Back to the Past

Paleolítico

  • The Palaeolithic is the oldest and longest period of prehistory.

  • It began 2 million years ago and continued until 10000 BC, coinciding with the end of the Quaternary Period.

  • The last phase of the Palaeolithic, known as the Upper Palaeolithic, began 40,000 years ago.

  • After various stages of hominisation, modern humans emerged: Homo sapiens sapiens.

  • The main concern of the men and women of the Palaeolithic Period was survival. They needed to make weapons to defend themselves against carnivorous animals, tools to gather plants, and weapons and traps for hunting.

  • To protect themselves from the cold and heat, they lived mainly in the entrances to caves...

  • and occasionally in simple shacks built from branches or animal skins.

  • Humans discovered fire, perhaps accidentally when a bolt of lightning hit the ground. They later learned how to make fire for themselves.

  • Fire enabled the men, women and children of prehistoric times to cook food...

  • illuminate dark spaces, keep themselves warm and frighten off wild animals, among other things.

  • They ate wild fruits and berries

  • ...that they found ...

  • and the meat of the animals and fish they hunted and caught.

  • Gradually, they improved their techniques for gathering, fishing and hunting by working together as a team.

  • Groups of women, men and children moved around, searching for animals...

  • and food to gather.

  • They made tools from stone, antler and bone (tips, scrapers, shovels, awls, harpoons, light javelins, launchers, etc.) and undoubtedly from fibres and other plant material as well, though these have not survived to the present day.

  • The human beings of the Upper Palaeolithic expressed their artistic concerns on the rocky walls of caves and sites out in the open (rock art) and on various portable objects (portable art).

  • In El Forcn Cave in San Juan de Toledo in the Sobrarbe district, an outstanding collection of Palaeolithic engravings have survived in the damp clay of the cave walls and roof...

  • ...lines traced with fingers, leaving a shallow mark known as macaroni, and incisions made using tools with blunt and sharp ends. Notable among them is what seems to be the evanescent figure of a horse.