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A level of cultural development characterized by a technology and its associated social and ideological features; a large-scale archaeological unit consisting of a well-defined level of development attained by a particular culture area. The adoption of agriculture, for instance, had profound cultural and social consequences, raising people to a higher stage. This technological subdivision of prehistoric time has little chronological meaning beyond the regional (as it may be continental or global), an example being the Stone Age, though stages are integral parts of the chronological sequencing of culture history.