Chellean Culture

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chellean Culture


(also Abbevillian culture), a Lower Paleolithic archaeological culture widespread in Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, and southern Asia 300,000 to 700,000 years ago. The Chellean culture, which replaced the Olduvai (pre-Chellean) culture, was identified in the 1860’s by G. de Mortillet from the finds at Chelles, near Paris. Primitive implements are characteristic, including coup de poings, crude chopping tools (choppers), axe-like implements with a lateral cutting edge (cleavers), thick stone flakes (usually with trimmed edges), and spherical and cubic cores. The physical type of the inhabitants was Archanthropinae, including Pithecanthropus and Sinanthropus. Chellean man settled in open stations or in caves and engaged in hunting and gathering.

The Chellean culture belongs to the initial stage of the primitive communal system. It was replaced by Acheulean culture.


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Mongait, A. L. Arkheologiia Zapadnoi Evropy, Kamennyi vek. Moscow, 1973.
Bordes, F. Le Paléolithique dans le monde. Paris, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.