mesolithic 1 to Mesolithic 2 can be dated more closely. The latest date from a Mesolithic 1 site in the Levant is 12,150 BC. The earliest date from a Mesolithic 2 site is 11,140 BC. The 10th millennium BC seems to correspond with three other sites at Kebara (9200 BC), Mugharet el Wad (9970 and 9525 BC), and Jericho (9216 BC). However, other sites suggest an even later start via dates of 8930 and 8540 BC. It would thus appear that Mesolithic 2 (Natufian) culture emerges around 11,000 - 9000 BC in Palestine and Lebanon. Mesolithic 2 is characterized by the beginnings of agriculture, which would emerge fully in the Neolithic period. they also love food The Holy Land or Palestine Showing not only the Old Kingdoms of Judea and Israel but also the 12 Tribes Distinctly, and Confirming Even the Diversity of the Locations of their Ancient Positions and Doing So as the Holy Scriptures Indicate, a geographic map from the studio of Tobiae Conradi... The Taking of Jericho, by Jean Fouquet Near central Jericho, November 1996 Jericho (Arabic  , Hebrew  , ʼArīḥā; Standard YÉ™riḥo Tiberian YÉ™rîḫô / YÉ™rîḥô; meaning fragrant.[1] Greek Ἱεριχώ) is a town in Palestine, located within the Jericho Governorate, near the Jordan River. ... The Natufian culture existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ...


Mesolithic sites

See also MESOLITHIC AGE IN INDIA Mesolithic Age in India: Mesolithic Period is technologically characterized by microliths. ...

Cramond is a village built on the east side of the River Almond where it enters the Firth of Forth forming a natural harbour, now a suburb of Edinburgh. ... The Franchthi or Frankithi cave is a prehistoric site in the Greek Peloponnese. ... The Howick house Mesolithic site was found when an amateur archaeologist noticed flint tools eroding out of a sandy cliff face near the village of Howick in Northumberland. ... Lepenski Vir is an important Mesolithic archaeological site located in Serbia in the central Balkan peninsula. ... Not to be confused with Republika Srpska. ... Newbury is a civil parish and the principal town in the west of the county of Berkshire in England. ... Star Carr is a Mesolithic archaeological site in Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. ... This article is about the English county. ... Mount Sandel is an iron age fort in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. ... Pulli is a settlement on the east bank of the Parnu River. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Mesolithic
  • Mesolithic Miscellany - Newsletter and Information on the European Mesolithic

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

Note

  1. ^ This translation can be ambiguous since Middle Stone Age is an older African prehistoric period.
  2. ^ Mithen, Steven. "After the Ice: A Global History 20,000 - 5,000 B.C." 2004. Harvard Univ. Press
  3. ^ Mithen, 2004
  4. ^ Mithen, 2004
  5. ^ Mithen, 2004

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mesolithic Age in Anatolia and Asia Minor (302 words)
Mesolithic Age is a period of transition from Old Stone Age to the New Stone Age.
When climatic conditions began to change in the Mesolithic period, animals and humans were forced to adopt themselves to new environment and conditions.
Domestication of Animals is the main development of this period; the Dog was domesticated during the Mesolithic Age.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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