Aurignacian Culture

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Related to Aurignacian: Gravettian, Aurignacian Culture
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aurignacian Culture


an archaeological culture of the early stage of the Upper Paleolithic. It is named after Aurignac Cave (in the department of Haute-Garonne, France), where excavations were conducted.

The Aurignacian culture, in the narrow sense of the term, was widespread in France, where it is dated by the radiocarbon method at 33,000–19,000 years B.C. It replaced the Mousterian culture, with which it has no genetic ties (the Aurignacian culture most likely did not originate in Western Europe but was introduced from elsewhere); was contemporaneous with the Périgordian culture; and preceded the Solutrean culture. In the broader sense of the term, the Aurignacian culture was represented in a number of Western and Central European countries.

The Aurignacian culture is characterized by flint blades with retouching and fluting along the edges, end scrapers, core tools, rather well-developed bone working (in particular, split-base bone lance points), remains of dwellings, and relatively well-developed art.


Grigor’ev, G. P. Nachalo verkhnego paleolita i proiskhozhdenie Homo sapiens. Leningrad, 1968.
Bordes, F. Le Paléolitique dans le monde. Paris, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Conard, "Testing models for the beginnings of the Aurignacian and the advent of figurative art and music: The radiocarbon chronology of Geissenklosterle", Journal of Human Evolution, Vol.
Based on further analyses presented in Honolulu at the 2013 annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society, Tostevin suspects Middle Eastern humans or Neandertals made triangular stone darts for spear-throwers that for some reason later got replaced by rectangular Aurignacian stone darts.
"Early Aurignacian humans functioned, more or less, like humans today," explained New York University anthropology professor Randall White, one of the study's co-authors.
They focus on the Early Upper Palaeolithic, encompass a wide region within Central Eastern Europe, and concentrate on the early phases of the Aurignacian and the transition to the Gravettian.
Aurignacian lithic economy and early modem human mobility: new perspectives from classic sites in the Vezere valley of France.
(14.) Conard NJ "A female figurine from the basal Aurignacian of Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany." Nature 2009; 459: 248-252.
During this interval, the modern-aspect humans developed a distinctive Upper Paleolithic variant technology termed the Aurignacian. (31) After about 60,000 BP, anatomically modern humans with Aurignacian technology moved into Europe and displaced the Neanderthals there.
We can now conclude that music played an important role in Aurignacian life in the Ach and Lone valleys, commented Nicholas Conard, a professor at the University of Tubingen and lead author of the study.
(White notes that "Experiments conducted with elephant ivory at New York University [NYU], using faithful replicas of Aurignacian tool-forms, suggest an average time per basket-shaped bead of well in excess of an hour" [554].) Art for the peoples of the early Upper Paleolithic had nothing to do with bare-breasted senoritas couched coyly against backgrounds of black velvet: Their art, as the anthropologist David Stout has argued about the art of modern "primitives," was intended, not to push the "pleasure buttons" (Pinker, How 525), but most probably to evoke awe.
Thou art that." Blowing horse head = vulva, thus: a blowing horse head vulva, "Convulsive beauty will be veiled-erotic, fixed-exploding, magic-circumstantial or it will not be." The exploding and the fixed at 30,000 B.P., the Aurignacian "hydrogen jukebox."
One archaeologist, Yanik Le Guillou, has remarked on the visual association between the work of bears and that of Aurignacian people: "It is interesting to note," he says simply, "the systematic connection of animal clawmarks and engravings, as if the former had attracted the latter." In one location, out of sight from the prepared pathway, are finely engraved lines that "could," he says, if included with clawmarks on which they've been superimposed, "make the shape of a mammoth." This seems to me a fascinating variation on a common paleolithic practice: to follow the pre-existent line, or crack, or bulge, and with paint or blade, to complete whatever is already, incipiently, present.