КГУ "Карагандинская областная юношеская библиотека имени Жайыка Бектурова"

Официальный сайт КГУ "ОЮБ имени Ж.Бектурова"

Stone Age


Stone Age

The study of the ancient period of history starts from the distant past of humanity, that is, from the time of the formation of a primitive society.

Stone Age Kazakhstan is divided into the following periods (culture):

1. Paleolith

A) Olduvai (ancient or Lower Paleolithic): 2.6 million - 700 thousand years BC

B) Ashel: 700K - 150-120 thousand years BC

B) Mousterian (Middle Paleolithic): 150-120 thousand - 35-30 thousand years BC

D) or Late Upper Paleolithic - 40-35 thousand - 10 thousand years BC

2. Mesolithic (middle or transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic period): 10 thousand, seven thousand years BC

3. Neolithic (New Stone Age): 6.7 thousand - 4 thousand years BC

Special era between stone age and era of bronze called Eneolithic. The chronological framework of this period is not defined, it varies in the range about - 4-3 thousand - two thousand years BC.

The era of the Old Stone Age - initial time of becoming a man and his property. Social organization of people in the Paleolithic era has traversed a long way. The initial step was the primitive stage. At this time, gradually mature premise of a new social organism - the primitive community. Only in the late Paleolithic developed mature forms of the primitive community, this qualitative leap is believed by many researchers, has coincided with the transformation of the Neanderthal to modern human physical type.

Olduvai culture - is the existence of early man Homo habilis («handy man"). Its duration (about 2 million years) Olduvai era (culture) is superior to all other Palaeolithic together.

The main part of ware is flake and from guns there choppers and choppings. In English language chopper and chopping is means «slashing gun», "ax", "chopper". Chopper - this rough chopping tools from a piece of stark naked (river pebbles or boulders) or large flakes of stone, convex or straight chopping working edge is decorated upholstery only one surface (side). Chopping - the same brutal slashing weapon, but the processed crude withdrawals already chipped on both surfaces (sides). Flakes are mainly characterized by categories of waste produced in the processing of stones, but it seems it would be wrong to them as tools and hunting and cutting stone products made from them. For upholstery stone used bumpers, which later received finished products (tools).

At Olduvai age people still didn’t know the fire.

Acheulean culture is divided into three periods: the early, middle and late acheulian. In ancient aushelian location as well as at Olduvai monuments found choppers, chopping and etc. But here comes a new and very characteristic of the tool - hand ax.

In the literature on Paleolithic instead of "hand ax" is often used "biface", denoting an instrument, crafted from both surfaces (sides). But biface - a term greater than hand ax. They are typical or average found on monuments, late acheulian and Mousterian, and is not for logging, and for scraping and as a spear. In addition, at this time there hewers of stone products - jib. It is, as the ax, double chipped tool - biface. In the literature on palaeolithic cleaver sometimes called cross chopping blade (operating margin), Cleaver, cleaver. But most of the ancient Acheulian stone artifacts are flakes, many of which serve a variety of cutting, scraping, piercing, etc. guns.

People of this era were engaged in hunting, collecting. Fishing and collecting of sea mollusks practised, but fire was already known (ancient ashel’s age 700-300 thousand years BC).

On the average and late ashel (300-150 thousand years  BC), at stone collections there are all instruments of labor and hunting of the previous eras, but there are also new signs of progress in their manufacturing. First of all, it belongs to minced which become thinner. Most brightly technical progress is shown in l levallois equipment of processing of a stone and in levallois nucleuses, flakes and plates. In what the sense of levallois equipment consists? First of all, that there is a careful preliminary upholstery from all directions nucleuse before from it started to chop off flakes and the plates turning then into the tools.

The late acheulian era was replaced by mousterian, designated many researchers as an average paleolithic. For Kazakhstan mousterian: 150-120-40-35 thousand years BC. It is considered to be that at the end of ashel and upon transition by a mousterian era there were essential changes in a physical structure of the person. Archanthropines Homo erectus - the person orthograde - were transformed in so-called paleoanthropes or Neanderthal people.

Upon transition from ashel to mousterian there were changes not only in a physical structure of the person, but also in his technician, an economy, a way of life. The levallois equipment began to dominate in process of manufacture of stone products. Long time was considered conventional that during a mousterian era there were only three main types of stone tools: a mousterian sharp endless , mousterian scraped and processed from both surfaces (parties) small a rubilets of late acheulian type. However, long-term researches of scientists proved existence in mousterian some tens types (versions) of products, among them: sinuate and gear tools, scrapers, cutters, pro-splittings and others.

The primitive hunting economy reached in mousterian higher level of development, its value in comparison with collecting increased. An indicator of progress of a hunting economy are the big congestions of bones of the animals killed on hunting found on monuments. And also hunting for birds and catching of fishes practised.

During a mousterian era character of settlements changed also. People continued to arrange, as before, the encampments in the open air on coast of the rivers, but began to occupy canopies under rocks, grottoes and caves much more often.

Late paleolithic (40-35-10 thousand years BC). This time of wide moving of the person on all climatic zones of Earth and formation of races and racial groups.

There is a direct connection between appearance of the person reasonable and further development of material and spiritual culture of human society of an era of a late paleolithic. This phenomenon is directly connected with progressive development of the public relations, with process of formation of tribal community, with sort emergence as first specific form of public organization of human collective. It is supposed that the patrimonial organization was everywhere matrilineal and matrilocal, and the woman occupied predominating situation in a community. The parent sort represented exogamous group of the people united by bonds of natural cognation among themselves and the general origin on the parent line. High position of the woman in public life was defined also by specifics of a house communal economy, a role of the woman in a family as continuers of a sort. Not casually in ideological representations of ancient people there was a cult of the woman - ancestor and hostesses of the center.

The outlook of the person of an era of a late paleolithic became complicated. The cult of hunting magic at the heart of which the belief in receiving the power over an animal through mastering by its image - a symbol lies was extended. Believe that the primitive art which has appeared at this time was a dual-purpose gun of magic. The main subject - image of various animals, carving and sculpture. The female figures which have been cut out from a bone or a soft stone were an embodiment of fertility of the earth, motherhood.

Idea of soul and afterlife of the person as continuation of terrestrial existence conducted to emergence of difficult ceremonial ceremonies. Corpse strewed with a red ochre, his breast decorated with necklaces from the drilled sinks and canines of a predator, a foot - bracelets from tusks of a mammoth, clothes embroidered garlands of a beads. Together with the buried put products from a flint and a bone.

The mesolithic (the average Stone Age or a transitional stage from a paleolithic by a neolith is allocated, first of all, with the highest development of equipment of office of the form of the knife plates, including receiving microplates. During the same time gains the distribution greatest in the Stone Age manufacturing of tools from the form of the knife plates. Production of various microlits, including tools of geometrical forms - segments, trapezes, triangles, rectangles, parallelograms is widely used. The microincisal equipment applied to manufacturing of microlits develops. Manufacturing of cutting tools - axes, tesel, chisels, macrolythic specialized tools - mattocks and kyle widely extends. In a number of mesolythic cultures there is an equipment of polishing of stone tools, and also the technician of drilling and a sawing.

The bone industry becomes more various in comparison with a paleolithic. In parking of mesolithic time various bone and horn harpoons, tips of arrows and copies, daggers, knifes, axes and tesla, couplings for them etc. meet. A number of forms of these tools was invented only in mesolithic.

There are changes in nature of art. Petroglyphic lists, so characteristic for a late paleolithic are less widespread. Art gains the schematized character. Geometrical patterns widely develop. Basic elements of an ornament are lines, points, strokes, fir-trees, zigzags, grids etc. Very often for drawing of an ornament the equipment of pro-cutting and drilling is used, the small plasticity consisting of zoomorfic and anthropomorphous images is widespread.

Change both dwellings, and settlements in comparison with the late Paleolithic. The majority of mesolithic settlements temporary, is seasonal parking with a thin occupation layer, poor finds more often. Large settlements meet extremely seldom. The remains of dwellings found at excavation, as a rule, are presented by temporary in a tent constructions, dwellings such as late Paleolithic dugouts or semi-dugouts meet only in northern, cold regions.

Features of mesolithic material culture are that. It is characterized as development and modification of some Paleolithic technical and processing methods, and emergence of the new forms of tools invented in mesolithic and ways of their manufacturing.

Economy basis, as well as during late Paleolithic time, there is a hunting (in it there is a doubtless continuity with previous time). However its character sharply changes, first of all, because the way of adaptation of the person to the changed environment changes in comparison with a late paleolith. The onions invented still in a late paleolithic, affirm as quality of the main hunting arms. Forms in the arms which are almost unknown in a late paleolithic are various. Objects of hunting in mesolithic depend on an ecological niche in which the population of this or that mesolithic culture took place. The paddocing hunting which is so widespread in paleolithic, remains, it is possible to tell, only in an incidental form. There are new, specific forms of hunting, as, for example, special hunting for a bird in late mesolithic. Such development of various forms of a hunting economy is unfamiliar to the Paleolithic person. It assumes blossoming of an appropriating economy that, in turn led, eventually, to creation of preconditions of receiving a superfluous product, characteristic for a neolith, already at this level of development of economy.

In mesolithic purposeful, instead of incidental, there is a fishery that proves to be true the invention of boats, networks, fish-traps etc. Probably, in mesolithic receive the beginning and some forms of a domestication of animals house dogs, in any case, are already widespread. Collecting becomes complicated, receiving thus depending on an ecological niche of dwelling of this or that culture a peculiar character.

Thus, and in economic aspect of mesolithics differs from a late paleolithic as in the ways and hunting receptions, and emergence and the beginning of development of new branches of an economy.

The beginning of the neolith period falls approximately on the second half of VII thousand and the beginning of VI thousand BC. This time of blossoming of equipment in stone processing. There is a specialization in production of instruments of labor. Along with improvement of equipment of a squeezing retouch new processing methods of processing of a stone developed: grinding, drilling, sawing. Stone axes, mattocks, graters, mortars, tampers began to be produced. From nephrite, jaspers, serpentinite and other breeds of a stone became ornaments - bracelets, suspension brackets.

The most important line of an era of a neolith is origin of cattle breeding and the agriculture, making a basis of the making economy which has come in the stead to assignment of finished products of the nature - to collecting and hunting. Emergence of new types of an economy had huge value for development of human society, expanded area of labor activity of the person and at the same time qualitatively changed its character. All further multithousand-year history of economic activity of the person is substantially history of development, improvement of these two types of farms.

The level of development of productive forces reached by the primitive population during an era of a neolith, caused emergence and other cultural and community innovations. The ancient population of Kazakhstan has mining rudiments. Have development pottery, weaving.

In the social relation the era of a neolith was time of tribal communities where collective work and a common property on means of production dominated. At the same time it was time of higher development of forms of the organization of society: formations of tribes or breeding associations. Tribes consisted of several (bigger or smaller number) the tribal communities united by kinship bonds and homogeneous character of an economy.

During an era of a neolith that base on which further there were cultures of qualitatively new level - the developed societies of an era of bronze was created.

In a neolith in the territory of Kazakhstan spring parking as desert and semidesertic zones are poor a river network widely extend. Parking at springs is more often temporary, seasonal a residence of vagrant hunters.

Parking belongs to neolithic time for territories of area Tegiszhol on the river Nura. Here, on a slope of the left river bank subjects from a flint and a jasper – scrapers, in the form of the knife plates loose leaves, scraper, cores, tips of arrows were collected. All finds lay directly on a surface. Possibly, parking Tegiszhol – a temporary settlement of mobile hunters. Small groups of hunting tribes of a neolith hunted, mainly, on wild hoofed animals – a saiga, a pendent, a  gazelle, a wild horse and a donkey. Following migrating herds of these animals, hunters arranged temporary camp in places of successful hunting.

One of features of neolithic monuments of desert and steppe Kazakhstan that their most part - parking of open type.

On all parking stone tools from local materials are found: tips of arrows and copies, axes, chisels, knifes, scrapers. Differentiation in selection of breed of a stone for manufacturing of certain tools took place. A variety of raw materials promoted development of different techniques of its processing and their improvement. Neolithic monuments of Kazakhstan form some territorial groups, probably, corresponding to areas of dwelling of related tribes, close to each other on culture.

In literature basic changes in an economy of primitive tribes received the name of «neolithic revolution». Transition to production of food, conscious cultivation of edible plants, especially cereal, to a domestication, cultivation and selection of animals was the economic revolution greatest in the history of mankind after of the person seized art to extract fire. It opened possibility to resort to richer and reliable source of food which was under own control of the person, providing it almost boundless possibilities and demanding from it in exchange only the appendix of its forces.

Levels of development of neolithic tribes in different areas of cultures of this era weren't identical. It is necessary to know that in an economy of neolithic society of the steppe region there were no yet special changes - here still hunting and fishery were the main sources of food. Obviously, continentality of climate didn't favor to growth of population and, natural resources (that is «ready sources» food) was quite enough for satisfaction of needs of the population.

Eneolithic (4-3 thousand BC) – an era of initial development of metals. It marks the transition beginning from equipment of the Stone Age to metallurgy. In eneolith use of copper, gold, lead begins, and here and there masters forged meteoric iron. In the territory of Kazakhstan during this era the cattle breeding starts to extend. The most ancient types of the cattle, which bone are found on eneolitic parking in Priishimie and in Turgay, there was a sheep, a goat, a horse and a cow. It is interesting that on Dermen's parking bones of a horse, a large bull and a saiga too are found. But on those not numerous remains which are available at the disposal of researchers, it is impossible to establish, whether these bones belonged to house or wild horses and cows.

One of long ago known monuments is parking the Green Beam 4 at page Doskey. Excavation on it was carried out in the 60th of the XX century. From an occupation layer of this parking the archeologist M. N. Klapchuk received a plentiful archaeological material - more than 1500 products from a stone. In a parking collection the Green Beam of 4-17 tips of darts, 25 tips of arrows, 755 in the form of the knife plates, 267 stone scrapers, 21 mattocks and other products from a stone. Together with them fragments of ceramics and a bone of animals were found. Parking the Green Beam 4 belongs to an era eneolithic – a final stage of the Stone Age when the person starts to master the first metals. Finds in a layer of parking of bones of such animals as a bull, a horse, a sheep, possibly, testify to an initial stage of cattle breeding in the Central Kazakhstan steppes. At the same time, it is impossible to speak about a local origin of cattle breeding and a domestication of a horse, a sheep and a cow in the basin of the river of Nura. Much earlier the livestock was known in Central Asia and in the southwest of Kazakhstan, in monuments of kelteminaric culture. From these areas the cattle breeding comes to northern steppes. It is necessary to note also that at modern, lowest level of study of the Stone Age of the Central Kazakhstan, any attempts to tie an origin of cultures of an era of bronze with previous cultures of a neolith and eneolithic are insolvent.


Artuhova О.А.,Derevyanno А.P., Petrin V.Т., Taimagambetov Zh.К. Paleolithic complexes Semizbugu, paragraph 4 (North Balkhash). Novosibirsk, 2001.

Artuhova О.А. Mousterian Central and South Kazakhstan. Abstract for the degree of candidate of historical sciences., 1992.

Aubekerov B.Zh. Quaternary continental Kazakhstan. Abstract for the degree of doctor of geological-mineralogical sciences. Alma-Ata, 1992.

Boriskovsky P.I. Ancient past of mankind, 1979.

Voloshin V.S. New records of the Stone Age in Central Kazakhstan. /JSC 1970, М., 1971.

Voloshin V.S .Acheulean bifaces from location Vishnevka-3 (Central Kazakhstan). / UA, 1988, № 4.

Voloshin V. S. Paleolithic monument of Batpak-7. / Margulanovsky readings. TDK. Petropavlovsk, 1992.

Derevyanko A.P., Aubekerov B. Zh., Petrin V. T., Taymagambetov Zh.K., Artyukhova O. A., Zenin V. N., Petrov V. G. Paleolith of Northern Pribalkhash (Semizbugu, point 2, early, late paleolith). Novosibirsk, 1993.

History of Kazakhstan (since the most ancient times up to now) in the 4th volumes. Almaty. P. 1, 1996.

Kasymov M.R. Problems of a paleolith of Central Asia and South Kazakhstan. The author's abstract on competition of a scientific degree of the doctor of historical sciences. Novosibirsk, 1990.

Klapchuk M. N. Archaeological researches in basins of the rivers of Nura and Sarysu./JSC  1966, 1967.

Klapchuk M. N. A late acheulian site of Zhaman-Aybat-4 in Central Kazakhstan./UA, 1976, No. 3.

Klapchuk M. N. Pebble tools of a site of Muzbel-1,-2 in the Central Kazakhstan./ To traces of ancient cultures of Kazakhstan. And., 1970

Klapchuk M. N. Archeological finds in the Karaganda area in 1962./UА, 1965, No. 3.

Kurmankulov Zh.K., Artyukhova O. A., Bekseitov G. T., Baygunakov D. S. Taldysaysky residential district of evolution stone industries horocene. / Archaeological researches in Kazakhstan (Works of scientific and practical conference «Margulanov readings - 14»). Shymkent-Almaty, 2002.

Margulan A.X. The report in works in 1947. / AS News KAZSSR, series archaeological, 1948, issue 2.

Margulan A.X., Ageeva A.I. Archaeological works and finds in the territory Kazakh the Soviet Socialist Republic (from 1926 to 1946). / AN News KAZSSR, Series archaeological, 1948, issue 1.

Margulan A.X. Compositions in 14 volumes. Volume 1. Begazy-Dandybay culture of the Central Kazakhstan. Almaty, 1998.

Medoyev A.G. The Stone Age in the light of the latest researches. / AS News KAZSSR, Series of social sciences, 1964, issue 6.

Medoyev A.G. Geochronology of a paleolith of Kazakhstan. Alma-Ata, Science, 1982.

Medoyev A.G. Areas of Paleolithic cultures./ To traces of ancient cultures of Kazakhstan., 1970.

Medoyev A.G. New materials on the Stone Age of Northern Pribalkhash and the ridge Chingiz. / Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR , 1962, № 3.


Mertz V. K. About reconstruction of external shape of the person from burial on parking of Shiderty-3. / Questions of history, archeology and ethnography of the Pavlodar Priirtyshye. Pavlodar, 2000.