The Paleolithic is the longest period of human history and it occupies 99% of the development of our species . Chronologically it corresponds to the study of cultures that existed in the world since the emergence of the genus Homo , perhaps 2.5 million years ago to the beginning of the Holocene , about 10,000 years ago.
Traditionally this period is identified with the man long predatory stage , that part of his past where he lived from the exploitation of natural resources , without producing food through the domestication of animals and plants.
The Paleolithic is divided into three periods, which are divided into:
- Lower Paleolithic: 1,000,000 years ago
- Economy: based on a predatory economy where individuals were structured in small groups of 20 or 30 people to exploit the resources of an area without exhausting. There is disagreement over whether the main economic activity was the hunter-gatherer, because according to some authors could engage in scavenging.
- - During this period significant progress as is the mastery of fire, which improves quality of life, food and toolmaking occurs.
- - Beliefs: There is no evidence of ritual practices or sacred kind.
- - For the habitat or where they lived, most of the sites are outdoors, near waterways, marine and river terraces.
- Middle Paleolithic: 100,000 years ago
- Economy: The main source of livelihood was the opportunistic hunting without specialization determined by any kind as well as the scavenging of dead animals. Other activities include fishing and gathering shellfish. It would be a sparsely population groups and would consist of a very small number of individuals.
- In terms of habitat, they would live mainly in shelters and caves and begin to give the first artistic manifestations.
- Upper Paleolithic: 35.00 years
- Economy: the operating environment becomes increasingly intensive, with use of previously unused resources. It is broader social groups that subsist thanks to a series of economic activities such as hunting, for inventing some useful work that facilitated the hunting like the bow, or the propellant. Are also devoted to fishing and shellfish in the vicinity of rivers and coasts, this fishing would be done by hand or by useful as bone harpoons.
- Habitat: semi-permanent or seasonal villages appear, the structures of room and the cabins are developed, and exchanges and interactions between groups increases.
- Beliefs: The fully developed symbolic capacities (art, religion, languages, ...)
- At the technological level, together with the development of instruments made of stone, a greater number of tools made of antler, ivory or bone having more standardized forms begin to appear.
With regard to the province of Toledo, the first groups of hominids begin to settle during the Middle Pleistocene, atestiguándose evidence of their presence in the quaternary terraces of the Tagus River and its tributaries, by the finding of stone pieces as chooper, bifaces, triedos, etc. In this regard, it would highlight the materials located in the municipality of San Bartolome de las Open where he has documented an extensive number assigned to Paleolithic sites, mainly from the Middle Paleolithic.
There are also other areas with significant dispersions of Paleolithic material as it is the case of the terms of Mazarambroz, Ajofrín, Almonacid de Toledo, Raven, Mascaraque, Mora, Polán, Pulgar, Sonseca and Las Ventas con Peña Aguilera.
The location of these stone sets made mostly in stone quartzite, but also in Flint, they come from the contribution fluvial terraces or different frogs, which provide a large amount of material raw material for the realization of tooling. For this reason, the Paleolithic material documented, is mostly isolated findings or areas of dispersion, in which there is a stratigraphic context that provides information about the way of life.
The most characteristic tools are songs worked, bifaces over quartzite stones, scrapers, flakes made of flint, etc., belonging to the Middle Paleolithic and upper.