The Pleistocene ( /ˈplaɪstəsiːn/) (symbol PS) is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's recent period of repeated glaciations.

Sir Charles Lyell introduced this term in 1839 to describe strata in Sicily that had at least 70% of their molluscan fauna still living today. This distinguished it from the older Pliocene Epoch, which Lyell had originally thought to be the youngest fossil rock layer. He constructed the name "Pleistocene" ("Most New" or "Newest") from the Greek πλεῖστος, pleīstos, "most", and καινός, kainós (latinized as cænus), "new"; this contrasting with the immediately preceding Pleiocene ("More New" or "Newer", from πλείων, pleíōn, "more", and kainós; usual spelling: Pliocene), and the immedtately subsequent Holocene ("wholly new" or "entirely new", from ὅλος, hólos, "whole", and kainós) epoch, which extends to the present time.

The Pleistocene is the first epoch of the Quaternary Period or sixth epoch of the Cenozoic Era. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period. It also corresponds with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology. In the ICS timescale, the Pleistocene is divided into four stages or ages, the Gelasian, Calabrian, Ionian and Tarantian. All of these stages were defined in southern Europe. In addition to this international subdivision, various regional subdivisions are often used.

Before a change finally confirmed in 2009 by the International Union of Geological Sciences, the time boundary between the Pleistocene and the preceding Pliocene was regarded as being at 1.806 million years before the present, as opposed to the currently accepted 2.588 million years BP: publications from the preceding years may use either definition of the period.

Read more about Pleistocene:  Dating, Paleogeography and Climate, Fauna, Humans, Deposits

Other articles related to "pleistocene":

South Asian Stone Age - Homo Erectus
... upper Punjab, Pakistan along the Soan River (nearby Rawalpindi) during the Pleistocene Epoch ... Biface handaxe and cleaver traditions may have originated in the middle Pleistocene ... be dated to approximately the middle Pleistocene ...
Shum Laka - History
... Laka, situated in the Grassfields of northwestern Cameroon, was occupied during the later Pleistocene and Holocene ... response to the environmental changes in Central Africa at the end of the Pleistocene ... de Maret and his team brought the most complete sequence in West Africa, spanning the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene ...
Sandia Cave - History
... Faunal remains included extinct, Pleistocene mammals ... sloth, horses, and camels, as well as many mammal and bird species that survived the end of the Pleistocene, making this one of the most important Pleistocene paleontological sites in northern New Mexico ...
Pleistocene - Deposits
... Pleistocene non-marine sediments are found primarily in fluvial deposits, lakebeds, slope and loess deposits as well as in the large amounts of material moved about by glaciers ... Pleistocene marine deposits are found primarily in shallow marine basins mostly (but with important exceptions) in areas within a few tens of kilometers of the modern ... In a few geologically active areas such as the Southern California coast, Pleistocene marine deposits may be found at elevations of several hundred ...