|Fossil of the Skull of Lantian Man |
The Paleolithic Age
According to some theories, human civilization began during this period. The Paleolithic age can be divided into three periods - early, middle and late. The three periods follow the evolution of men from apes. Beginning with Homo erectus, and hereafter earlier Homo sapiens and finally later Homo sapiens.
In the early period, humans lived as hunter gatherers. As for the implements, coarsely-made stone ones were widely used. Fire was used to keep warm and cook food.
Humans in the middle period were more advanced than those living in the early period. The implements at that time were more diverse and more finely crafted.
The appearance of the humans in the late period was almost as the same as that of modern humans. They belonged to the latter Homo sapiens. Tools were more advanced than before. Beating, polishing and drilling were used extensively. Implements looked symmetrical and clearly reflect their different purposes. Bow and arrow, rock spear, drill, awls, carving implements and some utensils for daily use made from bone appeared at that time. In addition, decorations created with rocks, bones, animal teeth and ostrich eggshells appeared, among which some were even dyed with colors. As for the marriage system, because of the establishment of the clan, no person in a clan was allowed to marry a person of a different clan.
To date many human fossils and cultural relics have been found including the famous Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, Beijing. All the things that are left of the Paleolithic Age are great treasures for the research of human evolvement and culture, and China is one of the cradles of civilization.