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period Word or Phrase:Prehistoric  
Definition:About 500,000 BC to 42 AD

The Prehistoric period covers all the periods from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Iron Age.
This is a time when people did not write anything down so there is no documentary evidence for archaeologists to look at. Instead, the archaeologists look at the material culture belonging to the people and the places where they lived for clues about their way of life.

The Prehistoric period is divided into the Early Prehistoric and Later Prehistoric.
The Early Prehistoric period covers the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods.
The Later Prehistoric period covers Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age times.[more]

In the Bronze Age people discovered how to use bronze. They used it to make tools and other objects. Before the Bronze Age, people used materials such as stone, wood, hide and bone to make their tools and continued to do so until the present day. wood, hide and bone are organic materials which decay so archaeologists usually only find the stone objects, hence the word ‘lithic’ (from the greek word for stone) at the end of the period names Palaeolithic (Old stone Age), Mesolithic (Middle stone Age) and Neolithic (New stone Age).

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