What did the people of the Upper Paleolithic period eat and how did they obtain this food? - Part 2 - Food Essay Example

Throughout Africa, the Middle West, Asia, the Americas, and Australia, complicated and elaborate technologies and other cultural decorative artifacts are found in abundance (Scupin, 2008). This is known as the Upper Paleolithic period, which dated between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago. This was the earliest era of human development and transformation of the entire human species from apelike to true Homo sapiens. During this period, the development of specialized tools, weapons, engraving, sculptures, and cave painting were formed.

This evolution was the longest and it spread over three consecutive periods. The key development that came out of this period, were the creation of tools and weapons, which were made of stone, wood and bone. Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers lived in areas that was rich of resources and consumed a significant amount of meat. Today’s technology reveals that early modern Homo sapiens were clever and excellent hunters. Not only did they make tools, but they developed weapons with long, narrow blades (known as harpoons) used for hunting. They became great spear throwers with good accuracy.


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The weapons helped the Upper Paleolithic protect themselves as well as help from any harm during their hunting trips. Vast amount of animal bones, both large and small, were found at the bottom of high cliffs. This indicated that hunters not only used their weapon to kill, but use their weapons as aid by stampeding the animals off the cliffs. This would allow other hunters to wait and butcher the dead animals at the bottom of the cliff. Upper Paleolithic people also gathered fish, shellfish, leafy vegetables, fruit, insects, and plants to supplement their food resources.

Plants were probably used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes (Scupin, 2008). Having other resources, other than hunting, enable Paleolithic foragers to have enough food without expanding excessive amount of energy. In conclusion, the Upper Paleolithic was characterized by higher intake of meat and lower intake of other resources. They developed their own tools and weapons, made of stone, wood and bone, which made them excellent hunters. They obtain their food through their use of weapons and strategic planning and took advantage of the area resources.

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