Cro-Magnon man

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Related to Cro-Magnon man: Neanderthal man

Cro-Magnon man

Cro-Magnon man (krō-măgˈnən, –mănˈyən), an early Homo sapiens (the species to which modern humans belong) that lived about 40,000 years ago. Skeletal remains and associated artifacts of the of the Aurignacian culture were first found in 1868 in Les Eyzies, Dordogne, France. Later discoveries were made in a number of caverns in the Dordogne valley, Solutré, and in Spain, Germany, and central Europe. Cro-Magnon man was anatomically identical to modern humans, but differed significantly from Neanderthals (see Neanderthal man), who disappear in the fossil about 10,000 years after the appearance of Aurignacian and other upper Paleolithic populations (e.g. the Perigordian culture). The abrupt disappearance of Neanderthal populations and the associated Mousterian technologies, the sudden appearance of modern Homo sapiens (who had arisen earlier in Africa and migrated to Europe) and the associated upper Paleolithic technologies, and the absence of transitional anatomical or technological forms have led many researchers to hypothesize that Neanderthals were driven to extinction through competition with Cro-Magnon or related populations. Greater linguistic competence and cultural sophistication are often suggested as characteristics tilting the competitive balance in favor of upper Paleolithic groups. Finely crafted stone and bone tools, shell and ivory jewelry, and polychrome paintings found on cave walls all testify to the cultural advancement of Cro-Magnon man. See human evolution.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cro-Magnon Man


the general name for a race of man of the Upper Paleolithic. The name was derived from the grotto of Cro-Magnon in the department of Dordogne in France, where the French archaeologist and paleontologist L. Lartet discovered Cro-Magnon remains in 1868. From an anthropological point of view, Cro-Magnon man is a subspecies of modern man (Homo sapiens). In the specialized literature, the name “CroMagnon” is used only for those local groups of ancient inhabitants of Europe that resemble the man from the Cro-Magnon grotto in type. Cro-Magnon man is characterized by tall stature, long skull, and broad face with low orbits. The features of the Cro-Magnon anthropological type are observed in the population of much later eras up to the present (for example, the Guanches of the Canary Islands).


Roginskii, Ia. Ia., and M. G. Levin. Antropologiia. Moscow, 1963.
Nesturkh, M. F. Proiskhozhdenie cheloveka. Moscow, 1958. Pages 321–28.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cro-Magnon man

[krō′mag·nən ′man]
A race of tall, erect Caucasoid men having large skulls; identified from skeletons found in southern France.
A general term to describe all fossils resembling this race that belong to the upper Paleolithic (35,000-8000 B.C.) in Europe.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
If 45,000 years ago Cro-Magnon man hadn't have looked at the brow of the hill and wondered what lay beyond, then we might all still be in a cave trying to stop the fire going out.
"Boris Johnson loves him - he calls him his Cro-Magnon Man," she laughed.
Impossible to calculate how many in battle but we've been killing each other ever since Cro-Magnon Man brought the Final Solution to the Neanderthals with more millions dying before the first recorded battle in 1500 BC.
Neanderthal man, and his predecessor Cro-Magnon man will also stand shoulder to shoulder, both having been expertly reconstructed for the Walking with Beasts exhibition at Thinktank, at Millennium Point.
No one believes he will stick around for the new Ice Age, which is strange given the Ice Age is surely where the Cro-Magnon man hails from.
And relish the notion that once, on Penylan Hill, a tiny community thrived until the ice returned, leaving a bleak limbo for 100,000 years until our next Cardiffians, the Neanderthals arrived, and, in time, Cro-magnon Man and Celts