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24 Modeling the Past: The Paleoethnological Evidence

  • Paolo Biagi
Reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter considers the earliest Paleolithic, Oldowan (Mode 1), and Acheulean (Mode 2) Cultures of the Old Continent and the traces left by the earliest hominids since their departure from Africa. According to the more recent archeological data, they seem to have followed two main dispersal routes across the Arabian Peninsula toward the Levant, to the north, and the Indian subcontinent, to the east. According to the discoveries currently underway at Dmanisi in the Caucasus, the first Paleolithic settlement of Europe is dated to some 1.75 Myr, which indicates that the first “out of Africa” took place at least slightly before this date. The data available for Western Europe show that the first Paleolithic sites can be attributed to a period around 1.0 Myr. The first well-defined “structural remains” so far discovered in Europe are those of Isernia La Pineta in southern Italy, where a semicircular artificial platform made of stone boulders and animal bones has been excavated. The first hand-thrown hunting weapons employed by Homo erectus come from the site of Schoeningen in north Germany, where the occurrence of wooden spears, more than 2-m long, has been recorded for the first time from a site attributed to some 0.37 Myr. At roughly, the same time H. erectus is supposed to have begun the domestication of fire. Although most of the archeological finds of these ages consist of chipped stone artifacts, indications of art demonstrations seem to be already present in the Acheulean of Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Keywords

Stone Tool Early Hominid Paleolithic Site Lithic Artifact Evident Trace 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • Paolo Biagi

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