/pay'lee euh lith"ik/ or, esp. Brit., /pal'ee-/, adj.
(sometimes l.c.) Anthropol. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the cultures of the late Pliocene and the Pleistocene epochs, or early phase of the Stone Age, which appeared first in Africa and are marked by the steady development of stone tools and later antler and bone artifacts, engravings on bone and stone, sculpted figures, and paintings and engravings on the walls of caves and rock-shelters: usually divided into three periods (Lower Paleolithic, c2,000,000-c200,000 B.C., Middle Paleolithic, c150,000-c40,000 B.C., Upper Paleolithic, c40,000-c10,000 B.C.).
[1860-65; PALEO- + -LITHIC]

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • paleolithic — (adj.) of or pertaining to the Earlier Stone Age (opposed to neolithic), 1865, coined by John Lubbock, later Baron Avebury (1834 1913), from PALEO (Cf. paleo ) + Gk. lithos stone …   Etymology dictionary

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