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an ancient Paleolithic culture which developed at the same time as the Chellean (Abbevillian) culture and which continued to exist in Acheulean times. It was named after a site in the vicinity of Clacton-on-Sea in southeast England (excavated by the British archaeologist H. Warren in 1921), where large irregularly shaped flake tools were found, as well as disk-shaped cores and the bones of the ancient elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and other animals.
The Clactonian technique differed from the Chellean in that the former involved striking flakes from the flint and making tools from them. In 1932, H. Breuil introduced the concept of two separate groups of primitive man: the bearers of the hand-ax tradition (the Chellean and Acheulean cultures) and the bearers of the flake-tool tradition (Clacton). However, subsequent finds have revealed that in many cases hand axes are encountered together with flake tools; that is, they were used simultaneously by the same groups of men.