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Neolithic Implements

Neolithic Implements.png Pottery from Lake DwellingsThumbnailsNeanderthal ManPottery from Lake DwellingsThumbnailsNeanderthal Man

Finally, perhaps as early as 3000 years ago in Europe, and even{v1-107} earlier in Asia Minor, men began to smelt iron. Once smelting was known to men, there is no great marvel in the finding of iron. They smelted iron by blowing up a charcoal fire, and wrought it by heating and hammering. They produced it at first in comparatively small pieces; its appearance worked a gradual revolution{v1-108} in weapons and implements; but it did not suffice to change the general character of men’s surroundings. Much the same daily life that was being led by the more settled Neolithic men 10,000 years ago was being led by peasants in out-of-the-way places all over Europe at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

People talk of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age in Europe, but it is misleading to put these ages as if they were of equal importance in history. Much truer is it to say that there was:

(1) An Early Palæolithic Age, of vast duration; (2) a Later Palæolithic Age, that lasted not a tithe of the time; and (3) the Age of Cultivation, the age of the white men in Europe, which began 10,000 or at most 12,000 years ago, of which the Neolithic Period was the beginning, and which is still going on.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Outline of History - Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, by H. G. Wells published 1920