During the Mesolithic
period, hunting and the gathering of wild plants, grains and shells,
the main types of the economy of the Palaeolithic man was continued.
Wildgoat, cattle, pig, deer, fox, hedgehog, bird, rat and other rodents
constituted the fauna of the period. A kind of domesticated pig found
at Yioura is the first evidence of animal domestication
Considerable quantities of small and large fish from the Cyclops Cave at Yioura, Franchthi and the Ulbrich Cave have substantiated for the first time that fishing was carried out in shallow waters and in the open sea with the use of elaborate tool equipment (fishhooks).
The navigation of the open sea was not devoted exclusively to fishing but also to the discovery of raw materials suitable for manufacturing resistant tools. At Franchthi Cave in Hermionid, tools made of Melian obsidian, as well as querns of andesite (volcanic rock) from the islands of the Saronic Gulf were found. They were used for grinding plants and grains and for fabricating jewellery from stone and shell.
The querns together with the remains of carbonated wild barley, oat and wild lentil found at Franchthi and Theopetra suggest that these plants were being systematically cultivated. The collection of grains included among others, lithosperum, almonds and pistachios.
The stone industry of the period consisted of flakes, denticulates, notches, endscrapers and geometric microliths made of flint and obsidian. Additionally, bone and antler tools were manufactured, mainly fishhooks, needles, spatulas and small spoons made of limpet shell.
It is of importance for the Mesolithic economy and the transition to the Neolithc way of life (permanent settlement, specialisation in agriculture and farming) that we begin to find indications of permanent settlement and of animal and plant domestication already during the Mesolithic.