an archaeological culture of the early Paleolithic period; it follows the Chellean, or Abbevillian, stage and precedes the Mousterian stage. The name is derived from the Saint-Acheul region in northern France, near the city of Amiens. It spread throughout most of Africa, southern Europe and Asia. The Acheulean stage flourished from 400,000 to 100,000 years ago. It is characterized by ovate, rounded, and triangular stone hand axes carefully worked on both sides, ax-shaped tools with a straight blade, coarse cutting tools, massive flake tools, and also cores. Human bone remains of the early Acheulean stage which resemble those of Pithecanthropus and Sinanthropus were found in Ternifine, Algeria, and Sidi Abd al-Rahman, Morocco; late Acheulean bone remains belonging to Palaeoanthropus, the Neanderthal man, were discovered in Swanscombe, England. The people of the Acheulean stage lived in caves and under the open sky, used fire, engaged in hunting and gathering, and were at the initial phase of developing a primitive communal system.
REFERENCESEfimenko, P. P. Pervobytnoe obshchestvo, 3rd ed. Kiev, 1953.
Leroi-Gourhan, A. La Préhistoire. Paris, 1966.
P. I. BORISKOVSKII