Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic

12 articles
5 videos
Periods of time before the written record are often defined in terms of geological eras or major shifts in climate and environment. The periods of global prehistory, known as lithic or stone ages, are Paleolithic (“old stone age”), Mesolithic (“middle stone age”), and Neolithic (“new stone age”). A glacial period produced European ice ages; Saharan agricultural grassland became desert; and tectonic shifts in southeast Asia created land bridges between the continent and the now-islands of the Pacific south of the equator. Human behavior and expression was influenced by the changing environments in which they lived. By permission, © 2013 The College Board

Apollo 11 Stones

Essay by Natalie Hager


Essay by Dr. Mary Beth Looney

The Neolithic Revolution

Essay by Dr. Senta German

Bushel with ibex motifs

VIDEO 4:02 minutes
Bushel with ibex motifs, 4200--3500 B.C.E., Susa I period, necropolis, acropolis mound, Susa, Iran, painted terra-cotta, 28.90 x 16.40 cm, excavations led by Jacques de Morgan, 1906-08 (Musée du Louvre, Paris) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and ...

Anthropomorphic stele

by Nathalie N. Hager

Jade Cong

VIDEO 5:11 minutes
Jade Cong, c. 2500 B.C.E., Liangzhu culture, Neolithic period, China (British Museum) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker

Working jade

VIDEO 3:49 minutes
This video explores the significance and working of jade in China. Learn more about jade on the Asian Art Museum's education website.



Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (UNESCO/NHK)

VIDEO 3:16 minutes
Stonehenge and Avebury, in Wiltshire, are among the most famous groups of megaliths in the world. The two sanctuaries consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored. These holy ...

Tlatilco figurines

VIDEO 5:07 minutes
Tlatilco figurines (from the National Museum of Anthropology, but also including the Female Figure at the Princeton University Art Museum), ceramic, Tlatilco, Mesoamerica (present-day Mexico), c. 1200–600 B.C.E. Speakers: Dr. Lauren ...

Tlatilco Figurines

Essay by Dr. Rex Koontz