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The Paleolithic (or Palaeolithic) - lit. old stone - period is the oldest part of the stone age, dating from the first use of stone tools by hominids (maybe 2,000,000 years ago) to the end of the Pleistocene epoch. Subdivisions of the Paleolithic include Lower Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic.
The Paleolithic was traditionally followed by the Mesolithic period. However it has become common for archaeologists, at least for regions of world such as the Middle East and Anatolia, to discard the Mesolithic term and extend the Epipaleolithic up to the Neolithic.
Notable paleolithic sites and cultures include:
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