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Late Ice Age Hunter-Gatherers

The period of the late Ice Age hunter-gatherers rides the tag-end of the Paleolithic development of humankind. It is a period that, given the nuances of scientific interpretation and the influences of geography upon the Paleolithic peoples themselves, ended as long ago as 12,000 B. C. (Guilaine, 1991, P. 64) or as recently as 8,000 B. C. (Hawkes, 1976, p. 16), after which agricultural cultures took root in the prehistoric society, leading almost immediately (in relative terms compared with the millennia of slow development that had come before) to dramatic advances in technology, communication and the general raising of living standards for humankind. It was an interesting choice for late Paleolithic man to make - this switching from hunter-gatherer to farmer - for game was plentiful in the late Ice Age: "wandering" in the nomadic terms that we have come to associate with contemporary hunter-gatherer societies of the 19th Century was not such a far-flung endeavor; "leisure" time was relatively plentiful. Primitive agriculture, on the other hand, required a comparatively difficult, if stable, application of effort. But, the hunter-gatherers did need to follow their prey to a certain extent. Roots in one locale were impossible to establish for an extended period of time. Food supply was always at the whim of the luck of the hunt. Paleolithic man, as he developed intellectually, began to desire the rooted existence and stability that his mode of living did not embrace. These nascent, transitional, desires are apparent in the symbols and communication modes of the Paleolithic peoples during the late Ice Age.

As researchers have discovered in abundance, by the late Ice Age Paleolithic humans communicated in fluid verbal languages and decorated their increasingly-sophisticated stone and bone tools in surprisingly artistic fashion. Their nomadic shelters being flimsy - skins and/or foliage bound together for rudimentary protecti...

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Late Ice Age Hunter-Gatherers. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:07, April 21, 2019, from