Capsian Culture


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Capsian Culture

 

an archaeological culture of the late Upper Paleolithic and of the Mesolithic (ninth to fifth millennia b.c.) widespread in North Africa and Mediterranean countries. It was named after a site near the city of Gafsa (Capsa) in Tunisia. The people of the Capsian culture engaged in hunting and gathering. A distinctive feature of their settlements is huge heaps of shells mixed with animal bones. The most typical flint tools were geometric microliths, which served as inserts for composite tools, and arrowheads (bows and arrows appeared here somewhat earlier than in northern Europe). Fragments of vessels made from ostrich eggshells, often decorated, have also been found. The Capsians may have been the actual creators of the ancient rock paintings in North Africa and eastern Spain. The common cultural features of the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic populations of the Mediterranean countries are explained, evidently, not only by the similarity of geographic conditions, but also by the ties between the populations of these regions.

REFERENCES

Aliman, A. Doistoricheskaia Afrika. (Translated from French.) Moscow, 1960.
Zamiatnin, S. N. “O vozniknovenii lokal ‘nykh razlichii v kul ‘ture paleoliticheskogo perioda.” In Proiskhozhdenie cheloveka i drevnee rasselenie chelovechestva. Moscow, 1951.
Wulsin, F. R. The Prehistoric Archaeology of Northwest Africa. Cam-bridge, 1941.