Anonymous asked in Social ScienceAnthropology · 5 months ago

Did people in the Stone Age marry?

I’m talking about behaviorally modern humans

10 Answers

  • 5 months ago
    Best answer

    Unlike most other animals, humans have a long childhood/education time compared to the average lifespan. (13-15 years vs 30-35).

    Indeed human survival relies more on acquired complex knowledge than innate instinct.

    Keeping the father around is a way to give more chance to his offspring: more chance at least one of their parents can teach them.

    The woman biology and sexual behavior tend to favor the man's fidelity: hidden fertility period, sexually willing all along her cycle, no mating season...

    Also, the most successful paleolithic clans might have had some kind of pairing rules in order to protect children. Then rules became laws, and by the Neolithic, laws became religions.

    Molecular analyses also suggest a wider male contribution in our genes than for example in the gorilla family model (the alpha male gets all the females) or even the common chimpanzee (the alpha "officially" gets all the chicks, but everyone can cheat when they have a chance to)

  • 5 months ago


  • 5 months ago

    Doubtful. Life expectancy in the Paleolithic was only 33 years. But, at the end of the Paleolithic, humans began to engage in religious behavior such as burial and ritual. Possibly then, the concept of marriage arose. Most likely, we'll never know.

    • Megan5 months agoReport

      Yeah, I was mostly referring to behavioral modern humans, who emerged the same time as religion.

  • 5 months ago

    no they just had sex and had childern , they likley had multiple partners and had many children with many diffrent partners

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  • Cammie
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Marriage started as a part of religion.Marriage comes from Middle English which was first seen in 1250-1300 CE. However, the ancient institution likely predates this date. The main goal of marriage, earlier on, was to act as an alliance between families. Throughout history, and even today, families arranged marriages for couples.Jan 9, 2019

    A Dollars and Sex commenter wrote that the “origin of marriage was to create a legal contract by which a man could acquire a female slave.” ... The first humans, those who lived between 5 and 1.8 million years ago, had very little use for marriage.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Given they didn’t leave written records, we don’t really know.

    There was a National Geographic article on the Hadza, a tribe of hunter-gatherers in Kenya, who didn’t have any institution of marriage, and they just went from relationship to relationship. But interestingly, there was an old couple who had been together all their life.

    Also a major underpinning of marriage is an understanding of physical paternity. It seems probable that this was not properly understood in the Stone Age. There is evidence of it not being properly understood even into modern times. For example, C.P. Mountford, in ‘Brown Men and Red Sand’ tells of an Aboriginal tribe in central Australia in 1948 who didn’t understand the connection between men, sex and babies.

    Assuming this ignorance was the original condition, and was more widespread in the Stone Age, then there would have been less reason for marriage.

  • Bob
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    I have no doubt they did, it would have been a ceremony of commitment to each other in front of their community. Their may also have been a religious content.

  • Joseph
    Lv 6
    5 months ago

    People are people, technology levels have nothing to do with it. Man has evolved little since the discover of how to use and make fire and tools. So yes I'll wager they had some sort of a marriage contract

  • blu
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Some primitive behavior is still relevant today. Some couples stayed together as a family/tribe unit and sometimes they separated f/ irreconcilable differences. This same type is thing is still common in the animal world for certain species.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    The guy just clubbed the woman over the head and dragged her back to his cave.

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