In the ancient times, stone was the primary substance of making tools and weapons and Stone Age is the period when stone was widely used. The Stone Age is divided into three parts on the basis of the improvements made to the tools and weapon by man i.e. Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic Ages.
Palaeolithic Age means old Stone Age and is derived from the Greek words ‘Palaeo’, meaning old and ‘lithos’, meaning stone. This age started around 2 million years ago and extended till around twelve thousand years ago. The tools and weapons during this age were large, crude and unpolished.
Following the Palaeolithic Age was the Mesolithic Age, which in Greek means the Middle Stone Age. This age lasted only around two thousand years i.e. from twelve thousand years back to ten thousand years back. The Mesolithic tools were polished and chipped to be sharper, harder and stronger as compared to the predecessors. By this time, man started attaching bones and wooden handles to create new tools like sickles and axes.
The middle stone age was followed by the Neolithic Age, which lasted for around five thousand years i.e. from ten thousand years ago to five thousand years ago. Neolithic Age means New Stone Age and the tools in this age were extremely sharp. The two techniques used for making tools in this age were Stone on Stone and Pressure Flaking.
Fire was discovered during this period only and proved highly beneficial. Ancient man used fire for light and warmth, helping in cooking meat and keeping away the wild animals by keeping in front of their caves.