SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Age of the Reindeer CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The final major European culture of the Upper Paleolithic period, from about 15,000-10,000 years ago; characterized by composite or specialized tools, tailored clothing, and especially geometric and representational cave art (e.g. Altamira) and for beautiful decorative work in bone and ivory (mobiliary art). The people were chiefly fishermen and reindeer hunters; they were the first known people to have used a spear thrower (of reindeerbone and antler) to increase the range, strength, and accuracy. Magdalenianstone tools include small geometrically shaped implements (e.g., triangles, semilunar blades) probably set into bone or antler handles for use, burins (a sort of chisel), scrapers, borers, backed bladelets, and shouldered and leaf-shaped projectile points. Bone was used extensively to make wedges, adzes, hammers, spearheads with link shafts, barbed points and harpoons, eyed needles, jewelry, and hooked rods probably used as spear throwers. They killed animals with spears, snares, and traps and lived in caves, rock shelters, or substantial dwellings in winter and in tents in summer. The name is derived from La Madeleine or Magdalene, the type site in the Dordogne of southwest France. Its center of origin was southwest France and the adjacent parts of Spain, but elements characteristic of the later stages are represented in Britain (Creswell Crags), and eastwards to southwest Germany and Poland. The Magdalenianculture, like that of earlier Upper Palaeolithic communities, was adapted to the cold conditions of the last (Würm) glaciation. The Magdalenian has been divided into six phases; it followed the Solutreanindustry and was succeeded by the simplified Azilian. Magdalenianculture disappeared as the cool, near-glacialclimate warmed at the end of the Fourth (Würm) GlacialPeriod (c 10,000 BC), and herd animals became scarce.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the most important painted Palaeolithic caves (as is Lascaux, France) and one of the earliest discovered (1879). The site is in the Cantabrian Mountains of northeast Spain and the 280-meter long cave is famous for its polychrome animals, which include deer, bison, and wild boar painted in red, black, and a range of earth colors. Most of the art in the cave was produced by Solutrean and Magdalenian peoples, with one layerradiocarbon-dated to c 13,000 BC. The most famous panel is of 15 bison, plus deer and horses. There is also a hall with black paintings, and symbols are found in several parts of the cave. The paintings' authenticity was challenged right up to 1902 when Emile Cartailhac finally accepted that they were genuine.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in west-central France of a rock shelter with Upper Palaeolithic art, the Rocaux Sourciers (Angles). The back wall has fine bas-relief carvings and there is a frieze of female figures dominating the shelter. Several animal carvings are found. Occupation dates to middle and late Magdalenian and the art is dated to c 11,000 BC.
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: culture DEFINITION: A Mesolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic) culture of southwest France and northern Spain, which seems to follow the Late Magdalenian of the area. It falls within the Late Glacial Period and may be correlated with the Allerod oscillation of the 10th millennium BC (c 9000 to 8000 BC). The culture was characterized by flint microliths, pebbles painted with schematic designs, small thumb-scrapers, fish hooks, and flat boneantler harpoons. It is named for Le Mas d'Zail, a massive cave region in southern France where such artifacts were first discovered in 1889. The Azilians were food gatherers who had domesticated the dog. The Oban and Oransay cultures are degenerated Azilian.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave and rock shelter in southwest France with Magdalenian deposits, including the remains of two or three well-preserved skulls and skeletal parts, and fragmentary remains of over a dozen more individuals. These are attributed to Cro-Magnon race. Carved bone and antler artifacts are also known.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: graver CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A specialized engravingtool with a chipped flint or stoneshaft that is cut or ground diagonally downward to form a diamond-shaped point at the tip. The angle of the point affected the width and depth of the engraved lines. The shaft of the tool was fixed in a flat handle that could be held close to the working surface. A burin had a wide rounded end for bracing against the palm of the hand and the point was guided by thumb and forefinger. A blade or flake could be formed into any one of about 20 varieties of the tool. In its most characteristic form, the working tip is a narrow transverse edge formed by the intersection of two flake scars produced by striking at an angle to the main axis of the blade. Sometimes one facet is made by simply snapping the blade, or by truncating it with a steep retouch. Burins were used to carve or engrave softer materials such as antler, bone, ivory, metal, or wood. This tool was characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic (especially Magdalenian) in the Old World and of some Early Lithic and Mesolithic cultures of the New World.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Raymonden CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Magdalenianrock shelters in Dordogne, France, with hearths, harpoons, and mobiliary art. The ochre-covered burial of Chancelade man" found in 1888 was a Homo sapiens sapiens."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithicculture found at Creswell Crags and in caves in Wales and southern England. It is regarded as a variant of the Magdalenianculture of southwestern France and occurred during the final stages of the Würm glaciation. The characteristic tools are large trapezes, obliquely blunted-back blades, and small backed blades. Later cultural traditions such as the Federmesser, Creswellian, and Ahrensburgian (c 20,000-10,000 BP) formed the basis for the cultures of the succeeding Mesolithicperiod.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rock shelter in southwest France, occupied from the early Magdalenian to the Azilian, including the Chalcolithic. Some Magdalenian layers have been dated to the 14th millennium bp. It is characterized by portable art.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic cave site of northern Spain with much faunal evidence from the Solutrean and Magdalenian (14,440 bp) phases. It seems that red deer were hunted by driving rather than stalking.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Magdaleniansite just south of Paris, France, with successive occupations dating to 12,000 bp. There is an abundance of flint and flintknapping areas, hearths and débitage.
Font de Gaume
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Font-de-Gaume CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A painted cave close to Les Eyzies in the Dordogne region, southwest France. Excavations have revealed archaeological levels deep in the interior spanning several earlier Upper Palaeolithic phases, but the polychrome paintings of bison and other animals date from the late Magdalenian at the end of the Palaeolithic (c 14,000-10,000 BC).
Fourneau du Diable
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave in the northern part of the Dordogne, southwest France, occupied during the Upper Palaeolithic, with Perigordian, Solutrian and Magdalenian deposits. It is one of only two sites where Solutrian art is well-exemplified.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicsite on the Rhine River in northwest Germany, known for its many Late Magdalenian engraved schist plaques with radiocarbon dating of 12,600 bp. A volcano preserved the site during the Allerød.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic cave site in Dordogne, southwest France, with Magdalenian levels, including numerous engravings. The engravings are amongst the finest and most delicate ever found from the Palaeolithicperiod.
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: culture DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithicculture of north Germany and the Low Countries, contemporary with the Magdalenian of France, c 13,000-11,750 BP. It was the culture of the first people to colonize north Germany and the Low Countries after the final retreat of the Pleistocene ice sheets had made the area available for settlement. The Hamburgians may have been the descendants of Eastern Gravettian or peripheral Magdalenian groups. They were reindeer hunters whose tools are small, single-shouldered points, harpoons, endscrapers, microburins, and 'zinken' (small beaked borers used for working antler).
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A spearlike missile with a detachable head, often consisting of a pointed shaft with backward-pointing barbs. It was often loosely hafted so that it would separate from its shaft after the point had struck its target. The appearance of this weapon is associated in particular with the Magdalenianculture, was particularly popular during the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, and was used for hunting or fishing. An attached line was used to retrieve the catch. Some anthropologists refer to all barbed bone or antler points as harpoons.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Iberomaurusian; Mouillian; Oranian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stone tool culture characterized by small backed bladelets and found across the North African coast from at least 22,000-10,000 years ago (the late Würm (last) glacialperiod). It followed the Aterian in the Epipalaeolithic of Maghreb in North Africa and preceded the Capsian. The culture was related to Cro-Magnon, a group of people known as the Mechta-el-Arbi race, living along the Mediterranean from Tunisia to Morocco and also Libya. Linked to the sea, there are huge shell mounds of mussels, oysters, and arca. Associated with these are pottery and limited stone tool industry, in conjunction with hearths, sometimes still marked by supporting stones. Extensive cemeteries have been investigated, as at Taforalt, and also at Afalou bou Rhummel and Columnata in Algeria. Burials were sometimes decorated with ochre or accompanied by food remains or by horns of wild cattle. The industry does bear a close resemblance to the late Magdalenianculture in Spain, which is broadly contemporary (c 15,000 BC). There is evidence suggesting that the Ibero-Maurusian industry is derived from a Nile River valley culture known as Halfan, which dates from c 17,000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Isturitis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave system in the Pyrenees-Anlantiques of southwest France with one of the longest sequences of Palaeolithicstrata yet known. Several Mousterian levels were overlain by a long sequence of Upper Palaeolithic levels. Human remains were found and numerous portable art objects and wall-engravings have been recovered, mainly in the Magdalenian levels. There are also intact Magdalenian hearths on the floor of the lowest tunnel, the Erberua.
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: Magdalenianreindeer-hunting cave site in Switzerland that was occupied during a cold phase of the final Glaciation. There are bone harpoons and spearthrowers, art objects such as an engraving of a rutting reindeer, and a stone tool kit of borers.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Dordogne rock shelter in France, extremely rich in mobiliary art, which is the type site for the Magdalenian -- the final West European Upper Palaeolithicindustry. First excavated by Edouard Lartet and Henry Christy, the Magdalenian dated from approximately 16,000-10,000 BC. Very numerous carved art pieces have been found with the stone and bone tools.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Palaeolithic cave site in the Vienne region of France with more than 1500 engraved stone slabs with figures of humans and animals. It has been dated to 14,280 bp, early mid-Magdalenian.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Magdalenian cave site in Ariège, French Pyrenees, with occupation and portable art dating to the 11th millennium BC. Art objects use the same pigment mixtures as Niaux.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Magdalenian cave in Hautes-Pyrénées, France, with many engraved figures and a large polychrome horsepainting. There are hearths and engraved stones in the cave, which is dated to 12,310 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Magdalenian cave in the Dordogne, southwest France, with a spectacular collection of Palaeolithic paintings and engravings. Once the cave was opened to visitors, the delicate atmospheric balance was disturbed and the paintings were attacked by fungus; it was closed to the public in 1963. A small number of archaeological finds from inside the cave probably date to the early Magdalenian including lamps. A Neanderthal skeleton was found a few hundred meters away at Regoudou. There are 600 paintings of aurochs, horses, deer, and signs, accompanied by 1500 engravings dominated by horses. Some of the paintings in the rotunda, especially the bulls, approach life size, which is unusual in cave art. A number of paintings are in two contrasting colors, red iron oxide and black manganese dioxide. It was probably never inhabited, but was used from c 15,000 BC. A nearby facsimile cave, Lascaux II, is now open to the public.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave site in the Charente region of France with Solutrean and Magdalenian levels with much industry and art material. Included in the artifacts were well-carved batons-de-commandement and other decorated, carved objects as well as engravings on the walls.
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: site DEFINITION: Village near the center of the Dordogne, southwest France, the site of many Palaeolithic cave and rock shelter sites left by prehistoric man in the limestone zone called the Perigord. The chateau and National Museum contain many important finds and underneath it there is a small Magdalenian and Aziliansite, Grotte des Eyzies.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave site near Krakow, Poland, on the Pradnik River, with an Upper Palaeolithicassemblage assigned to the Magdalenian c 17,500-16,500 BP. Human skeletal remains of 16 people are associated with the layer. The uppermost layer contained Neolithic remains.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Palaeolithic cave site in Haute-Garonne, French Pyrenees, which has a deep central cave with traces of probable (middle) Magdalenian engravings on the walls. There is also a series of clay statues and bas-reliefs. It is famous for a modeled claybody of a life-sized bear or bear cub, probably originally covered with a bear pelt and apparently speared in ritual ceremonies.
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: One of the greatest Palaeolithic painted caves, in Ariège in the Pyrenees, southwest France. No trace of occupation has been found in the huge cave. The paintings are in black; bison and horse are the animals most frequently depicted. The 'Salon Noir' has six panels of black bison, horse, ibex, and deer figures, which were probably sketched in charcoal and then painted with different pigments. A new gallery discovered in 1970 has hundreds of Palaeolithic footprints. Much of Niaux's art is late Magdalenian (11th millennium BC).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithicsite on the Saale River, eastern Germany, dated to 12,542-11,750 bp. There are backed blades, endscrapers, burins, bone points, and Venus figurines. The assemblage is assigned to the Magdalenian.
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.
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."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave site in Baden, southern Germany, with Upper Palaeolithic occupation and rich Magdalenian occupation with jet artifacts, harpoon heads, burins, awls, backed bladelets, and decorated batons-de-commandement.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large Upper Palaeolithic / Late Magdalenian open-air site east of Paris at the confluence of the Seine and Yonne. The project pioneered large-scale horizontal excavation in the western Europe Palaeolithic as well as the plotting and refitting of flint fragments as an aid to reconstructing the living conditions. Artifacts and debris of flint (including conjoined flints) and bone are found from 10,000-9000 BC in at least 15 occupations. Over 100 tent/hut habitations and 20 large hearths have been found.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: caribou CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Arctic deer domesticated in some polar regions, which ranged from Spitsbergen and Scandinavia to eastern Siberia. They are also native to North America and are divisible into two types: the northern, or barren ground, caribou of the tundra and taiga, and the woodland caribou of Canadian forests. Both types of reindeer are game animals valued for meat, hide, and antlers. A number of hunting peoples living in Europe during the later part of the ice ages seem to have specialized in hunting reindeer, for its bones are much more common than those of other animals on these sites. This is true of a few Mousterian levels, but it is almost the rule for Late Palaeolithic sites of the Magdalenian and Solutrean. Reindeer are likely to have lived in large herds, but we do not know whether they migrated widely in western Europe as they do today in the Arctic.
Roc de Sers
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic rock shelter in the Charente, France, with Solutrean and Magdalenian levels, including burials in the latter. A line of limestone blocks carved with bas-relief bison, horse, ibex, and other figures are among the rare examples of Solutrean art.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A huge cave in the Dordogne, southwest France, with Mesolithic levels (Sauveterrian and Tardensoisian) at the entrance dating from 9150-8370 bp. Deep inside this large cave system are black paintings and engravings in which mammoth predominates from the Magdalenian. There has been much controversy on which of the cave's paintings and engravings are authentic and which are modern.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: Type of stonepoint made on a blade, with a notch on one side of the base and flaked partly or wholly on both sides. Shouldered points are characteristic of some Upper Palaeolithic cultures of Europe, such as the Solutrean, Magdalenian, and Eastern Gravettian.
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."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: spear-thrower, spearthrower, throwing stick, atlatl, woomera CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A device which increases the power with which a spear can be hurled; a long stick with a hooked end which holds the butt of a spear. The implement usually has finger grips at one end. The device thus becomes an artificial extension of the thrower's arm, giving him increased leverage and range and allowing the thrower to hurl a spear accurately a much greater distance than he could by unaided hand. Spear throwers were used in Europe during the Palaeolithic and throughout the New World in pre-Columbian times, where they were known as atlatls. Spear throwers made of reindeerantler are characteristic of the Magdalenianperiod in Europe. Similar devices were used in the Arctic, and in Australia, where they are often called woomeras.
spear thrower or spear-thrower or spearthrower
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: throwing stick, atlatl, woomera CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A device which increases the power with which a spear can be hurled; a long stick with a hooked end which holds the butt of a spear. The implement usually has finger grips at one end. The device thus becomes an artificial extension of the thrower's arm, giving him increased leverage and range and allowing the thrower to hurl a spear accurately a much greater distance than he could by unaided hand. Spear throwers were used in Europe during the Palaeolithic and throughout the New World in pre-Columbian times, where they were known as atlatls. Spear throwers made of reindeerantler are characteristic of the Magdalenianperiod in Europe. Similar devices were used in the Arctic, and in Australia, where they are often called woomeras.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Two Palaeolithic caves occupied in the Magdalenianperiod in the northern Dordogne, southwest France. One has fine line engravings of animals on blocks of limestone.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave site in Asturias, Spain, with portable and parietal polychrome art of the Upper Magdalenian and engraved stones of that time, c 14,250 bp.
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: Venus' figurine CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small female statuettes of the Upper Palaeolithic, found from southwest France to European Russia -- statuettes, sculptured in the round, of naked and often obese women. The figures, sometimes with exaggerated abdomen, breasts, and buttocks, were made of clay, stone, antler, bone, limestone, steatite, or mammothivory, and have been found on Eastern Gravettian and Upper Périgordian sites from the Pyrenees to eastern Russia. The heads are featureless and the legs and arms are little emphasized. They mainly date from the period 30,000 to 15,000 years ago; a later series is different in character, more slender and hollow stomached, and are contemporary with the Magdalenian.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: x-ray art, x-ray style, X-ray style CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A style of prehistoric rock art depicting animals by drawing or painting the skeletal frame and internal organs. The origin of the style can be traced to the Mesolithic art of northern Europe, where the earliest examples were found on fragments of bone in southern France dating from the late Magdalenian. Animals painted in the X-ray motif have also been discovered in the art of hunting cultures in northern Spain, Siberia, the Arctic Circle, North America, western New Guinea, New Ireland, India, and Malaysia. It is found today primarily in the Aboriginal rock, cave, and bark paintings of eastern Arnhem Land, in northern Australia. Figures painted in X-ray style vary in size up to 8 feet (2.5 m) in length and are delicate, polychromed renderings of the interior cavity of the animal.