In the manufacture of stone implements, four fundamental traditions were developed by the Paleolithic ancestors: (1) pebble-tool traditions; (2) bifacial-tool, or hand-ax, traditions; (3) flake-tool traditions; and (4) blade-tool traditions.Only rarely are any of these found in “pure” form, and this fact has led to mistaken notions in many instances concerning the significance of various assemblages.Paleolithic archaeology is concerned with the origins and development of early human culture between the first appearance of human beings as tool-using mammals (which is believed to have occurred sometime before 3.3 million years ago) and about 8000 Pleistocene, or Glacial, Epoch—an interval lasting from about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago.Modern evidence suggests that the earliest protohuman forms had diverged from the ancestral primate stock by the beginning of the Pleistocene. Lerner and Joseph Chartkoff Review of "Archaeological Investigations at the Breakfast Canyon Rockshelters, Death Valley National Monument, Inyo County, California: Shoshone Food Storage and Horticulture in the Southwestern Great Basin," by Robert M. Explaining Prehistoric Variation in the Abundance of Large Prey: A Zooarchaeological Analysis of Deer and Rabbit Hunting along the Pecho Coast of Central California. The Coleville and Bodie Hills NRCS Soil Inventory, Walker and Bridgeport, California: A Reevaluation of the Bodie Hills Obsidian Source (CA-MNO-4527) and Its Spatial and Chronological Use. Review of "Rock Camp Site: Archaeological Excavation of an Indian Campsite near Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains," by Ruth Dee Simpson, Gerald A. Fredrickson; and "Archaeological Investigations on Pilot Ridge, Six Rivers National Forest," "Archaeological Investigations on South Fork Mountain, Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests," and "Archaeological Investigations on Pilot Ridge: Results of the 1984 Field Season," by William R. Review of "Analyses of South-Central Californian Shell Artifacts: Studies from Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obsipo, and Santa Barbara Counties," edited by Gary S. Review of "The Archaeology of Two Northern California Sites: Excavations at the Patrick Site (4-Butte-1)," by Joseph Chartkoff and Kerry Chartkoff, and "The Archaeology of the Hackney Site, Mariposa County, California," by Delmer E.
During the Pleistocene, which followed directly after the Pliocene, a series of momentous climatic events occurred.French place-names have long been used to designate the various Paleolithic subdivisions, since many of the earliest discoveries were made in France.This terminology has been widely applied in other countries, notwithstanding the very great regional differences that do in fact exist.But the French sequence still serves as the foundation of Paleolithic studies in other parts of the Old World.There is reasonable agreement that the Paleolithic ended with the beginning of the Holocene geologic and climatic era about 11,700 years ago (about 9700 ).