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Glossary of historical terms

Neolithic period. The Stone Age can be divided into the Palaeolithic or 'older Stone Age', beginning about 1.5 million years ago, and the Neolithic or 'new Stone Age', beginning about 10000 years ago and ending with the start of the Bronze Age about 5000 years ago.  The change from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic is defined as the change from stone tools that were simply chipped to those that were also ground and polished. In its broad sense, the Neolithic is the period between the end of a predominantly hunter-gatherer way of life and the beginning of  the widespread use of metal in tool-making, a period during which the practice of farming started and spread through most of Asia, Europe and North Africa.


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