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Stone age

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The Stone Age refers to the period in which humans created most of their tools from stone. The dates vary according to the region of the Earth, but begin with the first human (or pre-human) tool-making. In Europe, Asia, and Africa, this is thought by many to have been around 2 million years ago.

The term is from the three-age system. The Stone Age is now subdivided into Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, which in turn are often further subdivided. It ends at the time that metal tools started to become widely used. In the most advanced parts of the world (parts of the Middle East and southeastern Asia) this is dated to around 6000 BC; in less advanced areas (Europe, Africa, and the rest of Asia) the stone age persisted until around 4000 BC; and in the Americas it may not have ended until 2500 BC or later.

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