Week 6 Post

There are quite a few differences between the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic periods.  While each of these periods did utilize stone tools, there are differences in what the tools were used for and characteristics that helped set the tools apart.  Including the different social adaptations that characterized what the tools would be used for and the preciseness of the making of tools in each Paleolithic period.

The Middle Paleolithic period  is moreso a period that focused heavily on the evolution of humans, including the introduction of burying the dead, organized religion, and more social organization.  Similar to the Lower Paleolithic period, their tools in the Middle Paleolithic period were still stone based.  The tool traditions of the Middle Paleolithic period are the Mousterian and Arterian tools, or the “Mode Three” tools.  Mousterian tools were becoming more complicated and more adapted, while the Aterian tools were made so that they could be attached to a shaft and used as projectiles.

The Upper Paleolithic period on the other hand is mostly characterized by the Upper Paleolithic Revolution where humans began to use a larger range of habitats, develop stone tools that were better adapted to certain tasks.  This created the start of using specific tools for specific tasks.  Even crazier is that humans started large-scale trade that allowed resources specific to one location to be distributed to other regions, and began to actually express themselves through art.  The different archaeological cultures that existed during the Upper Paleolithic period were the Aurignacian, Gaveltian, Solutran and Madgalenian cultures.  These tools were used to hunt larger animals than before and included more precise bifacial blades.  While the tools were always created by pressure flaking, the act of pressure flaking became much more controlled which allowed the tools to be more advanced over time.  Another thing to note is that due to the advancements in art and self-expression, stone tools were being used to create jewelry which has to be made with extremely accurate tools.

While the two Paleolithic periods do not seem to be very different, being that they both utilized stone to make tools through pressure flaking, the tools of the Upper Paleolithic are better suited to be used with specific tasks and are much more advanced, allowing for larger game to be hunted by humans.  The bifacial nature of the tools became much more precise and made for the tools to be much sharper and easier to use than ever before.

3 thoughts on “Week 6 Post

  1. I think you had a great response with good evidence to support. The middle paleolithic was absolutely a time of modernizing and shifting more into who we are today. Growing as a civilization was what it seemed to be about. While yes, there were still changes made to the stone tools, they weren’t any significant changes like were seen in the upper paleolithic. Those tools were used for more advanced humans, and they began to hunt all of the larger game like you mentioned. Those tools had to be much more precise in order to kill larger animals such as the mammoth. I also like how you mentioned the upper paleolithic revolution. This was a time in which there were many changes in the socialization of humans. It’s important to note that this was a time in which religion, art, and general cultural differences began to appear. There became a more civilized group of humans. As you said, they even began to use the tools for things such as making jewelry, which I think was really cool. Art of the people that lived long ago is always so interesting to me because it shows how beautiful things could be made with the limited resources and just how they found a way to make these things without a great deal of prior knowledge.

  2. Hey, I thought your blog post was very focused and straight to the point. You’ve written a very well organized critical discussion in regard to these two cultural periods. Good Job.
    I liked how you introduce the Middle Paleolithic as a time of our ancestor’s further development and as, in a way, an introduction to their first significant use of social community and society as a means for better survival. I also found it very easy to follow your discussion of the Middle Paleolithic stone tool traditions. The style you used, like in your descriptions of the Periods themselves reminded me of a time line in the progression of our ancestors evolving intelligence.
    In your review of the Upper Paleolithic, I noticed you mentioned our ancestor’s ability to inhabit a wider range of environments/climates. While writing my blog post for this week I had not even considered mentioning this aspect, but now realize how important this piece of information is to the story of us. Not only does it demonstrate the improved survival skills, and intelligence of our early ancestors it plays a huge role in the process of long distance trade. The development of long distance trade being something I found particularly interesting. To think it began so early at the Upper Paleolithic blew my mind. What about you?
    Again great post!

  3. Hi, I liked reading your post. It had a larger scale of focus than my post, I mainly just talked about tools and their differences between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic periods. With that, your post is very different from mine which makes it enjoyable for me to read. With that said, you still good a good job of pointing out tool differences between the periods.
    I like that you pointed out how the Middle Paleolithic period was during a time of significant cultural development, whilst also pointing out that the hominids of the time period were making much more complicated tools than possible to make in the Lower Paleolithic period. You also pointed out that these new tools were separated into the Mousterian and Arterian categories, and you said what the Arterian tools were being used for. I wish you had said how the Mousterian tools were becoming more complicated, after a quick google search I believe they were spear heads.
    In your paragraph about the Upper Paleolithic, I like how you pointed out that stone tools were used for more specific purposes by the hominids. The bifacial blades you mentioned were a result of Burin Blade making processes, which was a flaking technique developed in the time period.
    I agree with your last paragraphs statement about the periods being not too different, it seems that way to me as well. Thanks for writing an interesting post.

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