The Ice Age was, in some ways, the beginning of the world we live in today. It was a time of development, learning and discovery. The Ice-Age was a time when people didn't have much at all and lived strictly off the land, therefore they learned to adapt by discovering fire and by making their own tools.
The discovery of fire allowed for many advances in the Ice-Age period, not just for environmental changes, but it also lead to physical changes. Fire kept people safe from attacking animals, and helped them to be the attackers. Animals feared fire, so they steered clear of it and didn't bother the humans, which obviously protected them from being attacked in the middle of the night. Since the animals were afraid of the fire, men could gather together with torches and chase down frightened animals, then trap and kill them. This was a great form of hunting, it helped them to kill more and therefore eat more. Fire also made an amazing physical change in people. Fire allowed people to cook the meat they ate, which allowed for less chewing; over the years this provided mans body with the opportunity to evolve. Their jaws and teeth shrunk in size, which allowed their heads to shrink also. This provided more space for the brain to grow; which it did.
Back to "Foraging Societies" Chronology
Technologies and natural instinct during the Ice Age made it possible for people to make tools, weapons, and be able to shelter themselves. The people of the Ice Age made tools for survival purposes. They had to have a way to kill their food, so they invented spear like objects out of rock and animal bones to hunt with. With their natural instincts the Ice Age people were able to provide themselves with shelter, whether it was a cave, an overhanging rock slab or a tent made of bones, branches and hides.
It became increasingly important to early people as a controlling factor in their survival, to have and use their tools, fire and have group cooperation. They felt that they needed these things now that they had them available. Once they started using their new tools they just couldn't stop because they found it so much easier to do things with them. Family life had begun at this point so cooperation was necessary from the families and the group they would be with. They needed to cooperate so they didn't have chaos in their lives.
The people of the Ice Age lived a life that we tend to enjoy ourselves occasionally, even with all of our advanced technologies. Occasionally, people in the year 2000 still enjoy living like people from the Ice Age. When it becomes hunting season the streets are packed with anxious people waiting to arrive to the hunting grounds. We also camp by sleeping outside or in tents, fishing and eating our catch and it's one of the only times we don't care about what our clothing looks like. Whether we admit it or not things have definitely changed over these thousands of years, but we may not have changed as much as we think we have.
The Ice Age people did a lot for themselves and us. They started the mold for the society that we live in today. They made many discoveries and advances with a limited supply of materials and knowledge of what to do. This was obviously a very different time and different way of living, but they are the ones that started how we live and we just built onto their ideas. It may have been a harder way of life and a different way of life but we still of have a little of them in us. The Ice Age is where we started and who knows, maybe it'll be where we finish.
Schultz, Gwen. Ice Age Lost, Garden City, N.Y., Ancher Press.1974
Klein, Richard G. Ice age Hunters of the Ukraine, University of Chicago Press, 1973