Neolithic Age (New stone Age)
The Paleolithic gave way to a transitional period, the Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age,
when Europe became climatically, geographically, and biologically much as it is today. Then, for several thousand years at different times in different parts of the globe, a great new age, the Neolithic (New Stone Age), dawned.
German archaeologists discovered that prehistoric hunter-gatherers built a stone temple with animal reliefs at that site around 9000 bce, long before sedentary farmers established permanent village communities at sites such as Çatalhöyük Turkey..
Çatal Höyük The Neolithic settlement at Çatal höyük on the central Anatolian plateau flourished between 6500 and 5700 bce and was one of the world’s first experiments in urban living. The houses, constructed of mud brick strengthened by sturdy timber frames, varied in size but repeated the same basic plan.
In Catal hoyuk paintings were regular appearance of the human figure not only in single but also in large, coherent groups with a wide variety of poses , subject and settings.
Ain Ghazal A second well-excavated Neolithic settlement is Ain Ghazal, near Amman, Jordan. Occupied from around 7200 to 5000 bce, Ain Ghazal has produced striking finds, including two caches containing three dozen plaster statuettes datable to the mid-seventh millennium bce.
Stonehenge In western Europe, where Paleolithic paintings and sculptures abound, no comparably developed towns of the time of Çatal höyük or Ain Ghazal have been found. however, in succeeding millennia, perhaps as early as 4000 bce, the local Neolithic populations in several areas developed a monumental architecture employing massive roughcut stones. The very dimensions of the stones, some as tall as 17 feet and weighing as much as 50 tons, have prompted historians to call them megaliths (great stones) and to designatethe culture that produced them megalithic.
Although megalithic monuments are plentiful throughout Europe, the arrangement of huge stones in a circle (called a henge), often surrounded by a ditch, is almost entirely limited to Britain. The most imposing example is Stonehenge near Salisbury plain england
Most archaeologists now consider Stonehenge a remarkably accurate solar calendar.