The Real Life of Prehistoric People
The discovery of prehistoric remains occurred in 1829 by Philippe-Charles Schmerling in the valley of the Meuse. The physician found two caves with human bones; the second cave he discovered in 1830 contained the remains of a child, bear, and rhinoceros. The remains were confirmed as a prehistoric human from around 35,000 BC nearly a century later by Charles Fraipont. The prehistoric human was deemed a Neanderthal. They lived predominately in southwestern Europe, but traveled frequently. Their travels were known to go as far as to Uzbekistan. The thick skeletal build of the prehistoric human is consistent with cold weather conditions, allowing such travel.
Their build not only helped them to survive harsh climates, but their opposable thumbs allowed them to create distinctive tools and weapons. Tools and weapons were made of stone, wood, bone, and deer antlers. Wooden spears were used for hunting mammoths, bison and deer. Men and women both participated in dangerous hunting. There was no line drawn on who was to provide essentials needed for survival. They valued all that was gained in the hunt. The skins of the animals were used for clothing, shelter and hardening tools and weapons. They weren’t just hunters they were gathers of berries, nuts and seeds. They lived off the land and the sea, building nets and bows to capture fish. During the winter the men would build a permanent home or they resided in caves and during the summer homes were built with branches, large animal bones, and animal skin.
These prehistoric humans were quite intelligent and were quite similar to modern man and they coexisted for about 10,000 years. The average lifespan of prehistoric humans was 59 years. People search far and wide for the type of unity that prehistoric humans shared over 40,000 years ago. Close communities of 30 to 50 people shared spiritual beliefs and cared for the elderly and sick. They respected the bodies of their loved ones when they died by burying them with flowers and performing ceremonies at the time of death.
The prehistoric era is known as the Old Stone Age and encompasses 90% of our history. The following websites can provide greater scientific detail on the lives of prehistoric humans: