Imagine yourself in a time machine, going back in time about 20,000 years. You get out of the machine and all you can see is ice. All around you are miles and miles of ice. You'd think you must have landed on a glacier or frozen lake. Actually, you are in the ice age.
About 1/3 of the earth was ice. The most recent ice age was almost 10,000 years ago. As the earth started warming up the ice started to melt. The last ice age left traces that it was there. It left GLACIERS!!! Sheets of ice covered valleys and rivers. Ice spread to different parts of the world. Scientists called it the ice age. It kept melting, then froze again. This went on for about a million years. About 10,000 years ago the earth started to warm up. Sheets of ice started to melt. As the ice melted it left lakes and broad valleys with a mixture of rocks and soil. The only ice left was up high in the mountains. The glaciers that you see now are what is left over from the ice age.
Do you ever wonder how we know that ice ages really exist? Well one reason is that it left clues. Louis Aggasiz was one of the first scientists to study the clues of the ice age. An erratic is a large boulder, and when Aggasiz told some scientists that the boulders had been left there by a glacier they thought that he was out of his mind. The scientists thought they were put there by icebergs, Noah's flood, and witches.
The reason Louis Aggasiz proved that they had been put there by glaciers is because they were made of a kind of rock that you can't find naturally in that area - granite. Because of that he proved that they can't be from there, they were from somewhere else. Other proof that the ice age really existed is: polished bedrock, sand and gravel piles, big valleys, and rough mountain tops.
During the ice age the men would set a trap for their food. When an animal fell for the trap the men would go kill it. Then the men would work on cutting the mammoth into big chunks, and then carried the chunks of meat to their cave. There the women and children would cut the mammoth meat into pieces that they were able to cook. The ice age people lived 35,000 years ago.
During the ice age countries like the Britain, France, Spain and Germany were very cold. At the northern and southern part of the earth the sheets of ice were much colder than they are today. Nobody knows why the ice age started, or why it stopped after 25,000 years. All we know is that it came and went very slowly. So that is the reason why the people that lived at the time didn't realize that it was getting colder and colder, nor did they know that they were becoming the ice age hunters. Most of the ice age hunters lived in the western, central part of Europe.
Because of all the ice the land was shaped much, much differently. The land looked bare because it was too cold for beech and oak trees to grow. There would be an few fir trees here and there. No grass grew, just shrubs, bushes, and moss grass. In the northern parts of North America, Europe, and Asia there is still tundra.
The animals were different from today too. Back then there were woolly mammoth, woolly rhinos, cave bears, bison, wolves, horses, and herds of reindeer like modern day reindeer. Woolly mammoth, cave bear, and woolly rhino are now extinct. How do we know that they existed? Well the ice age people painted pictures of these animals on the sides of their caves, and the skeletons of the animals have been found in caves.There are cuts from the hunters' knives in the bones and the knives were sitting beside them.