The Neolithic Age covered only a brief space of time, as compared with its predecessor, but it was an age of conspicuous advance. Neolithic implements, though still of stone, bone, and wood, were often of exceeding beauty and finish, particularly arrowheads (testifying to the invention of the bow), and stone axes with a sharp cutting edge. The men of the “kitchen middens” began to make pottery, chiefly for cooking vessels, and they domesticated the dog. The lake dwellers possessed cattle, goats, sheep, and swine, as well as dogs, plaited baskets, spun and wove textiles, prepared leather, built boats, used wheeled carts, and, most important of all, cultivated some of the cereals, including wheat, barley, and millet. The new sources of food available enabled Neolithic peoples to abandon the migratory life of hunters and to settle in permanent villages. Their community life must have been well organized, for the erection of lake dwellings and stone monuments required the cooperation of many persons.
In short, Neolithic peoples were not savages; they had passed from savagery to barbarism.
The Neolithic Age was not confined to Europe. It also existed in western Asia, in Egypt, in North Africa, and on the islands of Cyprus and Crete. The entire basin of the Mediterranean formed a Neolithic center. Here the transition to the use of metals first occurred.