Megabeasts' Sudden Death
Stone Age Toolkit
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Stone Age Toolkit

About 40,000 years ago, near the dawn of the 30-millennia-long period known as the Upper Paleolithic, the first anatomically modern humans suddenly and mysteriously revolutionized their cultures with dozens of specialized tools, weaponry, and other artifacts. They became deft hunters capable of bringing down massive animals, they tolerated harsh environmental conditions, and they equipped themselves to travel vast distances in search of new frontiers. Many questions still remain about these peoples, including when and how they journeyed to the New World, but experts agree that the answers could someday crystallize from the ever-emerging technological evidence Stone Age humans left behind. In this interactive matching game, consider what roles 10 different kinds of primitive artifacts from Europe and North America played for our earliest ancestors.—Lexi Krock

Note: This feature originally appeared on NOVA's America's Stone Age Explorers website in 2004, when Lexi Krock was an associate editor of NOVA Online.

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