The very early traces of prehistoric man in Tajikistan dating from 950,000-850,000 were found at the site of Kuldara in Khovaling district (Khatlon oblast). Over the territory of Tajikistan many sites were discovered spanning the Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic and Neolithic epochs of the Stone Age. For all these periods the material culture and way of life are represented and the territorial settlement of ancient tribes can be traced throughout the Stone Age,
The main stages of the study of the Stone Age have been defined by the explorations of A.P. Okladnikov, V.A. Ranov, A.Kh. Yusupov, T.G. Filimonova, A.G. Amosova, V.A. Zhukov and T.U. Khujageldyev. They started with the research missions of A.P. Okladnikov in 1948 and 1953, which finally led to the discovery of the now famous Neolithic Hissar culture. All archaeological explorations have been carried out in attraction of debate about the different methods of dating the absolute and relevant ages of the sites. They have been complemented by explorations by specialists of other disciplines, such as geological and palaeogeographical ones. These works shave enabled a complete and reliable division into period of sites, according to a chronology of the Stone Age in Tajikistan.
Lower Palaeolithic (950,000-200,000 years ago). We can divide this period into two groups: the Kuldara industry of small flakes showing the materials of Kuldara and Karatau culture (the sites of Karatau, Lohuti are examples of the earlier periods, while the site of Obi-Mazar is an example of the late period).
Middle Palaeolithic (200,000-40,000/35,000 years ago).Sometimes known as the Mousterian epoch, it spans the most common Palaeolithic period in the territory of Tajikistan. The industry of the Middle Paleolithic differs from the precedent with the development of the new technique of producing blades with extended regularly and correctly forms and prepared edges, splitting off from special prepared cores. The main tools were chisel and scraper. The most famous sites for this period are Khonako, Kara Bura and Ogzy_Kichik.
Upper Palaeolithic (40,000/35,000-12,000 years ago) in Tajikistan is presented only in two sites, the multilayers site of Shugnou and the site Kharkush in Hissar ridge. Further changes can be detected with new methods of stone-splitting and the appearance of new types of tools. On the whole there is a noticeable increase in the dimension of the stone.
Mesolithic (12,000-7,000 years ago). The most distinctive features of the Mesolithic are the presence, in the collections of small tools – geometrical microliths: rectangles, segments, and trapezes. In the early periods rectangles appear and, later, segments. For the early Mesolithic, the core-scrapers (carinated) are also distinctive, coming from the Upper Palaeolithic, and for the Later Mesolithic, the “Tutkaul” point – with blunt steep back retouch. In Tajikistan Tutkaul 3, 2A and Dara-i Shur, located on the Vakhsh banks, as well as Chilu-Chor-Chashma and Obikiik are the Mesolithic sites.
Neolithic (6,000-3,000 years ago). This period in Tajikistan is marked by a special development of the pebble technique during the Neolithic period. The Neolithic in Tajikistan is represented by the Hissar culture. No conclusive answers have been found to the question of the economic basis of the life of the Hissar people. Mostly we see evidence of a period of gradual settlement in a land of hunter-gatherers. The Neolithic sites found in Tajikistan are the many layers settlements of Sai Sayod, Tutkaul, Kangurttut, Teguzak and Oktanga.