The technological advances that took place in prehistory were as revolutionary as they are today, though much more spaced in time. Humanity changed thanks to the mastery of fire, the carving of stone and the manufacture of the first tools. These improvements helped consolidate communities and stimulate their material progress. Agriculture, livestock, and ceramics production were also genuine shocks, which led to sedentary settlement, the accumulation of surpluses, and the beginning of trade.
At last some groups could specialize in tasks other than the strict search of food, such as metallurgy or the production of jewelry, which were real luxury items of the time. New needs generated new, more elaborate thoughts, artistic and symbolic forms. The societies themselves evolved into more complex models, with the appearance of the first hierarchies and the first urban designs.
Little by little, prehistoric cultures brought the European collective soul together. We are the direct heirs of that world.
That’s how it all started…
The Paleolithic (-2,500,000 to -10,000 years) is the first stage of humanity and by far the longest. This is the time when our species was born, which evolved from the earliest hominids to today’s humans – Homo sapiens – only 200,000 to 160,000 years ago. It is considered to begin with the first stone tools and end with the beginning of agriculture.
Although it may seem a long time ago, it was central to our development, as during this period our ancestors acquired the traits that define the human condition: making tools, mastering fire, talking and communicating, representing the actually, dismiss the dead…
From predators to producers
The Neolithic (-6,000 to -3,000 years) is a period of great economic, cultural and social transformations. Neolithic revolution is often talked about and the significance of this process is compared to the importance of home fire control for humanity.
Human beings, who had lived for two million years on hunting and gathering, adopted agriculture and livestock as their livelihoods, and began to exploit domesticated species in the Middle East from the 8,000 BC. The stable towns and the first mining operations appeared and the use of the ceramics became general. With the new forms of social organization, which allowed communal efforts to focus on specific goals, the germ of social inequalities was introduced.
From the first metal to the middle bronze
The Neolithic dates to about 2,500 BC, with the advent of the first metal utensils and techniques to obtain it. The introduction of this technology marks the beginning of the Bronze Age. They gradually demarcated their territory, and in addition to occupying the caves offered by the land, they built well-structured villages, with cabins and dwellings that often had stone basements.
The individual grave sites were replaced by collective burials, true bone burial sites that could hold the remains of dozens of individuals. There were different types, but the most unique are undoubtedly megalithic monuments, large pantheons that required the whole group’s efforts to build, and increasingly complex technological knowledge.
The spirit of the great stones. Megalithism
In prehistory, stone was much more than stone. The rocks represented the spirit of the community, they were the testimony of the ancestors.
Megalithism was the first major European architecture and spread throughout much of the continent: from Portugal to the Baltic States, from Italy to central Europe. The term comes from mega (‘big’, in Greek) and lithos (‘stone’) and is used to designate all the monuments built in prehistory with large stone slabs. The most well-known are the dolmens, but also the cysts, the menhirs, the cromlecs, the hipogeus, the paradolmens and some modified caves.
Megalithism does not correspond to a single cultural phase. It was a type of funeral architecture common to diverse populations. It was used for about 3,000 years: from the Middle Neolithic (V millennium BC) to the bell-shaped chalcolithic (copper age) and the early Bronze Age (II millennium BC).
The end of prehistory
From the late bronze to the early Iron Age
Some 3,300 years ago there was a great social, economic and ideological change in Catalonia that left prehistoric times. This evolution will lead to more complex and specialized societies.
One of the decisive factors of the transformation is the contacts between local communities and other foreign groups. During the late Bronze Age (1300-700 BC) there are close ties between the villages on both sides of the Pyrenees. Later, in the early Iron Age (700-550 BC), contacts would expand throughout the Mediterranean area.
Agriculture and metallurgy are at the forefront of development, thanks to external stimuli, the use of more efficient technologies, and new materials such as iron. Local produce, especially cereals, minerals and metals, is exchanged for exotic ones such as wine, perfumes and prestigious items brought by Mediterranean, Phoenician and Greek merchants. This trade favors the leadership of local chiefs, who act as intermediaries with newcomers and manifest their power by displaying wealth.
Archaeology Museum of Catalonia
The Museum of Archeology of Catalonia (MAC) is a national museum whose objective is the conservation, research and dissemination of archeological remains in Catalonia, which illustrate the different historical periods between prehistory and medieval times. It was created as a result of the Museum Law of 1990 and is a networked museum made up of a series of different sites and sites, spread throughout Catalonia.
The Archeology Museum of Catalonia and exhibiting in the most important archaeological collection in Catalonia. For this reason, the museum and heritage museum Becomes an essential destination to discover the archeology, history and ancient art of the current Catalan territory.
The Museum of Archeology of Catalonia integrates five major facilities museum: the Museum of Archeology of Catalonia in Barcelona, the headquarters of the institution, the Museum of Archeology of Catalonia in Girona, the Greek-Roman city of Empúries in L’Escala; the Iberian citadel of Ullastret in Ullastret; and the Castle and Archeological site of Olèrdola Olèrdola in. In addition, the museum also Manages the Center for Underwater Archeology of Catalonia (CASC), based in Girona, the National Deposits of Archeology, located in Cervera, and the “Iberian Graeca” Research Center, based in Scale.
National reference center in research, conservation and promotion of Catalan archaeological heritage, the Archeology Museum of Catalonia offers visitors a rich and unique services and experiences and cultural museum, Which includes BOTH visits to museums and archaeological sites museïtzats around the country, Such an extensive and varied program of temporary exhibitions and cultural and educational activities complementary Renewed always constantly THROUGHOUT the year. And all this with a single objective: That your visitors can live intense and enriching learning experiences, excitement and enjoyment, and Thusis can begin or renew an intense love story and lasting culture and heritage.