Neolithic - Encyclopedia

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NEOLITHIC, or Later Stone Age (Gr. Pegs, new, and ALOos, stone), a term employed first by Lord Avebury and since generally accepted, for the period of highly finished and polished stone implements, in contrast with the rude workmanship of those of the earlier Stone Age (Palaeolithic). Knowledge of Neolithic times is derived principally from four sources, Tumuli or ancient burial-mounds, the Lake-dwellings of Switzerland, the Kitchenmiddens of Denmark and the Bone-Caves. No trace of metal is found, except gold, which seems to have been sometimes used for ornaments. Agriculture, pottery, weaving, the domestication of animals, the burying of the dead in dolmens, and the rearing of megalithic monuments are the typical developments of man during this stage.

See Archaeology; also Lord Avebury, Prehistoric Times (1900); Sir John Evans, Ancient Stone Implements of Great Britain (1897); Sir J. Prestwich, Geology (1886-1888).

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