Stone Age (30,000 –2500 BCE)


About the time

People lived in small nomadic groups that hunted and gathered their food.  There was no farming, so if the animals that the people hunted moved, the people followed them.

BTW, do you know what BCE stands for?  It’s “Before the Common Era.”  All of the dates we use come from a Christian calendar where the year 0 marks when Jesus was born.  Anything before the year zero is “BCE” and the years count down, just like negative numbers on a number line. That means that 150 BCE is 50 years before 100 BCE.

Anything after Jesus was born is “CE" or "Common Era."  The Jewish  Calendar, which doesn’t recognize the birth of Jesus as important, has been counting up for a longer time and is about 2000 years ahead of the Christian Calendar.  In other words, it will be 4011 instead of 2011 on the Jewish calendar.

The Art

Paintings were done on cave walls using the natural shapes in the walls to represent the shapes of animals



Painters used charcoal or other natural minerals like iron mixed with animal fat.  The charcoal or natural minerals created the color and the animal fat helped it stay on the wall.



Lascaux cave in southern France was discovered in 1940 by a group of teenagers.  It is 17,000 years old!

        Hall of Bulls 6000 images of animals and people.

  • Some people say it’s a map of the stars.
  • Some say the hunters would paint the animals that they wanted to capture on their next hunt.









Visit the caves in Lascaux, France to check out the cave paintings! This link is a virtual visit to the caves!


        Chinese Horse in the Lascaux caves

  • Smooth lines that remind people of the lines used in Chinese characters
  • The rock is round where the stomach is. The artist used the wall to make the animal look more realistic.
  • The painting proves that early humans are not as primitive as people once thought.




        Venus of Willendorf

This very small statue is thought to be a fertility goddess.  She fits in a person’s hand (4 inches tall) and brings good luck to women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.  There were many other figures like her found in Austria and Germany.  She was carved out of limestone and has a thick layer of red ochre.






               is a Megalith- (use


               Post and lintel construction looks like this:


Where is Stonehenge? Where are the stones from?

    Use or to answer these questions.







  More pictures pictures:


Here are five of the theories for why/how Stonehenge was built.  They are on this website



Continue to the next lesson, Mesopotamia.

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