Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

Economy and the way of life

The economy of the Palaeolithic period was based on the direct exploitation of nature and the close environment, which supplied the animal, vegetable and mineral raw materials, necessary for nutrition, tool-making, energy production, building of dwellings, clothing, orndments and art. The major economic activities were hunting, collecting and fishing. Hunting was the main way of approaching the animal world. During the Archaic Palaeolithic cadaver devouring and hunting, primarily of small animals, coexisted. With the appearance of Homo erectus the hunting methods, based on the use of fire and new weapons, facilitated the systematic hunting of big mammals. The climate aggravation, which commenced during the Middle Palaeolithic, resulted to the elimination of species and thus to the specialization of hunting, which also continued in the Late Palaeolithic. The introduction of animal materials in technology caused a real revolution: now the bone spearheads and the spear throwers offered new possibilities. Collecting was primarily directed to vegetable materials, from which only the pollen, seeds and charcoals supply information on the vegetable world, although they do not specify the preferences of Palaeolithic man. Molluscs were also collected for nutrition as well as for decoration. The bone remains offish and their representation in art prove the exercise of fishing in lakes and rivers but also in the sea. However, this activity would be fully developed only towards the end of the Late Palaeolithic. Finally, the production, use and control of fire significantly changed the potentialities of man and his relation with environment. The oldest traces of fire, in the form of hearth, were located in more than one European sites and were dated around 400,000 years.