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 marginalretouch) are typical of Aurignacian. Aurignacian is also important as the most distinctive and abundantly represented of the early Upper Palaeolithic groups.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site or a rock shelter near the village of Les Eyzies (Dordogne) in the Vézère valley of southwestern France. It has a very rich Upper Palaeolithicsequence of more than 14 main culture layers with radiocarbon dates from c 32,500 BC, beginning with Aurignacian deposits containing saucerlike living hollows with central hearths. The Aurignacian levels are followed by Perigordian and Proto-Magdalenian and probably Proto-Solutrean levels. Art objects have been found and a skeleton in a top layer. The various kinds of hearths and living areas may suggest different social groups inhabiting the area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amud CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture and industryclose to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, Israel. There are several important caves, including Emireh, the type site of the Emiran, and Zuttiyeh, the type site of the Amudian. These demonstrate the early occurrence of Upper Palaeolithic blades and burins even earlier than the Mousterian and its flake tools. The Amud cave is Mousterian or Emiran and in 1961 the skeletal remains were found of two adults and two children estimated to have lived about 50,000-60,000 years ago (remains held in the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem). They consist of a skeleton of an adult male about 25 years old, a fragment of an adult jaw, and skull fragments of infants. The skeleton has an exceptionally large brain (1800 cc). The remains suggest that they are part of a group known as Near Eastern Neanderthal man. This group represents a mixture of West Asian features similar to those of fossils found in 1957 in Iraq that were estimated to date from about 46,000 years ago and those of the Upper Paleolithic people who lived in southwestern France and the Middle East from about 10,000 to 35,000 years ago. These findings provide more evidence that Neanderthal man was a highly varied species who lived in much of the Northern Hemisphere, except the New World. Amudianmaterial has been recognized at the cave of et-Tabun (Mount Carmel) and at sites like Jabrud, Adlun, and the Abri Zumoffen in the Levant. It has been suggested that the Amudian may have been ancestral to subsequent Upper Palaeolithic industries of the Middle East, hence the name 'pre-Aurignacian' which has sometimes been given to industries of Amudian type.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of caves southeast of Paris with Upper Palaeolithic art, including the Grotte du Cheval, Grotte del Hyene, and Grotte du Renne are archaeologically the most important. The early occupation levels are of the Riss period with Mousterian (with Neanderthal remains), Chatel-Perronian, Aurignacian, later Perigordian levels.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicassemblage named for the type site, Atlit, in the Mount Carmel region of Israel. There are several layers with Aurignacian-like assemblages and this culture followed the Antelian (formerly Middle Aurignacian). It was among the assemblages that preceded various Mesolithic developments in the Middle East.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: perforated baton CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicartifact, occasionally encountered in Aurignacian, Gravettian, and Solutrean assemblages but more typically found in Magdalenian toolkits. It consists of a decorated cylinder of antler with a hole through the thickest part. The baton may be decorated with intricate carving. Its function is unknown, although it is generally interpreted as a shaft-straightener, from the use-wear in and around the hole.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: blade tool; blade-~ (used attributively) CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A long, narrow, sharp-edged, thin flake of stone, used especially as a tool in prehistoric times. This flake is detached by striking from a prepared core, often with a hammer. Its length is usually at least twice the width. The blade may be a tool in itself, or may be the blank from which a two-edged knife, burin, or spokeshave is manufactured. This term, then, is used by archaeologists in several ways: (1) It can refer to a fragment of stone removed from a parent core. The blade is used to manufacture artifacts in what is known as the blade and core industry". (2) That portion of an artifact usually a projectile point or a knife beyond the base or tang. (3) In certain cultures small artifacts are called microblades. It was a great technological advance when it was discovered that a knapper could make more than one tool from a chunk of stone. The Châtelperronian and Aurignacian were the earliest of the known blade cultures -- associated with the arrival of modern humans. Industries in which many of the tools are made from blades became prominent at the start of the Upper Palaeolithicperiod. A typical blade has parallel sides and regular scars running down its back parallel with the sides. A 'backed blade' is a blade with one edge blunted by the removal of tiny flakes. Blades led to another invention -- the handle. A handle made it easier and much safer to manipulate a sharp two-edged blade."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Breuil, Henri-Édouard-Prosper CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A French archaeologist who was regarded as an authority on prehistoric cave paintings of Europe and Africa. He devoted much of his life to studying examples of prehistoric art in southern France, northern Spain, and southern Africa. Breuil was a fine draftsman, and his greatest contributions were in the recording and interpretation of cave art in more than 600 publications. He proposed a series of four successive art styles, based on the superposition of paintings found in many caves, and held the view that the purpose of the paintings was sympathetic magic, to ensure success in hunting. Breuil fit the Aurignacianculture into its right place within the French Palaeolithicsequence and was responsible for working out the chronologies of French Upper and Middle Paleolithic periods.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic rock shelter at Castelmerle, southwest France. There were two Aurignacian levels with art objects of carved or painted stone. The art from Castanet and neighboring Blanchard rock shelter is amongst the earliest known, dating c 33,000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chatelperonian, Chatelperron, Chatelperronian, Lower Périgordian; formerly Lower Aurignacian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicculture 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 bladeculture. 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 siteculture is also characterized by bone tools and weapons (made of ivory or reindeerantler) and flint knives.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rock shelter in Dordogne, France, with Châtelperronian, Aurignacian, Gravettian, and Solutrean industries as well as a burial of a Homo sapiens sapiens.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cromagnon CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A population of anatomically modern Homo sapiens dating from the Upper Paleolithic Period (c 35,000-10,000 years ago), first found in 1868 in a shallow cave at Cro-Magnon in the Dordogne region of southern France. French geologist Louis Lartet uncovered five archaeological layers and the race of prehistoric humans revealed by this find was called Cro-Magnon and has since been considered, along with Neanderthals, to be representative of prehistoric humans at that time. It was also the first discovery of remains of Homo sapiens in a deposit containing Upper Palaeolithic tools. The skeletons had been carefully buried, covered with red ochre, and necklaces laid beside them. They were the earliest known modern humans in Europe, who were characterized by a long skull and high forehead, a tall erect stature, and the use of bladetechnology and bone tools. They were associated with the Aurignacianculture, which produced the earliest European art. Unlike Neanderthal man, the remains are hardly different from modern man.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic cave site of northern Spain with seven Mousterian levels, a lower Perigordian layer dated to 36,350 bp, and Aurignacian levels with dwellings and burials. It was one of the first Spanish sites excavated by scientific methods.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kenya Capsian, Kenya Aurignacian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An East African obsidianindustry 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave site in northern Spain, spanning the entire Palaeolithic. Its earliest Aurignacianmaterial has been dated to c 38,700 bp. There are engravings and paintings of the Upper Palaeolithic, c 20,000-10,000 BC, in the caves.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave in southern France (Hautes-Pyrénées) containing important examples of Late Paleolithicmural art, paintings, and engravings dating from the Aurignacian Period, the oldest phase of European Stone Age art. The site was first known for its Ice Age fauna. There are approximately 150 engravings of animals and 250 red or black hand prints. A curious feature of these silhouettes is that many are representations of mutilated hands with one or more finger joints missing, most frequently the last two joints of the last four fingers. The significance of the hand prints and the missing fingers is unknown. The cave was occupied from at least the Middle Palaeolithic and the animal engravings are attributed to the Gravettian.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicindustry named after the site La Gravette in the Dordogne of southwest France and characterized by well-developed blade tools of flint and female figurines of ivory. This advanced industry succeeded the Aurignacian and preceded the Solutrean, c 28,000-20,000BP. In France it is known as the Upper Périgordian (Périgordian IV) and the Gravettian appears to have developed in central Europe, expanding to the east and west. The small, pointed blades with straight blunted backs are called Gravette points. Most of the French sites are caves, but possibly related industries, known as Eastern Gravettian, are distributed through the loess lands of central Europe and Russia at the camp sites of mammoth-hunters; other sites are in Spain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Italy. The Gravettians invented the bow and arrow, blunted-back knives of flint, and the tanged arrowheads. They are famous, too, for their cave paintings. Other artifacts include bone or ivory spears and, in eastern Europe, numerous other bone tools incised with an elaborate geometricpattern.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Italian Riviera near the French border with caves and rock shelters of Middle and Upper Palaeolithicflint industries, mainly Aurignacian and Gravettian assemblages (also termed Grimaldian industries). The caves also have elaborate Homo sapiens sapiens burials with grave goods including Venus figurines, backed blades, and objects of adornment. The Grotte du Prince yielded a pure Mousterian deposit. There is no Magdalenian in Liguria, where the Grimaldian persists until the end of the Palaeolithicperiod.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large cave site in Cyrenaica, Libya, with the most complete sequence, back to c 78,000 BC, of Upper Pleistocene and Holocene industries known from a single site in North Africa. The oldest flintindustry is a Libyan variant of the pre-Aurignacian (Libyan Amudian), and is followed successively by Levalloiso-Mousterian (60,000 years ago), Dabban (40,000 years ago), Oranian (18-16,000 years ago), Libyco-Capsian, and finally (from c 6800-6400) by Neolithic with pottery and domesticated animals. Based upon the striking of parallel-sided blades from prismatic cores, the earliest stage has clear affinities with broadly contemporary industries in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Its makers exploited both large game animals and seafood resources. There was a return to bladetechnology with the Dabbanindustry and the beginning of the Dabban occupation of Crenaica seems to have coincided with the onset of very arid conditions in the Saharan regions to the south. The Oranian had small backed bladelets.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave site at Torquay, Devon, England, occupied around 400,000 years ago. The main occupation is of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic periods and includes artifacts of the Mousterian, Aurignacian, 'proto-Solutrean', and the Creswellianculture, as well as harpoons and a needle of Magdalenian appearance. The sequence compares closely with that from Creswell Crags -- those being the two oldest human homes in England. A human skull 20,000 years old, remains of saber-toothed tiger, cave lion and bear, rhinoceros, mammoth, wolf, elk, and hyena have all been found ossified in the cave. A rostro-carinate dating back 500,000 years was found in the lowest layers under the stalagmites. There was also Lower Palaeolithic occupation with rather crude implements including bifaces.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Three Upper Palaeolithic sites in Kraków, Poland, including Eastern Gravettian artifacts from 23,040-20,600 bp and an Aurignacianassemblage.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Palaeolithicsite in Kraków, Poland including Middle Palaeolithic assemblages of the Last Interglacial and subsequent cooler periods. The Upper Palaeolithic assemblages of the Aurignacian date to the Interstadial preceding the Last Glacial Maximum.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A long narrow cave just outside Les Eyzies in the Dordogne, southwest France, where thousands of superimposed engravings from the late Aurignacian through the middle Magdalenian periods were discovered. The engravings are dominated by horses, bison, bear, reindeer, mammoth, and andropomorphs. They are assigned to the mid-Magdalenian, c 14,000-12,000 BC. The number of engravings suggests that the cave long served as the center of a hunting cult. Scholars rank Les Combarelles as one of the finest products of the Ice Age.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A point made from bone, antler, or ivory with an elongated oval shape. It has been found at Aurignacian sites in central Europe.
Mortillet, Gabriel de (1821-1898)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mortillet, (Louis-Laurent-Marie) Gabriel de CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: French prehistorian who, after being a student of Edouard Lartet, proposed an alternative to Lartet's Palaeolithicclassification scheme. For the palaeontological criteria of Lartet he substituted archaeological ones based on tool forms rather than faunal remains. He extended into prehistory the geological system of periods, or epochs, each characterized by a limited range of type fossils. Each period had 'type names' after a 'type site' where the diagnosticmaterial was well represented -- such as Mousterian, Aurignacian, and Solutrean. By 1869, de Mortillet's scheme for the Stone Age had the following subdivisions: Thenaisian (for the now discredited eoliths), followed by Chellean, Mousterian, Solutrean, Aurignacian, Magdalenian, and (for the Neolithic) Robenhausian, named after a lake village -- though alterations and additions (Acheulian) were made later. With further modifications, this classification was widely adopted and remained the standard terminology for European archaeology until well into the 20th century. De Mortillet saw his epochs as periods of time or as stages of development with a universal validity, and his scheme was basically a refinement of the Three Age System. He did not allow for purely local variants within a single epoch; he divided the Palaeolithic into time periods, not cultures or traditions. This is no longer accepted and de Mortillet's epochs are now thought to represent cultures and to have local validity only. The practice of using type site names, however, proved so useful that it became standard practice. He founded, in 1864, one of the earliest archaeological journals, Matériaux pour l'Histoire positive et philosophique de l'Homme". His classifications were published in "Le Préhistorique: antiquité de l'homme" (1882; "The Prehistoric: Man's Antiquity") and in subsequent revisions."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of Palaeolithic caves in Israel, on biblical Mount Carmel, which have between them yielded a long stratigraphy. The most important of these sites are el Wad, es Skhul, Tabun, and Nahal Oren. The sequence begins with coarse flake tools of Tayaciantype, followed by Acheulian handax industries. Associated (and perhaps interstratified) with the final Acheulian were Jabrudian artifacts and eventually blade tools of Amudiantype. The next industry, the Levalloiso-Mousterian, was represented at two caves, Tabun and es Skhul, and was associated with human remains whose evolutionary position is controversial. The sequence continues with the so-called Emiran industry, followed by the Palestine Aurignacian (also called Antelian), by a blade/scraper/burinindustry (the Atlitian), and finally by Natufian. The el Wad has a sequence of Upper Palaeolithic deposits with important Natufian levels at the top and on the plateau outside and numerous associated burials.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ocher CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Soft varieties of iron oxide (hematite, limonite, goethite)which were ground and used with other materials in prehistory to make pigment. Ochre occurs naturally and was much used for coloring matter, as in cave art, potterypainting, and personal decoration. Red ochre was certainly used ceremonially to give an impression of life to the corpse during funerary rites. There are many records from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards of ochre staining of skeletons. It was mixed with earth, clay, blood, or grease to make the paint. Ochre was used as crayons or powder in Aurignacianperiod for paintings on walls of caves or on bone or stone artifacts. It was mainly yellow, brown, black, orange, and red (hematite).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Perigordian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A French classification for the Upper Palaeolithictradition of western Europe, from its identification with the Perigord region of southern France. The flintindustrysequence begins with the Chatelperronian (or Early Périgordian) from which, according to some, developed the first of the 'Upper Périgordian' industries (Gravettian, or Périgordian IV). The later stages are represented by industries with Font Robert points and Noailles burins, and finally by the Proto-Magdalenian. The Périgordian tradition comes to an end in western Europe with the intrusion of a new Solutreanstyle of flintwork. No known site has a complete and unbroken 'Périgordian' sequence, and in many caves the Lower and Upper 'Périgordian' levels are separated by strata of the intrusiveAurignacianindustry, which must represent a break of several thousand years. The French scheme requires the Périgordian and Aurignacian people to have lived side by side with each other for millennia without any apparent contact between them. In the 1930s, Denis Peyrony advocated the view that the Aurignacian or early Upper Palaeolithic in France consisted of a true Aurignacian and a separate line of cultures, the Perigordian, beginning before the Aurignacian but co-existing alongside it down the time of the Solutrean. It is not known what kind of man was responsible for the Perigordian, but it is usually assumed that it was Cro-Magnon man, at least in the latter part. A Neanderthal-like skull has been found with the early Perigordian, or Chatelperronian. Art is found in a few later Perigordian contexts. The Perigordian scheme is not now widely accepted as it is based on artifact typology rather than stratigraphic evidence.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Artwork first found on rocks in Europe and Africa, created with charcoal, lime, and iron oxide of various colors mixed with animal fat or marrow. European paintings are in caves and date back to early Aurignacian times 70,000-80,000 BC; if created purely for art, though, they would not have been done in the depths of the cave. It is thought that they must have been of religious, magical, or ritual significance. There is proof that schools of painting were held in some caves. Polychrome paintings were made at the peak of Palaeolithic Art, mid-Magdalenian times, about 10,000 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An engraved cave near Bordeaux, western France, with one Mousterian and several Upper Palaeolithic levels. The engravings are possibly Aurignacian; also found were a flute and human remains.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Palaeolithic CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The more technical name for the Old Stone Age, a division of prehistory covering the time from the first use of stone tools by humans, c 2.5 million years ago, to the retreat of the glacial ice in the northern hemisphere c 10,000-8500 BC. It began in the Pliocene epoch and was followed by the Mesolithic. It is the Old World equivalent, although with a much greater extension back in time, of the paleo-Indian or Early Lithic stage of New World development. The Paleolithic was characterized by the making of chipped or flaked stone tools and weapons and by a hunting and food-gathering way of life. It is usually divided into Lower, Middle, and Upper (or Late) Paleolithic -- mainly based on artifact typology. The subdivisions are characterized this way: Lower Palaeolithic, c 2.5 million - 200,000 BC, the earliest forms of humans (Australopithecus and Homo erectus), and the predominance of core tools of pebble tool, handax, and choppertype; Middle Palaeolithic, c 150,000-40,000 BC, the era of the Neanderthal and the predominance of flake-tool industries (e.g. Mousterian) over most of Eurasia; and Upper Palaeolithic (starting perhaps as early as 38,000 BC-c 10,000 BC), with Homo sapiens sapiens, blade-and-burin industries, and the development of cave art in western Europe. During this stage, man colonized the New World and Australia. The main Palaeolithic cultures of Europe were, in chronological order: 1. Pre-Abbevillian, 2. Abbevillian, 3. Clactonian, 4. Acheulian, 5. Levalloisian, 6. Mousterian, 7. Aurignacian, 8. Solutrean, and 9. Magdalenian. The term was introduced in 1865 by John Lubbock in Prehistoric Times". The Palaeolithic was originally defined by the use of chipped stone tools but later an economic criterion was added and the practice of hunting and gathering is now regarded as a defining characteristic."
Paleolithic or Palaeolithic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Old Stone Age, paleolithic CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The more technical name for the Old Stone Age, a division of prehistory covering the time from the first use of stone tools by humans, c 2.5 million years ago, to the retreat of the glacial ice in the northern hemisphere c 10,000-8500 BC. It began in the Pliocene epoch and was followed by the Mesolithic. It is the Old World equivalent, although with a much greater extension back in time, of the Paleo-Indian or Early Lithic stage of New World development. The Paleolithic was characterized by the making of chipped or flaked stone tools and weapons and by a hunting and food-gathering way of life. It is usually divided into Lower, Middle, and Upper (or Late) Paleolithic -- mainly based on artifact typology. The subdivisions are characterized this way: Lower Palaeolithic, c 2.5 million - 200,000 BC, the earliest forms of man (Australopithecus and Homo erectus), and the predominance of core tools of pebble tool, handax, and choppertype; Middle Palaeolithic, c 150,000-40,000 BC, the era of Neanderthal man and the predominance of flake-tool industries (e.g. Mousterian) over most of Eurasia; and Upper Palaeolithic (starting perhaps as early as 38,000 BC-c 10,000 BC), with Homo sapiens sapiens, blade-and-burin industries, and the development of cave art in western Europe. During this stage, man colonized the New World and Australia. The main Palaeolithic cultures of Europe were, in chronological order: 1. Pre-Abbevillian, 2. Abbevillian, 3. Clactonian, 4. Acheulian, 5. Levalloisian, 6. Mousterian, 7. Aurignacian, 8. Solutrean, and 9. Magdalenian. The term was introduced in 1865 by John Lubbock in Prehistoric Times". The Palaeolithic was originally defined by the use of chipped stone tools but later an economic criterion was added and the practice of hunting and gathering is now regarded as a defining characteristic."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Paviland Cave CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A buried Cro-Magnon in Paviland Cave, South Wales, the earliest-known British ceremonial burial. He was coated in red ochre to simulate life and had ivory objects, beads, bangle, awls, and shellfish and a mammoth's head buried with him -- proof of a belief in an afterlife. The material in the cave has been dated from c 38,000-10,000 years ago (Aurignacian, Creswellian). The skeleton has a radiocarbon date of 26,350 bp.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithicsite in Slovenia's mountains with artifacts and faunal remains of the Last Glacial. The assemblage includes sidescrapers, endscrapers, and retouched blades of the Aurignacian.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Palaeolithicsite near Prerov in northeastern Moravia, Czechoslovakia. Over 20 skeletons of males, females and children were found in a large communal grave, associated with an Eastern Gravettian layer. The age of the grave is probably around 26,870 BC. Some of the males had marked Neanderthaloid features but the overall morphology was Cro-Magnon. Middle Palaeolithic artifacts, probably of the Early Glacial, and Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian, Eastern Gravettian) levels have been found. There are ivory and bone tools, pendants, and portable art.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Prehistoric site in eastern Romania, starting with a Lower Palaeolithic containing flakes. Six overlying levels are assigned to the Middle Palaeolithic and have sidescrapers and bifacial foliates, of at least c 46,400-40,200 bp. There are also Aurignacian, Gravettian, and post-Palaeolithic assemblages.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Prehistoric rock shelter in Charente-Maritime, France, with Aurignacian, Châtelperronian, and Mousterian layers. A Neanderthal skeleton was found in the Châtelperronian level and dated to c 36,300 BP, perhaps one of the last Neanderthalers.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Solutrian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture of the Upper Paleolithic period in western Europe, from about 19,000 BC, following the Perigordian and Aurignacian; characterized by the use of projectile points, especially the laurel-leaf blade. From Solutré, a site in central France, it was a short-lived style of toolmaking with particularly fine workmanship. The Solutreanindustry, like those of other late Paleolithic big-game hunters, contained a variety of tools such as burins, scrapers, and borers; but blades that were formed in the shape of laurel or willow leaves and shouldered points are the implements that distinguish the Solutrean. It preceded the Magdalenian in parts of France and Spain. At Laugerie-Haute, unifacially chipped leaf-shaped points in the Early Solutrean show the gradual development of bifacial working, a stage dated c 19,000-18,000 BC. The Middle phase is characterized by fine large bifacial points and by the introduction of pressure flaking. In the Later Solutrean, this technique was used to produce slim leaf-shaped projectiles and small single-shouldered points. In southeast Spain this final stage also has barbed and tanged arrowheads. The laurel leaves" were typical of Middle Solutrean and "willow leaves" (shouldered points) were from the Later Solutrean. The boneneedle with an eye was invented in this period. Many decorated caves in France can be assigned to this period."
strangulated blade scraper
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Long blade tool with a retouched notch on one or both sides. Possibly used as a wood-working tool like a modern spokeshave. Characteristic of the AURIGNACIAN.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A lithicindustry in Palaeolithic caves and open-air sites around the bay of Uluzzo, in Apulia, southern Italy. The most important is Grotta Cavallo, with a series of Mousterian and Upper Palaeolithic levels. The earliest Upper Palaeolithic levels are called the Uluzzian (c 33,000 bp) and include scrapers, denticulates, small curved backed points, and crescents. It occurred after the final Mousterian and was contemporary with early Aurignacian.
CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The final part of the Paleolithicperiod, from about 40,000 years ago to about 10,000 years ago. It was characterized by the development of bladed stone tools and regional stone-tool industries (e.g. Perigordian, Aurignacian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian of Europe), the hunting of large herd animals, human burials, the appearance of cave paintings and other art forms, and during which modern humans (Cro-Magnon man) replaced the Neanderthals. There were also localized industries in the Old World and the oldest known cultures of the New World. Upper Paleolithic industries exhibit greater complexity, specialization, and variety of tool types and distinctive regional artistic traditions emerged. This includes small sculptures (clay and stone figurines, ivory carvings), monumental paintings, incised designs, and reliefs on the walls of caves.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Willendorf II CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithicsite on the River Danube near Krems, Austria with five Willedorfian or Eastern Gravettian levels (c 32,000 bp) and lower levels of the Aurignacian (c 41,700-39,500 bp). The Gravettian yielded art objects, including a famous Venus figurine. Willendorf II had an early Aurignaciansettlement and sequence of classic industries in central Europe.