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What did ancient man do?

14 August 2014

Primitive man appeared in Southern Kazakhstan approximately half a million years ago. He was not enough upright had long hands and did not look like a modern man. However, he was ancestor of humans. His appearance was close to ape, but he was able to think. Certainly, his thoughts were not so quick; they shaped slowly and with difficulty. But they existed! The best evidence of this assertion are stone tools.

Finding a flat pebble he made big splits on one side. Archaeologists call this crude tool weighed several kilograms chopper. In addition man from the Southern Kazakhstan knew how to produce another one tool — chopping. He took rounded pebble and polished both sides of working surface making alternate splits. Despite the wiggliness the blade was fit for digging, wood chopping and cutting of animal carcasses.

Primitive man used fire, though he did not know how to create it. He cooked with fire; bonfire warmed him. And the main thing is: he was not alone. It was easier to hunt, overcome difficulties and survive bad weather together. During the Stone Age groups of people used different places for sites: they settled in caves and grottoes, in inaccessible mountain gorges, sometimes in the open ground and even near reaches of rivers.

Very often archaeologists discover stone tools on river terraces and under several meters of drift. The nature transferred them in various directions while water and sand polished surface that it began to shine. Archaeologists call these Paleolithic monuments alluvial (riverine) locations. The second type of monuments is open sites or settlements which are more valuable. It is possible to find traces or remains of man’s activity or so called cultural layer here which is covered by undisturbed layer of earth.

Such monuments of primitive man as Borykazgan, Tanirkazgan, Shabakty, Kazangap, discovered in the North-Western parts of the Small Karatau mountain range are considered to be the most ancient on the territory of Kazakhstan.

Collection of wild-growing edible plants and small animals hunt were the main source of existence for the groups of primitive people. This style of life required mobility. Therefore, frequently ancient people migrated from one place to another with all their belongings.

Perhaps, ancient man preferred to live in caves and grottoes (the third type of the Paleolithic monuments). Anyway archaeological excavation demonstrated that such natural shelters did not remain empty. Kazakhstan’s land has a great number of caves and grottoes, including Kyzyltau, Karkaraly, Ulutau, Bayanaul, Karatay, Bukhtarma, and to name but a few. Even now everybody can see ancient images of people and animals made by red ochre on their walls and ceiling.

Finally, the fourth type of monuments include quarry-workrooms. In the Southern Kazakhstan and near Balkhash they are located on the tops of hill and other places where the harder rock is. These places are filled up with stone slivers and finished tools.

Agapov P., Kadyrbayev M. (1979) Treasure of ancient Kazakhstan, Alma-Ata: Zhalyn. 252 p. (in Russian)

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