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Reading Comprehension Week 2 Q3

COMPREHENSION

The Palaeolithic Era is by far the longest age of humanity’s time, about 99% of human history. The Palaeolithic Age dates from about 2.6 million years ago and ended around 10,000 BC.The age began when hominids (early humans) started to use stones as tools for bashing, cutting and scraping. The age ended when humans began to plant crops and have other types of agriculture. In some areas, such as Western Europe, the way that people lived was affected by the Ice Age. In these places people moved towards agriculture quicker than in warmer places where there was always lots of food to gather. Their culture is sometimes called the Mesolithic Era (Middle Stone Age).

During the Palaeolithic Era humans grouped together in small bands. They lived by gathering plants and hunting wild animals. This way of living is called a ‘hunter-gatherer society’. The hunting was probably done mainly by the men, being larger and stronger, while the food gathering was done by the women. The food that was hunted would have included small burrowing animals like rabbits, as well as birds and herds of animals like deer and cattle. The food that was gathered would have included grain of different sorts in different areas. Grain is often found growing on grasslands where herds of grass-eating animals are found. Other gathered foods were root vegetables, green vegetables, beans, fruit, seeds, berries, nuts, eggs, insects and small reptiles.

Many Palaeolithic bands were nomadic. They moved from place to place as the weather changed. They followed the herds of animals that they hunted from their winter feeding places to their summer feeding places. If there was drought or flood, or some other disaster, the herds and the people might move a long distance, looking for food. During the ‘Great Ice Age’ a lot of the water on the Earth had turned to ice. The sea was much lower than it is now. It is believed that at this time people were able to walk from Siberia to Alaska.

Although much of the area was covered with ice, there was a strip of land running down to the part of North America that is now the United States. Bands of Homo sapiens people travelled to that area from Asia. At that time there were rich grasslands with many large animals that are now extinct. It is believed that many groups of people travelled there over a long time and later spread to other parts of America, as the weather changed.

Text adapted from Wiki.Kidzsearch.com, which is in the public domain.

Question: Why did people in Western Europe start farming before other areas?