Gabriel de Mortillet

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mortillet, Gabriel de


Born Aug. 29, 1821, in Meylan; died Sept. 25, 1898, in St. Germain-en-Laye. French archaeologist.

Mortillet took part in the Revolution of 1848 in France. From 1868 to 1885 he was a member of the staff of the St. Germain-en-Laye Museum of National Antiquities, where he was the curator of the section on prehistoric antiquities. He developed a chronological classification of the development of Paleolithic cultures, based on differences in tool-making techniques and in the shape of the tools. Although Mortillet was an evolutionist in the tradition of C. Darwin, he erroneously maintained that it was possible to apply the laws of flora and fauna development to primitive human society and to the development of the forms of objects of material culture.


Musée préhistorique. [2nd ed.] Paris, 1903.
Doistoricheskaia zhizn’: Proiskhozhdenie i drevnost’ cheloveka. St. Petersburg, 1903. (Translated from French.)


Boriskovskii, P. I., and S. N. Zamiatin. “Gabriel’ de Mortil’e.” Problemy istorii dokapitalisticheskikh obshchestv, 1934, nos. 7–8.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban lists anatomist Ernest Aubertin, archaeologist Gabriel de Mortillet, and fellow Haitian scholar Louis-Joseph Janvier as Firmin's three (required) membership sponsors, going on to remark that he was admitted "with majority vote by secret ballot" on July 17, 1884 (2000a, p.