Humanity’s written history was preceded by its prehistory, beginning with the Palaeolithic Era (“Early Stone Age”)
A caveman is a stock character representative of primitive man in the Paleolithic. The popularisation of the type dates to the early 20th century, when Neanderthal Man was influentially described as “simian” or ape-like by Marcellin Boule and Arthur Keith.
While knowledge of human evolution in the Pleistocene has become much more detailed, the stock character has persisted, even though it anachronistically conflates characteristics of archaic humans and early modern humans.
The term “caveman” has its taxonomical equivalent in the now-obsolete Homo troglodytes (“cave-dwelling man”, Linnaeus, 1758).