Secrets of the Stone Age (2/2) | DW Documentary

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How were our Stone Age ancestors capable of building gigantic structures like burial mounds and stone rings? An insight into the history of humankind.
Around 12,000 years ago, humans underwent a transition from the mobile lifestyle of hunter-gatherers to the settled life of farmers. That epoch, the Stone Age, produced monumental building works. How did our ancestors live and build back then? Part 2 of this two-part documentary takes us to unique archaeological sites in Scotland, Brittany, Austria, Malta, Turkey and Jordan. The gigantic stone circles, temples and tombs from the Stone Age beg the question not only as to why this effort was made, but also of how, given the technical possibilities of the time, our ancestors were capable of building structures like the Barnenez burial mound or the stone ring of Orkney. How many people did they need to transport a 20-ton stone? A team led by experimental archaeologist Wolfgang Lobisser carries out a test with a wooden sledge and a two-ton stone block. The Neolithic seems to have been a fairly peaceful era; at least, no artifacts indicating military conflicts have been found so far. Raids and attacks that wiped out entire villages have only been confirmed for the later Bronze Age. But the foundations of many disputes were laid back then. In addition to cult objects, the Neolithic also saw the development of the first trading systems. "The people of the Neolithic were the first to become really dependent on material goods," says Marion Benz from the University of Freiburg, pointing to wafer-thin sandstone rings that researchers have found in large numbers in the Neolithic village of Ba'ja in Jordan. We need to know about prehistory in order to understand the present. Population explosion, consumerism and megacities are ultimately the heritage of the Neolithic period, when sedentary societies first appeared.
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