The origin of man dates back more than two million years. From the first hominids, through the employment of activities has gradually evolved to his present form. All this happened within the framework of the era called in science the ancient Stone Age-the Paleolithic.
In many areas of the territory of the Armenian highlands, traces of human activity of the Paleolithic era, tools that were manufactured and used by them, were found.
Among such finds, the collections collected on the territory of Armenia (mount Artin, the vicinity of the resort of Arzni, etc.) are particularly complete.
They show, first, that the territory of the Armenian highlands was one of the oldest areas of human settlement and, second, that human activity is continued here continuously for all the periods of the stone age — lower Paleolithic (to 100 thousand years before our time), middle Paleolithic (up to 40 thousand years) and the upper Paleolithic (40 thousand years-15-12 thousand years ago).
From the original universal stone chopper, pear-shaped roughen multi-purpose tool-man for these hundreds of millennia has moved to the use of numerous specialized, processed tools that could cut, drill, scrape wood, bone, horn and other materials.
People were able to hunt such common at that time large animals as mammoth, reindeer, bull, wild horse, as well as engage in primitive fishing. A huge achievement was the invention of a method for artificially producing fire.
The climate mitigation that occurred at the end of the upper Paleolithic era and the retreat of glaciers created new favorable conditions for the further development of the human activity.
The final period of the stone age-the new Stone Age is represented on the territory of Armenia by several settlements dating back to the VIII—mid-V thousand BC.
The Art of stone processing has reached perfection — tools are polished. A stone axe with a “wooden axe head” makes it possible to make vehicles and transportation — carts and boats. Agriculture and cattle breeding are further developed. Artificial dwellings are being created.
The first clay vessels are being made; they are still rough and rough, not burned, but they have a great future. Tribes consisting of clans are strengthened and, in turn, are United in tribal unions, which are still fragile at first.
The next, copper-stone period, or Eneolithic, Dating in Armenia to the second half of the V and IV thousand BC (settlements of Shamiramalti, tehut, Kul-Tapa, etc.), marked the completion of the design of early agriculture and cattle breeding: a variety of tools are made for processing the land and harvesting, tamed and bred goat, sheep, pig, cattle (the latter is also used as a draught force).
There is weaving from wool and vegetable threads; ceramic production is developing and branching out. The most important achievement of the era is the production of copper products.
Metal is still used for a long time in parallel with stone, and the forms of metal tools still repeat the forms of stone ones. The eneolithic era is also characterized by the beginning of broad inter-regional relations.
III thousand BC for the most developed countries of the world at that time was the time of the emergence of States. The first States were formed in the fertile river valleys: in the Nile valley—Egypt, in the Tigris and Euphrates valley – Sumer and Akkad.
The influence of their civilization penetrates neighbouring countries, including the Armenian highlands. Here, during this period, the Gentile society still prevails, its transition from matriarchy to Patriarchy continues, in which the stages of kinship are determined already on the paternal line.
This transition was associated with the growth of material production and, in parallel, with the growth of the role and importance of men in the economic and social spheres. By the end of this period, the property differentiation of the population is planned—the allocation and strengthening of the tribal nobility.
III-II thousand BC in the Armenian highlands was the Bronze Age. During this period, the productive forces of society are experiencing a huge rise. Arable farming is emerging, primitive ways of irrigating the land are changing, and horticulture is also developing on this basis.
The number of domesticated animals includes a horse. Crafts are developing and specializing, along with the progress of traditional crafts-processing of stone, bone, leather, wood, ceramic production, there are major achievements in metallurgy.
As the main material, copper is replaced by the bronze alloy of copper with tin. This alloy is significantly superior to pure copper in hardness and cutting ability.
The types of bronze tools, household items and jewelry are multiplied, and the Armory is separated into a separate craft. Jewellery business is developing, products made of gold, silver and semi-precious stones acquire elegance and subtlety.
The remains of handicraft products are abundantly represented in the monuments of the Bronze Age of the Armenian highlands (Shengavit, Mohrablur, etc.) and the richest burials (Trehk-Trialeti, Kirovakan, Lchashen).
These materials, as well as rock images found in the mountains of Armenia, also testify to the process of social and spiritual development of society, which led to the decomposition of the primitive communal system.
The best arable land, vast herds, and other riches are concentrated in the hands of the tribal nobility. In the middle and late Bronze Age, burials of members of this class of society are distinguished by a special luxury, contain a large number of things-magnificent decorated funeral carts, highly artistic weapons and jewelry, as well as skeletons of slaves killed and buried with their masters. Society is rapidly moving along the path of class formation.
Primitive religious ideas develop into a complex system, where the cult of the forces of nature and celestial phenomena, ancestors, beliefs related to hunting and fertility, personified in humanoid or animal deities, finds its place.
At this time, so-called cyclopes fortresses built of huge stone blocks are widely used, which indicates that inter-tribal clashes are becoming more frequent. This circumstance further strengthens the position of the tribal nobility. The society is on the threshold of the formation of the state.
By the end of the second millennium BC, the use of iron began in the Armenian highlands, and thus the Bronze Age was replaced by iron. The high quality of this new material gives a new impetus to the development of productive forces.