Pebble Culture

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pebble Culture


the most ancient archaeological culture; marks the beginning of the Old Stone Age. Belongs to the Lower Pleistocene epoch, 1.8 million to 600,000 years ago. It was replaced by the Chellean (Abbevillean) culture.

The pebble culture was first discovered in East Africa (on the Kafu River in Uganda). It was widespread in Africa and was represented in southern Asia and in some parts of southern and central Europe. It was characterized by very primitive stone implements made of heavy pebbles that were shaped along the edges by several blows or made of rude heavy chips. The bearers of the pebble culture, the hominids, engaged in hunting and gathering. They lived in the open and in caves. The majority of contemporary researchers use the terms “pre-Chellean culture” or “Olduvai culture” (after Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, the site of major archaeological finds), rather than “pebble culture.”


Alimen, H. Doistoricheskaia Afrika. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from French.)
Bordes, F. La Paléolithique dans le monde. Paris, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.