- List of archaeological periods
Names for archaeological periods vary enormously from region to region. This is a list of the main divisions by continent and region. Dating also varies considerably and those given are broad approximations across wide areas.
three-age systemhas been used in many areas, referring to the prehistoryperiods identified by tool manufacture and use, of Stone age, Bronze ageand Iron age. Since these ages are distinguished by the development of technology, it is natural that the dates to which these refer vary in different parts of the world. In many regions, the term Stone ageis no longer used, as it has been replaced by more specific geological periods. For some regions, there is need for an intermediate Chalcolithic period between the stone age and Bronze Age. For cultures where indigenous metal tools were in less widespread use, other classifications, such as the lithic stage, archaic stageand formative stagerefer to the development of other types of technology and social organisation.
Historical periods refer to periods of human development after the development of writing. Historical records in whatever form tend to provide more political insight into the dominant nations, and hence allow categorization according to the ruling empires and cultures, such as
Hellenistic, Roman, Viking. Inevitably these definitions of periods only relate to the region of that empire or culture.
The Industrial age or Modern era is generally taken to refer to post
1800. From this time, the industrial revolutionwhich began in Western Europe had resulted in global trade as well as global empires.
Archaeological period articles - by Continent and Region
Synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric cultures
List of time periods
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