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Paleolithic

The settlement of the territory of Greece by man is reliably attested in the Middle Paleolithic era, when wandering hunting tribes, who made rather monotonous flint tools, were already able to use fire. Until recently, information about the Paleolithic period in the south of the Balkan Peninsula was negligible, now Paleolithic sites have been discovered in different places of the country. Back in 1941, in Boeotia, a parking lot was discovered in the "Seidi" cave, dating back to the end of the Upper Paleolithic, therefore, to the period between 30 thousand and 15 thousand years ago. In Thessaly, in the Penea Valley, tools of the Middle Paleolithic Levallois type (about 120 thousand - 70 thousand years ago) and Upper Paleolithic Aurignacian epoch (about 70 thousand - 50 thousand years) were found in 1958 during the work of V. Miloychich, who discovered them in 14 places. a_mustierskie_instrumenti.jpgTwo years later, in 1960, in the Western Elida Zh. Servais discovered a Paleolithic site, and a Neanderthal skull was discovered for the first time in Halkidiki (Macedonia). The sites of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic give a considerable number of flint tools. So, in the parking lot in the cave "Get Down", between Thebes and Levadia, several hundred guns were found. In Epirus, in the Pantanassa region, in 1962, several sites of the Middle Paleolithic period were discovered, the inhabitants of which produced very good-quality Mousterian tools. These settlements indicate the intensive settlement of the south of the Balkan Peninsula, first by the Mousterian man - Homo primigenius, and then by the Upper Paleolithic man, already belonging to the species Homo sapiens.

The Upper Paleolithic epoch, which ended in Greece about 15 thousand years ago, also covered the period of the last glaciation. Harsh conditions forced a person to make more efforts to survive, and this struggle prompted the people of that time to significantly improve their tools. It can be assumed that the social relations of the Upper Paleolithic population of Greece are similar to the social institutions of the population of Anterior and Central Asia, North Africa, Central and Southern Europe of that time. Apparently, tribal foundations were already being formed at that time with a special reverence for the ancestral women. Of course, local peculiarities played some role in accelerating or slowing down general historical processes. However, there is no doubt that in the Upper Paleolithic era, the territory of the south of the Balkan Peninsula served as a place where numerous tribal groups of hunters roamed.

The end of the ice age was accompanied by significant warming, which led to fundamental changes in the geographical environment of the southern Balkan Peninsula. Large animals such as mammoths and bison disappeared, instead new species appeared, hunting for which was no easier. But the change in vegetation cover has opened up new and more accessible ways for people to replenish food resources. In the post-glacial period, man began to move from gathering to primitive forms of agriculture. The stages of the evolution of the economic activity of the tribes that inhabited Greece shortly after the XV-XII millennia are not yet amenable to precise definition. One thing is certain - the active human activity in choosing useful species from the many plants that covered the mountains and valleys of the Balkan Peninsula was carried out already in the early period of the Neolithic era. The study of cultivated plants and their differentiation into geographical groups (often accompanied by their sharp physiological isolation, up to the impossibility of crossing varieties with each other) has shown that the origin of cultivated plants should be attributed to the remotest epochs, for which the usual periods of an archaeologist in five hundred thousand years seem to be a short period. The territory of Greece was part of the Mediterranean world center of origin of cultivated plants. There, during the studied period, the selection of the most profitable forms took place. Indeed, the monuments of the next Neolithic era indicate that the population of the country has already moved to a settled agricultural life.