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Aurignacian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aurignac (adj)
CATEGORY: culture; chronology
DEFINITION: A series of Upper Palaeolithic cultures in Europe that existed from about 35,000 to 20,000 years (dates also given as 38,000-22,000 years) ago. They were characterized by their use of stone (flint) and bone tools, refinement of those tools, and the development of sculpture and cave painting. The culture is named for the type site Aurignac, in southern France, where such artifacts were discovered. In France it is stratified between the Châtelperronian and the Gravettian (and before the Solutrean and the Magdalenian), but industries of Aurignacian type are also found eastwards to the Balkans, Palestine, Iran, and Afghanistan. At Abri Pataud there is a radiocarbon date of pre-31,000 BC for the Aurignacian, but there are possibly earlier occurrences in central and southeast Europe (Istállóskö in Hungary, Bacho Kiro in Bulgaria). There is still considerable dispute about the extent to which the Aurignacian is contemporary with the cultures of the Perigordian group in southwest France. The sites are often in deep, sheltered valleys. Split-based bone points, carinates (steep-end scrapers), and Aurignac blades (with heavy marginal retouch) are typical of Aurignacian. Aurignacian is also important as the most distinctive and abundantly represented of the early Upper Palaeolithic groups.
Châtelperronian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chatelperonian, Chatelperron, Chatelperronian, Lower Périgordian; formerly Lower Aurignacian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic culture and earlier stage of the Perigordian, concentrated in the Périgord region of France but believed to have originated in southwestern Asia. It is distinguished from contemporary stone tool culture complexes by the presence of curved-backed knives (knives sharpened both on the cutting edge and the back). It is the earliest known blade culture. The Châtelperronian has radiocarbon dates of 31,690 BC ? 250 and 31,550 ? 400 at Grotte du Renne (Arcysur-Cure, Yonne), but it may have started as early as 35-34,000. This cave site culture is also characterized by bone tools and weapons (made of ivory or reindeer antler) and flint knives.
Eburran
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kenya Capsian, Kenya Aurignacian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An East African obsidian industry of the central Rift Valley, Kenya, previously known as the 'Kenya Capsian' and before that as the 'Kenya Aurignacian'. Its time span is the 13th-8th millennia BC. The assemblages, as recovered from Gamble's Cave and Nderit Drift, comprise large backed blades, crescentric microliths, burins, and end-scrapers.

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