Just getting some tabs out of the way here. And, also too, ya, my jnl is a research tool for me and the likes of yous. So, this means that, later, anyone can go to my tags, pull up this post and get the links, etc.
When paleolithic humans really started taking off, there were three epochs in their technoligical advance:
The New Stone Age - ~6000-3200 BCE
The Bronze Age - 3200–600 BCE
The Iron Age - 1200 BC – 1 BC
The timelines for these ages differ, depending on region. Generally, things began first in the Near East. I am giving you the dates relative to Europe. I don't know why there isn't a grain age, or a beer age.
Really, the Copper Age should be squeezed in between #1 & #2, as a unique age. Instead, it is considered to be the last years of the stone age, which makes no sense. When humans discovered that tin could be added to copper to make very strong bronze, then a really amazing era began - but they couldn't have done it w/o the copper age.
It should be recognised that there was virtually no difference in intelligence or awareness of humans tens of thousands of years ago, and us now. Today, we ingrates benefit from an inheritance of awesome technological developments and wealth and forest-clearings, etc. But, we are the same as they were then, basically. Their only handicap were occasional scourges of malnutrition, and such. We have learnt that Neandertal, as bright as us, may have resorted to cannibalism, but that's because their diet was suffering, as Sapiens pushed in.
During the Bronze Age, there was a lot of migration, and spread of technologies and language. It is even quite possible that advances spread from Europe 5,000 years ago, to be taken up by later cultures in America. After the sea levels stopped rising about 9,000 years ago, a long of very cool stuff started happening.
During the Bronze Age, and even before, there existed a sedentary population, in Central Europe, who built their homes atop stilts, on the shores of lakes, to avoid being swamped by floodings. This population was not a continuous culture, apparently. Who knows what the hell was going on. But, this type of dwelling happened over the course of millennia: from about 5,000 to 500 BCE. The various people who built them are popularly referred to as, "The Swiss Lake Dwellers."
When you think about it, what safer place could there be? Up on stilts, over marshy land, surrounded by mountains. The Swiss have always had their shit together.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of research about the people here, and ethnicities are not clear. However, this area generally gave way to Celtic cultures by the time the Hallstats (and la Tene) came along, starting around 1000 BCE.
Here is what their cool houses looked like...
These dwellings existed down into "northern Italy" and other areas. Here are some houses from a defined culture which are about identical to the Swiss Lake Dwellings, but they are classified into the "Terramare culture"...
These "black earth" dwellings were built around 1700–1150 BCE, encroaching into what would one day be Etruscan territory. People can't seem to figure out the culture or ethnicity behind these dwellings, as you can read in the Wiki link. Maybe they were linked to the Urnfield, Hallstatt, La Tene progression, which was generally Celtic. What seems obvious is that they were connected to the Swiss Lake Dwellers, identity yet unresolved.
Read about the Swiss Lake Dwellers:
Wiki (1st paragraphed edited by yours truly: Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps - and also here: Prehistoric pile dwellings around Lake Zurich
The Lake Dwellers
The Earliest Swiss – The Lake-Dwellers
Myths — the Swiss Lake Dwellers
Earlier on, around the Neolithic phase of the Swiss Lake Dwellers, there was a man running around in the mountains, now named Ötzi, "The Iceman." He was stealing food from villages below, and was eventually hunted down and killed. He is now, of course, an amazing story we all know. I think I know his story so well, I cannot write to you about it. Why? You can guess in the comments section, silver plate.
I wouldn't be reposting to you about The Iceman if there wasn't an extra added oomph. And here it is: He contained a relatively high amount of Neandertal genes. Not as much as earlier stated, but still. And, read more...
Neandertal ancestry "Iced"