Stefan Metaal's Big History Pages


Middle Palaeolithic

(200.000 - 40.000 bp)

Passive use of fire

Increased hunting capabilities (adult ungulates) 'prime-age hunting'

Populations were probably larger but broke up seasonally into smaller groups, leaving the home bases for foraging and other special purpose camps.

Consumption of seafood

Development of language (uncertain)

The appearance of abstract mental processes evidenced in the preparation of Levallois cores prior to the removal of intended flakes (Mode 3)

Hut building (possibly)

Populations evolved new cognitive skills, leading to better utilization of raw material and new ecological attributes like larger home ranges, day ranges, group size and dietary selectivity

Typical Mode 3 industries, in which the emphasis is on comparatively small flakes obtained through previous core preparation, once Mode 3 industries get established, handaxes become rare or absent

Grave digging (likely, but comperatively rare and 'gifts' were still few)

Clothing (likely)

Use of pigments: red ocbre and specularite, and sometimes they buried their deal.

Repeated use of home bases such as caves and rock shelters.

Technological innovations such as blade production, segments and tanged or basal reduction tools are clear evidence for hafting and the invention of the first simple composite pieces of equipment.

People remained efficient scavengers of carcasses as well as hunters of large game, probably by group driving

Social relationships were more closely organised but band composition within kinship relationships may have been regularly changing.

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