Aurignacian Culture

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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.


References in periodicals archive ?
In the absence of typical Aurignacian tool types this category of carinated cores cannot serve as a cultural marker for the presence of this mostly west European culture (Belfer-Cohen & Grosman 2007).
First, that the results are caused by mixing and movement of material between the principal Aurignacian horizons (AHII and AHIII) (Zilhao & D'Errico 1999), which themselves are an amalgamation of what may be a series of discrete, brief occupations (Teyssandier et al.
Among EUP assemblages in neighbouring regions, the EUP industries at Mezmaiskaya, Dzudzuana and Ortvale Klde are most similar to the Early Ahmarian of the Levant in its highly developed blade/bladelet technology and tool sets, while differing from the Aurignacian (Meshveliani et al.
More speculatively, some of the cave's red images may belong to the Aurignacian, although these are not among the images that the Chauvet team have suggested belong to this period.
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.
The new dates prove the great antiquity of the Aurignacian in Swabia," said Professor Nick Conard, researcher at the Tubingen University, in a statement.
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.
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].
W J Sollas,Professor of Geology at the University of Oxford and who was to identify the "Red Lady" as a male, later wrote in his Huxley Memorial Lecture of 1913 "Paviland Cave: an Aurignacian station in Wales" (The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (July -Dec1913 pp325-374) that the cave, Goat's Hole, was first excavated by Mr LW Dillwyn and Miss Talbot of Penrice Castle in Gower whose finds were subsequently transferred to Swansea Museum.
The Cro-Magnon Aurignacian culture is believed to be the first to create art and decorate themselves; in essence, they were the inventors of fashion.
Applying a detailed debitage classification system to define closely the reduction sequence at Jebel Humeima, Coinman reattributes the assemblage to Akhmarian, replacing an earlier Aurignacian attribution, obviously a major realignment, given the dichotomy usually perceived between the two.
At Blaubeuren, there are animal figurines and bone and ivory flutes, but pride of place goes to a 'Venus' figurine from Hohle Fels, from Aurignacian levels at the cave and older by several millennia than most of the famous Gravettian Venus figurines.