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In the 19th century the view developed that the hunting and gathering way of life still found among some modem primitive peoples had been typical of the earlier stone age or Palaeolithic period. Subsequent research has gone a long way to confirming that before farming was developed some 10,000 years ago, hunting had been a way of life for early man for well over a million years. Not all the food was obtained from hunting: gathering plant foods and creatures like shellfish was also important. Little is known about techniques of hunting during the Palaeolithic. It is thought that at first arduous pursuit on foot may have been a common method, while spearing and trapping were probably developed later. Finally, sophisticated methods like the bow and arrow and the spear-thrower presumably increased the efficiency of hunting.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied