The Stone Age is the first known period of prehistoric human culture during which work was done with stone tools. It is divided into three parts:
- The Paleolithic period, or Old Stone Age, was the longest phase of human history. This is the time when homo sapiens were discovered and the life of Paleolithic people were generally nomadic hunters and gatherers who sought shelter in caves, used fire, and fashioned stone tools. Think about a life of hunting, constructed shelters, and belief of the supernatural. Rock carving and paintings reached their peak in the Magdalenian culture of Cro-Magnon man, of or pertaining to the homo sapiens whose remains, dating from the Aurignacian period, were found in the Cro-Magnon caves in Dordogne, France.
- The Mesolithic period, or Middle Stone Age, began at the end of the last glacial era, over 10,000 years ago. Gradual domestication of plants and animals, settled communities, use of bow&arrow, and development of delicate stone microliths and pottery.
- The Neolithic period, or New Stone Age, vary with geographic location. The earliest known Neolithic culture developed from the Natufian in Southwestern Asia between 9000 and 7000 BCE. People lived in settled villages, cultivated grains and domesticated animals, developed pottery,spinning, and weaving, and evolved into the urban civilizations of the Bronze Age. In the New World, people independently domesticated plants and animals, and by 1500 BCE Neolithic cultures existed in Mesoamerica that led to the Aztec and Inca civilizations.