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The Upper Paleolithic was not only the last phase of the Old (Paleo) Stone Age but it also coincided with the end of the geological epoch, the Pleistocene – or the Ice Age. Northern Europe was mostly glacial or tundra. Modern Humans would have come into Europe during this time and encountered their close relation, Homo Neanderthalensis. They would have shared technology and interbred before the Neanderthals finally dying out around 30,000 BP in Southern Iberia. Notable: the Cave Painting of the Franco Cantabrian region and the Venus Figurines which are widespread in the region.
Palaeolithic Europe.

The Neolithic in Europe is facilitated by the retreat of the glaciers as the world warms during the new Holocene period. Neolithic charateristics such as settlements and agriculture take hold in Europe later than in the Middle East closer to the middle of this time span. Examples of the Neolithic here are pottery culture and megalithic structure building.

Europe in the Ancient period is characterised by the technological / metallurgic revolution that became the Bronze Age, and then later the Iron Age. The comparably revolutionary period the Neolithic, which preceded the Bronze Age with the Copper (Chalcolithic) Age, naturally gave way to the next epoch in which metallic technology would revolutionise life. Bronze would begin in the Middle East as much as in Europe as the copper and tin trade that facilitated it was a network of both regions. Later, Iron would supersede Bronze especially in its use in weaponry.

Mediaeval Europe.

Modern Europe.