Stone Age Worksheets
Do you want to save dozens of hours in time? Get your evenings and weekends back? Be able to teach about the Stone Age to your students?
Our worksheet bundle includes a fact file and printable worksheets and student activities. Perfect for both the classroom and homeschooling!
- Three Periods of the Stone Age
- Tools and Weapons During the Stone Age
- Arts from the Stone Age
Key Facts And Information
Let’s find out more about the Stone Age!
The Stone Age was an Ice Age that began 2.6 million years ago. As the name implies, the earliest pieces of evidence of the stone tools used by humans were found to have been used during this period. The Stone Age was divided into three distinct periods, which ended around 3,300 B.C.: the Paleolithic Period, Mesolithic Period, and Neolithic Period.
Though, some experts believe that our primate ancestors have used stone tools even earlier when they held the ability of modern apes, like bonobos, to use stone tools to get food as proof of their claim. The evidence reveals a lot about early humans, such as how they lived and behaved.
Three Periods of the Stone Age
During the ancient period, the Stone Age was one of three ages, the other two being the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. However, Stone Age was further subdivided into three distinct periods: Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic, also known as Old Stone Age, Middle Stone Age, and New Stone Age, respectively. This was done to understand how the sophistication of stone tools evolved.
- The time between 2.5 million years ago and 10,000 B.C. was marked as the Paleolithic Period. During this time, humans lived as hunters and gatherers in caves or simple huts.
- Their primary food sources were the birds and wild animals that they hunted using tools made of stone and bone and cooked with a controlled fire.
- Because they were also gatherers, the berries, fruits, and nuts that they harvested formed part of their diet. Aside from that, they were already practising fishing at the time.
- This period's ancient humans were the first to create art. By combining minerals, ochres, burnt bone meal, charcoal, water, blood, animal fats, and tree saps, they etched humans, animals, and signs. They also carved small figurines from stone, clay, bones, and antlers.
- The end of the Paleolithic Period coincided with the end of the last Ice Age. Humans migrated as a result of rising sea levels and climate change, whilst many large mammals died and went extinct.
The Mesolithic period lasted 2,000 years after the Paleolithic period ended around 10,000 B.C.
- Small stone tools used by humans at the time were already polished. They were made with points that were then attached to antlers, bone, or wood to serve as spears and arrows.
- Humans frequently had no permanent residence because they moved from one location to another based on the availability of water resources.
- However, once agricultural practises were introduced, humans decided to settle in villages, gradually eradicating their nomadic culture.
- Finally, the Neolithic period began around 8,000 B.C. until 3,000 B.C.
- Because they adapted to an agricultural way of life, the Neolithic people gradually transitioned from hunters and gatherers to farmers.
- Instead of hunting, they turned to the domestication of animals.
- Hand axes were polished, and adzes were used for agricultural tasks like ploughing and tilling the land.
Tools and Weapons During the Stone Age
- The stone age was named after the tools and weapons discovered and thought to have been used during the period, which was made of stone. However, other materials were used as well, such as bone, ivory, and antler. The tools discovered were determined to have existed during the "Stone Age" using various methods, such as radiometric dating, in which the natural radioactive decay of some of the elements composing the stone was considered as a reliable clock for dating the past.
- Because humans lived in the stone age by hunting wild animals, they required tools and weapons to hunt and kill their prey. Other animal parts that they couldn't eat were used to make clothes and structures.
- The spear and arrow were the most important weapons that humans made and used at the time. They were able to hunt effectively thanks to these complementary tools.
- Axes were also thought to be used for preparing hunted prey for consumption and, on occasion, for close combat.
- Hammerstones were among the simplest but most useful tools available during the Stone Age. Hammerstones were crafted from hard stones such as sandstone, quartzite, and limestone. This type of tool was used for butchery, as it was used to strike dead animals, and for craft, as it was used to strike other stones to form other tools or weapons.
- The large flakes were sharpened and used as weapons after being hit with hammerstones. Meanwhile, the sharper flakes were used to separate the meat, cut the skin and fur, and cut fabrics to make clothes and tent-like structures.
- As the Paleolithic people made tools, four fundamental traditions emerged: pebble-tool, bifacial-tool or hand-axe, flake-tool, and blade-tool. These so-called "tool traditions" reflect how the ancient people of the time survived by relying on the tools they used.
Arts from the Stone Age
- The arts of the Stone Age were frequently referred to as "prehistoric arts." The forms of art created during the Stone Age varied. Rock art, sculpture or carving, cave painting, and ceramic art from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods are examples of this.
- The artists in Gwion Gwion rock painting are depicted wearing bags, tassells, and headdresses. It was discovered in Western Australia and was thought to have existed 12,000 years ago. Because the humans painted appeared to dance and exhibit ecstatic behaviour, the figures were thought to depict shamanic rituals or creation ceremonies. Since 2009, aerial firebombing and backburning have caused the rock art to fade.
The Lion-man was another name for the Lowenmensch figurine. It is an ivory sculpture discovered in 1939. It was given the name "Lowenmensch," which is German for "Lion-man," because it was discovered in the German cave of Hohlenstein-Stadel. Carbon dating determines its age to be between 35,000 and 40,000 years, putting it in the Aurignacian culture that existed at the start of the Paleolithic period. The figure was carved from mammoth ivory with a flint stone knife. A smaller version was discovered in Hohle Fels, another cave in Germany, raising the possibility that the Aurignacian culture associated with the figurine is supportive of shamanism.
- The Venus figurine is a piece of ceramic art depicting a naked female. Because of its enormous breasts, belly, and hips, the statuette was thought to represent fertility. The top of its head had four holes, indicating that it was once adorned with four feathers. Its age indicates that it was made by Neolithic people who could make ceramics, but not functional storage vessels. It was discovered at the foot of Devin Mountain in the Czech Republic.