Aurignacian Culture

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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The earliest traces left by man, in several caves in Europe, can be dated back to as early as the beginnings of the Aurignacian culture, some 27,000 years ago: there were black and white outlines of human hands, drawings of geometric figures or outlines of animals drawn in the soft clay with a finger or stick, the edges of which were sometimes highlighted with a kind of pigment, and engravings in the rock of geometric or zoomorphic figures, which were also often highlighted by pigmentation.
The Cro-Magnon Aurignacian culture of Western Europe (30,000-26,000 B.C.) may have exhibited the first evidence of astronomical knowledge.
Washington, September 23 (ANI): The oldest lunar calendars have been identified in cave art found in France and Germany, dating back to the Aurignacian Culture of Europe during 32,000 B.C.