Paleolithic beginning with the emergence of man and the manufacture of the most ancient tools some two million years ago, the Paleolithic period lasted through most of the Pleistocene Ice Age, until the final retreat of the ice sheets in about 8300 B.C. The Stone Age was a period which our ancestors emerged and prepared tool kits form stone according to their needs. It was the longest period of human progress, beginning over two million years ago. Stone Age begins with the first appearance of stone tools over two million years ago, and ends around 10,000 years ago. The term Paleolithic is derived from two Greek words meaning Old Stone Age. Men started to use stones, not only to kill animals , but also to cut up the meat and remove the skins, and also to dig up roots. It is also known as a hunting gathering stage, in which early man depended upon hunting animals and collecting wild fruits.
Some of the oldest stone tools were found in the Oldovai Gorge in East Africa. During this age men spent their lives hunting. At Ambrona, in Northern Spain, some men used a fire to stampede a herd of elephants into a bog, 300,000 years ago. The bones are still there , and so are remains of the fire and some stone tools. The Paleolithic begins with the earliest evidence of tool-making around two and perhaps two and a half million years ago, and ends with the end of the last ice-age, around ten thousand years ago. In Europe, Western Asia and Africa, the Paleolithic industries of the Pleistocene can be divided into three major groups on the basis of the shape , size and methods of manufacture of the artifact types. This immensely long period is normally divided into three groups/sections – the Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic.
Excerpt From: MA (History) Study Guide, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, 2014, 13.