The first actual find of a palaeolithic implement was that of a rudely fashioned flint in a sandbank at Menchecourt in 1841 by Boucher de Perthes.
Further discoveries have resulted in the division of the Palaeolithic Age into various epochs or sequences according to the faunas associated with the implements or the localities where found.
Numerous isolated palaeolithic objects of the Mousterian type have been found in the neighbourhood of Rome in the quaternary gravels of the Tiber and Anio; but no certain traces of the neolithic period have come to light, as the many Pre" flint implements found sporadically round Rome pro- historic bably belong to the period which succeeded neolithic (called by Italian archaeologists the eneolithic period) inasmuch as both stone and metal (not, however, bronze, but copper) were in use.
The study of the prehistoric population of Finland - Neolithic (no Palaeolithic finds have yet been made) - of the Age of Bronze and the Iron Age has been carried on with great zeal.
But the absence of the long-shaped implements, so characteristic of the Neolithic and Palaeolithic series, and serviceable as picks, hatchets, and chisels, shows remarkable limitation in the mind of these savages, who made a broad, hand-grasped knife their tool of all work to cut, saw, and chop with.
The fully authenticated remains of palaeolithic man are few, and discoveries are confined to certain areas, e.g.
Stone implements, more or less approaching the European Palaeolithic type, were found in Africa from Egypt southwards, wherein such parts as Somaliland and Cape Colony they lie about.
Later Palaeolithic Period (La Madeleine) .The next period is marked by the presence of reindeer.
Bones and implements have been found in the Quaternary gravels at Trenton, which have been held by some authorities to prove the presence of Palaeolithic man; but the earliest inhabitants of New Jersey of whom there is any certain record were the Lenni-Lennape or Delaware Indians, a branch of the Algonquian family.
Whose place in the Stone Age was a grade lower than that of Palaeolithic man of the Quaternary period.
In the Grotta dei Colombi objects of the Palaeolithic age have been found.
Symbols like the letters of the alphabet have been found in European soil painted upon pebbles belonging to a stratum between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic age.
These facts tended to remove the mystery from Palaeolithic man, though too little is known of the ruder ancient tribes of Africa to furnish a definition of the state of culture which might have co-existed with the use of Palaeolithic implements.
The pictorial art of the Tasmanians was poor and childish, quite below that of the Palaeolithic men of Europe.
- Remains of Palaeolithic man, contemporary with the large Quaternary mammals, are few in Russia; they have been discovered only in Poland, Poltava and Voronezh, and perhaps also on the Oka.
Of palaeolithic man hardly any traces are to be found; but, though western Sicily has been comparatively little explored, and the results hardly published at all, in several localities neolithic remains, attributable to the Sicani, have been discovered.
The principal uses to which flint has been put are the fabrication of weapons in Palaeolithic and Neolithic times.
- There is as yet no certain evidence to show that Ireland was inhabited during the palaeolithic period.
It is true that stone implements of palaeolithic and neolithic types are found sporadically in the Nile valley, Somaliland, on the Zambezi, in Cape Colony and the northern portions of the Congo Free State, as well as in Algeria and Tunisia; but the localities are far too few and too widely separated to warrant the inference that they are to be in any way connected.
The lower Nile valley, however, forms an exception; flint implements of a palaeolithic type have been found near Thebes, not only on the surface of the ground, which for several thousand years has been desert owing to the contraction of the river-bed, but also in stratified gravel of an older date.
On the surface of the desert, at the borders of the valley, palaeolithic implements of well-defined form are not uncommon, and bear the marks of a remote antiquity.
The researches of Helbig (Die Italiker in der Po-Ebene, Leipzig, 1879) show that the lower valley of the Po was at an early period occupied by people of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic stages of civilization, who built houses on piles along the swampy borders of the streams. It is possible that even they may have begun by crude dikes the great system by which the waters are now controlled; at least it is certain that these works date their origin from pre-Roman antiquity.
It is so named from a cave (Le Moustier), on the right bank of the Vezere, an affluent of the Dordogne, above Les Eyzies and Tayac, which has yielded typical palaeolithic implements.
Many interesting mammalian fossils, rhinoceros, mammoth, &c., with palaeolithic implements, have been found in the valley gravels of the river Ouse and its tributaries.
The bulb is evidence of a direct blow, probably intentionally made, and is a point of some importance to archaeologists investigating Palaeolithic implements.
The caves of the Balzi Rossi have proved rich in palaeolithic remains of the Quaternary period.
This first period of human culture has been subdivided by Lord Avebury into Palaeolithic and Neolithic, words which have been generally accepted as expressing the two stages of the rough, unpolished and the finely finished and polished stone implements.
The most important data bearing upon the first great period are given elsewhere in this work, and it is proposed to offer here a more general survey.5 To the prehistoric ages belong the palaeolithic and neolithic flints, from the distribution of which an attempt might be made to give a synthetic sketch of early Palestinian man.6 A burial cave at Gezer has revealed the existence of a race of slight build and stature, muscular, with elongated crania, and thick and heavy skull-bones.
The gap in our knowledge of the development of Palaeolithic into Neolithic civilization has recently been partially filled in by discoveries in north Germany and France of objects showing rather more developed forms than those of the former period, but still unaccompanied by earthenware.
Numerous flints of palaeolithic type have been discovered, notably at Tlemcen and Kolea.
They are called from the places in France where the most typical finds of palaeolithic remains have been made - Chellian from Chelles, a few miles east of Paris; Mousterian from the cave of Moustier on the river V ezere, Dordogne; Solutrian from the cave at Solutre near Macon; and Madelenian from the rocky shelter of La Madeleine, Dordogne.
Celts, of the usual late neolithic type, were generally of green jasper; hoe-blades (looking almost exactly like palaeolithic haches a main) of chert or coarse limestone; hammers of granite; mace-heads, of identical type with the early Egyptian, of diorite and limestone; nails of obsidian or smoky quartz, often beautifully made.