Acheulean hand axes from Kent. The types shown are (clockwise from top) cordate, ficron and ovate. It was the longest-used tool of human history.
Acheulean hand axes from Kent. The types shown are (clockwise from top) cordate, ficron and ovate. It was the longest-used tool of human history.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to prehistoric technology.

Prehistoric technologytechnology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records; it is also the record itself. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric (meaning "before history"), including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, hunt, cut food, and bury their dead.

Nature of prehistoric technology

Prehistoric technology can be described as:

Old World prehistoric technology

Stone Age technology in the Old World

Paleolithic technology

Lower Paleolithic technology

Middle Paleolithic technology

Upper Paleolithic Revolution

Mesolithic technology

Neolithic Revolution

Prehistoric Bronze Age technology in the Old World

Prehistoric Iron Age technology in the Old World

End of prehistory and the beginning of history

Transition from proto-writing to true writing

Prehistoric technology of the Americas

The New World periods began with the crossing of the Paleo-Indians, Athabaskan, Aleuts, Inuit, and Yupik peoples along the Bering Land Bridge onto the North American continent.[36] In their book, Method and Theory in American Archaeology, Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips defined five cultural stages for the Americas, including the three prehistoric Lithic, Archaic and Formative stages. The historic stages are the Classic and Post-Classic stages.[37][38]

Lithic technology

Archaic period technology

Formative stage technology

Prehistoric technologies by type

Primitive skills

Prehistoric art

Domestication of animals

Language / numbers

Prehistoric fishing

Prehistoric hunting

Prehistoric mining

Prehistoric medicine

Prehistoric tools

Prehistoric clothing

Stone Age tools

Prehistoric weapons

Gallery

See also

Sites

References

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Further reading