The Mesolithic Age: the earliest period


The Mesolithic Age – heaven on Earth?

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For more than 99 percent of human history, we have been fishers, hunters and gatherers. Physiologically and psychologically there is little difference between us and our prehistoric ancestors. Some philosophers have idealised life in the Mesolithic Age (or Middle Stone Age) as a heaven on Earth. But archaeological finds have undermined that image of pre-agrarian human existence. Violence was common, and sustainability wasn't always first and foremost in people's minds.

The long beginning
Although the Mesolithic Age was the longest period in Danish history, few traces of it remain. At that time, the area was thinly populated, and the people did not create permanent monuments. But if you look closer, some of the remnants from this early period are easily seen on fields, on beaches and under the water.
Tool making was under constant improvement, and humans regularly had to adjust their lifestyles to adapt to the changing climate, water levels, vegetation and animal life.
It is likely that Neanderthals lived in the area that was to become Denmark around 125,000 years ago. Modern humans arrived around 12,000 BC. The period drew to a close with the spread of agriculture starting around 3950 BC.

Little people
Hundreds of skeletons dating from the Mesolithic Age have been found in Denmark. They tell the story of a people that was much smaller than modern humans. Average heights were 150…

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