• Imagining History

What is the Palaeolithic? - All the Important Bits for Key Stage 2

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

The Stone Age is split into three eras; the Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic.

The Palaeolithic Era (also spelled "Paleolithic") was the first and oldest of these eras. It is also known as the ‘Old’ or ‘Early’ Stone Age.

The Palaeolithic Era began when early human beings first started using stones as tools and weapons. Historians aren't sure on the exact date that this happened because there aren't any written records from the time (because early humans hadn't worked out how to write yet!) to tell us about it - but we know it was about 2.5 million years ago.

The Palaeolithic Era lasted for a crazy long time, from around 2.5 million years ago to 20,000 or 10,000 years ago. In fact, the Old Stone Age accounts for 99% of human history.

Here's some of the important things that happened in the Palaeolithic:

  • The Palaeolithic was the first time humans used stone tools to hunt.

  • It marked the first appearance of cave paintings.

  • Our ancestors – Homo Sapiens turned up around 300,000 BC.

  • People were hunter gatherers at this time and would move from place to place to follow the animal herds.

If you liked what you just read, why not consider donating to support the blog? It's thanks to awesome people like you that we are able to continue creating content for this History Resource.

Help keep these resources free by donating today! Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Further reading:

Subscribe to Our

Receive updates on our latest blog posts* including new articles, history guides, arts & crafts ideas and more. 

Plus, it's all free!

*We will not spam you or pass your information onto any third parties. You can unsubscribe at any time using the links at the bottom of the email. For more information, see our Privacy Notice or email us at the address below.

Support Us

To keep this content free, forever.

  • RSS
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Call Us
  • Email Us
School Workshops - Find Primary & Secondary Workshops for Schools


Lancaster, England