Prehistoric Arts & Culture - Palaeolithic Age KAS Study Notes

Prehistoric arts and culture - Paleolithic Age Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) Study Notes and MCQs

 Palaeolithic Age class

Prehistory refers to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it can refer to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing.
Human prehistory is divided into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool‐making technologies.
  • Stone Age – Stone tools were used
  • Bronze Age – Copper + Tin alloy was used
  • Iron Age – Usage of Iron tools



Prehistory refers to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it can refer to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing.
Human prehistory is divided into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool‐making technologies,
  • Stone Age – Stone tools were used
  • Bronze Age – Copper + Tin alloy was used
  • Iron Age – Usage of Iron tools

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Stone Age

Stone was used as the all‐purpose material during stone for hunting and other purposes. During this stage man was lived in groups and made shelters using leaves and branches. They stayed in rock caves and man was a food gatherer during initial Stone Age. Based on the type of stone tools used, Stone Age can be classified into three stages as
  • Palaeolithic Age
  • Mesolithic Age
  • Neolithic Age

Palaeolithic Age: The initial period of Stone Age is called Palaeolithic age where the man was using crude stone tools. For hunting, they mainly used weapons made of stones. They also used bones of animals, ivory, and pieces of wood, etc. as weapons. Hide and bark were used as clothes. The bones of animals were used as needles for sewing.

Features of Palaeolithic Age

  • They used crude stone tools for hunting and other purposes
  • Food gatherer ‐ no cultivation of food crops
  • The Palaeolithic humans hunted collectively and stronger man as leader
  • There was no gender difference in hunting and ate flesh
  • They used fire for cooking and light
palaeolithic age features


The various usages of crude stone during the Palaeolithic stage were listed here.

Palaeolithic sites

Numerous Palaeolithic Age sites were discovered all around the world and several cave paintings can be seen in different parts of the world. These pictures provides valuable information on the early human life. The various information obtained from these Palaeolithic Age caves were listed below.

  • Different colors were used in the cave paintings. The colors were made from mixtures of plant extracts and powdered laterite.
  • Most of the paintings were of animals and activities related with hunting
  • Animal fat was used as fuel for lighting in the caves where sunlight was insufficient.
  • The pictures of hunting are the evidence for their planning of the hunting ground and the prey.
  • Pictures were drawn on the ceilings of the caves as well. This stands in evidence for the dexterity of early humans.
  • Residue of cooked food, ashes, bones and skulls of animals, leftovers of fruits, vegetables, and freshwater fishes, etc. were also discovered from the caves.

Important Palaeolithic Sites 

  • Lascaux (France) 
  • Bhimbetka (Madhya Pradesh) 
  • Kurnool Caves (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Altamira (Spain) 
  • Nagarjunakonda (Andhra Pradesh) 
  • Hungsi (Karnataka)
  • Chauvet (France)
  • Narmada Valley (MP, Maharasthra, Gujarat)
palaeolithic sites in India prehistory

Features of Palaeolithic Rock Paintings

  • The paintings here can be divided into three categories: man, animal and geometric patterns in white, black and red ochre.
  • Humans are represented in stick‐like forms.
  • Wavy lines, rectangle‐filled geometric designs, and groups of dots
  • The earliest are in black; over these are red ochre paintings and white paintings.



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Important Multiple Choice Questions and Answers

1. Consider the following statements regarding Palaeolithic Age
    1. Palaeolithic age is the early stage of stone age 
    2. Man used finished stone tools for hunting and used fire for cooking
    3. Humans started settled life during this stage
Which of the statements given above are correct
A) 1 Only
B) 1 and 2 Only
C) 1 and 3 Only
D) 1,2 and 3

2. With reference to the Palaeolithic age, which one of the following statement is incorrect?
A) They used crude stone tools for hunting and other purposes
B) Man started cultivation of food crops
C) The Palaeolithic humans hunted collectively and stronger man as leader
D) There was no gender difference in hunting and they ate flesh

3. Consider the following pairs
    1. Bhimbetka : Madhya Pradesh
    2. Hungsi : Karnataka
    3. Kurnool Caves : Maharashtra
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
A) 1 and 3 Only
B) 1 and 2 Only
C) 2 and 3 Only
D) 1,2 and 3

4. Which of the following is not a Palaeolithic site?
A) Narmdada Valley
B) Bhimbedka Caves
C) Lascaux Caves
D) Edakkal caves

5. Consider the following statements regarding Palaeolithic rock arts
    1. Humans are represented in stick like forms and most of the Paintings were of hunting scenes.
    2. They used red, white and black colors for painting and earlier are of white color.
Which of the statements above are correct
A) 1 Only
B) 2 Only
C) Both 1 and 2
D) Neither 1 nor 2

Answers
1. A. 1 only (used Crude stones, no settled life –food gatherer)
2. B. Man started cultivation of food crops (No cultivation in this age)
3. B. 1 and 2 Only (Kurnool Caves : Andhra Pradesh)
4. D. Edakkal Caves (Neolithic site)
5. A. 1 Only (earlier painting were of black color)

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Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) Online Class Study Notes Tests | KAS Insights: Prehistoric Arts & Culture - Palaeolithic Age KAS Study Notes
Prehistoric Arts & Culture - Palaeolithic Age KAS Study Notes
Prehistoric arts and culture - Paleolithic Age Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) Study Notes and MCQs
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