Differences between Paleolithic and Neolithic

It is to be known that the Paleolithic and Neolithic times are periods of prehistory that present some similarities and differences between them in terms of the way of life that developed in each one of them. In this aspect, based on its defining characteristics, we will point out the differences that exist between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic.


To begin with, the Paleolithic is a period of prehistory that began approximately 2.85 million years ago and lasted until about 10,000 years ago. Likewise, the Paleolithic is considered the longest period in human history and consists of three stages: the Lower Paleolithic, the Middle Paleolithic and the Upper Paleolithic. It was a period of great importance for the development of humanity, being the initial stage of the so-called Stone Age, since great discoveries began in it, such as the manufacture of weapons and tools, the beginning of art with the first stone carvings and cave paintings, among others.

On the other hand, various species of homo inhabited the Paleolithic such as homo habilis, homo erectus, homo neanderthaliensis and homo floresiensis, in addition to homo sapiens (modern man). Thus, in the lower paleolithic man was dedicated to gathering and hunting to satisfy his vital needs, in the middle and upper paleolithic man developed skills in the manufacture of weapons, so they became experienced hunters. At this stage, man had a nomadic lifestyle, although large clans and family groups began. Finally, the type of housing at this time was generally caves, hence the colloquial name of Paleolithic man as a caveman or caveman.


The Neolithic is a period of prehistory also known as the New Stone Age, which began around 9,500 BC and lasted until 3,500 BC when tools made of stone began to be replaced by metal. The Neolithic period was of great importance, since, during that time, the human species developed as never before, producing great changes that allowed the human being to abandon his nomadic lifestyle and based himself on survival through hunting, fishing and gathering. Also, commercial transactions with other settlements were initiated for their survival.

On the other hand, the lifestyle was based on an economy of food production based on agriculture and livestock, which brought new forms of social organization, new beliefs and ways of life. The Neolithic is divided into three phases: the initial Neolithic (I phase), the middle Neolithic (II phase) and the final Neolithic (III phase). In addition, one of the main characteristics of the Neolithic was the beginning of the domestication of animals and the development of agriculture and livestock.

Similarly, the first trades, specialization and therefore technological innovation emerged. The manufacture of ceramic utensils that allowed water and food to be stored began, which meant a great advance for the human settlements of the time. These also began to design easy to move houses such as huts and tents, as well as stone constructions for settlements.

That said, we can say that the main differences between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic are:

Paleolithic Neolithic
It began about 2.85 million years ago and lasted until about 10,000 years ago. It began approximately around the year 9,500 BC and would continue until the year 3,500 BC.
The economy was based on hunting, fishing and gathering. The economy was based on hunting, fishing, gathering, agriculture and livestock.
The society was nomadic and at the end of the period the first concepts of family emerged. Society was semi-sedentary. The first human settlements also arose
The caves were used as dwellings. Hence, the man was called a caveman. The first dwellings of artificial materials such as huts and tents were developed.

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