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Palaeolithic

The period which covers from 200,000 BC to 9000 BC.

The first material and human remains found in Euskal Herria are more than 300,000 years old. Around the year 100,000 BC the Neanderthal was consolidated until its disappearance around the year 30,000 BC.

During the Superior Palaeolithic (35,000-10,500 BC) an acceleration in the ways of life was produced in all environments. The human type was Cro-Magnon or Homo sapiens sapiens and the climate was cold due the glaciation Wurm, which is why the sites mainly appear along the coast and particularly in caves.

In this period great technological advances were made: the production of a great variety of arms and utensils in stone, bone, wood, rope and all kinds of vegetable fibres. Together with this, a specialised type of pillage occurred: the obtaining of vegetable resources, fishing and hunting. The hunting was carried out according to age and sex, in order not to decimate the prey of the future, and there were human groups specialised in different species by caves.

All the human beings which now inhabit the planet descend from the Cro-Magnon or Homo sapiens sapiens. All the populations which have coexisted and have settled and transited around the Basque Country, from the Superior Palaeolithic to our days, descend from this evolutionary branch.

During the Superior Palaeolithic there was an increase in the population and a securing of the settlements, with the exploiting of the resources of the actual region, initiating a hierarchy of settlements.

During this period there was a great development of esthetical, musical and ritual conceptions. There are 12 caves in Euskal Herria with paintings and/or engravings. The site of Isturitz is one of the most important in Europe as regards the quantity and quality of movable art; a great quantity of musical instruments has been found.

http://www.euskosare.org/euskal_herria/aurkezpena_eh/historia/historiaurre/palaeolithic/eks_structuredocument_view