The Prehistoric Times
Paleolithic Age ( Old Stone Age ) ( 2 Million - 8000 BC )
Paleolithic Age, also known to be the old stone
age, begins somewhere between 2 million years ago and ends 10.000 years before our time.
This time period marks the beginning of the existence of the ancestors of man.
The early man in the Paleolithic age did not
know to farm and raise crops but lived on picking up vegetables, fruit and on hunting. In
search of the new food sources and to be able to hunt animals, he moved from place to
place , and gathered in small groups. His dwelling was in rocky areas, under big rocks and
in caves. In areas where this condition could not be met he made easy and primitive
shelters out of wood. Around 40.000 BC he started making simple stone tools for hunting
and protection purposes.
40.000 and 10.000 is the glacial age on earth. Not being able to move much due to the
climate, the primitive man utilized the skin of the animals that he hunted by successfully
carved stones. To make clothes he used pins made out of bones and saw animal skin covers
for himself. During this hard time of survival , he was able to discover and to control
fire and by doing so he happened to have passed an important step in his development which
helped him be separated from the animals. In this same period the earliest notion of the
need to believe in an other world or in a mightier power can also be traced. In the graves
that were dug for the dead as simple holes he left food by the side of the deceased and
this is interpreted to be his faith in afterlife. To sum up, the hard conditions of life
in the glacial age led the early man develop better socially and
technically. The passage from the very primitive man, namely Home
Neanderthal, to the ancestor of the modern man, namely Home Sapiens who is dated to
between 10.000 and 8.000 may also be considered in this period.
In the last phases of the Paleolithic age the
early man could make tools in order to make different new tools. The first works of art
emerged in this era too: paintings made on cave the walls and various art objects such as
low reliefs and figurines.The intellectual life of the man was beginning. Moreover, animal
bones, teeth and shells the ornate objects demonstrate the first aesthetic concern in man.
The fact that in Paleolithic Age, the Asia Minor
is extremely rich in fossils and fragments of human beings and animals, of stone, of bone
and of vegetation, as well as of works of art reveals that Anatolian land was intensely
inhabited during this period. The most important place in Anatolia where all the three
phases; Upper, Middle and Lower in the Paleolithic Age can be seen, is the Karain Cave on
the 30 km northwest of Antalya. In this respectively big cave, there are various living
sections from each of the three phases of the Paleolithic Age. Among the finds are many
carved stone and bone tools, moveable art objects, remains of the bones and teeth of Homo
Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens, burnt and unburned animal and bread fossils. Karain cave in
the Paleolithic Age is not a crucial excavation site only for Anatolia but also for the
Near East. One can see some of these remains in the Museums of Karain, in Antalya and in
Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.