Palaeolithic and Mesolithic (500,000–5500 BC)

The Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age (until 10,000 BC)

The Palaeolithic began almost 3 million years ago with the evolution of early humans in Africa.
Roughly one million years ago, humans reached Europe and left traces of their lives behind – in the Saar-Moselle region as well.
The oldest finds here are around 500,000 years old.

Homo erectus built dwellings from boulders and bones, and used implements made from wood, bones and stone.

In the Palaeolithic steppe landscapes, people hunted big game, such as mammoths, rhinos and horses, and also gathered fruits, mushrooms, eggs, mussels and other foodstuffs.
Spears and harpoons were common weapons.

Towards the end of the Palaeolithic, Homo sapiens appeared: the first species of human to create works of art.


The Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age (10,000–5500 BC)

After the Last Glacial Period, the environment changed, and flora spread and grew thicker and thicker.
Red and roe deer, wild boar and small game replaced big game, which became extinct or moved north.

People now also used bows and arrows to hunt and increasingly gathered plants, such as wild grains, nuts and herbs.

Stone working advanced significantly:
Microliths were made from flint, chert or quartz using small, very narrow blades. Some had a strict geometric and standardised shape and were attached to wooden sticks, antlers or long bones.

There are numerous find sites from the Mesolithic in the Saarland – for example in the Tettingen and Borg sections of Perl.

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