Paleolithic period

Paleolithic mean comes from the English word paleo, meaning “of pre-historic times,” and the Greek word lithos, meaning “stone.”

During the Paleolithic period (pre-15000 BC), primitive men, such as those now identified as the Pithecanthropus erectus, were little more advanced than the anthropoid ape. Paleolithic Age is an “Old Stone Age”, period when humans lived in bands and were hunters and gatherers.

The earliest signs of human aggression, in the form of traumas, come from the Paleolithic, but they are few, scattered and often uncertain. The oldest recorded case suggestive of interpersonal violence is a skeleton from Israel, dated to the Upper Paleolithic, which has perimortem injuries probably inflicted by a spear. The earliest evidence of injuries possibly caused by warfare is from Jebel Sahaba in Sudan.

The manner of combat as such primitives must have largely depended on empty handed fighting tactics augmented by such natural objects as sticks and stones.

Most primitive societies used projectile weapons, such as spears or bows, in formal battles, while melee weapons were used only to dispatch a wounded or a fleeing enemy. Advanced tactics and manoeuvres require discipline, training and leaders, so a simple line was often the only formation used in primitive battles.

More highly developed Pleistocene men, too, have been found by archaeological efforts. All these settlers employed instruments, such as hand-axes, which were made of unpolished stone and slightly tapered at one end (by chipping) against another stones.
Paleolithic period
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