Solutrean Culture

Also found in: Dictionary.

Solutrean Culture


an archaeological culture of the middle of the Upper Paleolithic, widespread in France and northern Spain. The Solutrean culture replaced the Aurignacian and Périgordian cultures and was in turn replaced by the Magdalenian culture. It has been dated by the radiocarbon method to between 18,000 B.C. and 15,000 B.C.

The Solutrean culture was first identified by G. Mortillet in the late 1860’s and was named for the site at La Solutré in the department of Saône-et-Loire in France. The culture is characterized by carefully made flint points, called Solutrean points. The points, some of which have notches, were worked by means of pressure flaking, a technique perfected by Solutrean man, in the form of laurel and willow leaves. Some of the points were used as the heads of spears and javelins, while others were used as knives and daggers. Other items include flint end scrapers, burins, and perforators and needles with eyes, batons de commandement, and works of art made of bone. Archaeological finds resembling those of the Solutrean culture have been discovered at a number of Upper Paleolithic sites in Central Europe and the European part of the USSR.


Efimenko, P. P. Pervobytnoe obshchestvo, 3rd ed. Kiev, 1953.
Bordes, F. Le Paléolithique dans le monde. Paris, 1968.