Acheulean, from the French acheuléen, is an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture characterized by distinctive oval and pear-shaped hand-axes associated with early humans. Acheulean tools were produced during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia, South Asia, and Europe, and are typically found with Homo erectus remains. It is thought that Acheulean technologies first developed in Africa out of the more primitive Oldowan technology as long ago as 1.76 million years ago, Acheulean tools were the dominant technology for the vast majority of human history. The type site for the Acheulean is Saint-Acheul, a suburb of Amiens, the capital of the Somme department in Picardy, john Frere is generally credited as being the first to suggest a very ancient date for Acheulean hand-axes. In 1797, he sent two examples to the Royal Academy in London from Hoxne in Suffolk and his ideas were, ignored by his contemporaries, who subscribed to a pre-Darwinian view of human evolution.
Following visits to both Abbeville and Saint Acheul by the geologist Joseph Prestwich, the age of the tools was finally accepted, in 1872, Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet described the characteristic hand-axe tools as belonging to LEpoque de St Acheul. The industry was renamed as the Acheulean in 1925, from the Konso Formation of Ethiopia, Acheulean hand-axes are dated to about 1.5 million years ago using radiometric dating of deposits containing volcanic ashes. Acheulean tools in South Asia have found to be dated as far as 1.5 million years ago. However, the earliest accepted examples of the Acheulean currently known come from the West Turkana region of Kenya and were first described by a French-led archaeology team. These particular Acheulean tools were dated through the method of magnetostratigraphy to about 1.76 million years ago, making them the oldest not only in Africa. The earliest user of Acheulean tools was Homo ergaster, who first appeared about 1.8 million years ago, not all researchers use this formal name, and instead prefer to call these users early Homo erectus.
In individual regions, this dating can be refined, in Europe for example. However more recent research demonstrated that hand-axes from Spain were made more than 900,000 years ago, the enormous geographic spread of Acheulean techniques makes the name unwieldy as it represents numerous regional variations on a similar theme. The term Acheulean does not represent a culture in the modern sense. The very earliest Acheulean assemblages often contain numerous Oldowan-style flakes and core forms and these industries are known as the Developed Oldowan and are almost certainly transitional between the Oldowan and Acheulean. The Mode 1 industries created rough flake tools by hitting a stone with a hammerstone. The resulting flake that broke off would have a sharp edge for cutting. These early toolmakers may have worked the stone they took the flake from to create chopper cores although there is debate over whether these items were tools or just discarded cores
Clactonian tools were made by Homo erectus rather than modern humans. The term is applied to early, crude flint tools from other regions that were made using similar methods. It is named after 400, 000-year-old finds made by Hazzledine Warren in a palaeochannel at Clacton-on-Sea in the English county of Essex in 1911. The artefacts found there included flint chopping tools, flint flakes, the Clactonian industry involved striking thick, irregular flakes from a core of flint, which was employed as a chopper. The flakes would have used as crude knives or scrapers. Unlike the Oldowan tools from which Clactonian ones derived, some were notched implying that they were attached to a handle or shaft, retouch is uncommon and the prominent bulb of percussion on the flakes indicates use of a hammerstone. Within the banks of the Nile River, at the 100 foot terrace, the Clactonian industry may have co-existed with the Acheulean industry, which used identical basic techniques but which had handaxe technology, tools made by bifacially working a flint core.
In the 1990s it was argued that the difference between Clactonian and Acheulean may be a false distinction, the 2004 excavation of a butchered Pleistocene elephant at the Southfleet Road site of High Speed 1 in Kent recovered numerous Clactonian flint tools but no handaxes. As a handaxe would have been more useful than a chopper in dismembering an elephant carcass it is considered evidence of the Clactonian being a separate industry. Flint of sufficient quality was available in the area and it is likely that the people who carved up the elephant did not possess the knowledge to make the more advanced bifacial handaxe. Proponents of the Clactonian as an independent industry point to the lack of evidence in favour of it being an anomalous Acheulean industry. The precise provenance of the few attributed bifacial Clactonian tools is in dispute, the traditional chronology of Clactonian being followed by Acheulean is being increasingly challenged since finds of Acheulean tools were made at Boxgrove in Sussex and High Lodge in Suffolk.
These finds came from deposits connected with the Anglian Stage, the glaciation that preceded the Hoxnian Stage, whether or not they are separate industries it would seem that the Clactonian and Acheulean stone tool makers would have had cultural contact with each other. Acheulean Synoptic table of the old world prehistoric cultures Butler, C, Prehistoric Flintwork, Tempus
The Epigravettian was one of the last archaeological industries of the European Upper Paleolithic. It arose after the last glacial maximum around 21,000 cal and it succeeded the Gravettian, of which it is considered a continuation by some scholars. Its known range extends from southeast France to the shores of the Volga River
The Pliocene Epoch is the epoch in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.333 million to 2.58 million years BP. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era, the Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch.588 to 1.806 million years ago, and is now included in the Pleistocene. As with other geologic periods, the geological strata that define the start and end are well identified but the exact dates of the start. The boundaries defining the Pliocene are not set at an easily identified worldwide event, the upper boundary was set at the start of the Pleistocene glaciations. The Pliocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell, the name comes from the Greek words πλεῖον and καινός and means roughly continuation of the recent, referring to the essentially modern marine mollusc faunas. H. W. Fowler called the term a regrettable barbarism, in the official timescale of the ICS, the Pliocene is subdivided into two stages. From youngest to oldest they are, Piacenzian Zanclean The Piacenzian is sometimes referred to as the Late Pliocene, in the system of North American Land Mammal Ages include Hemphillian, and Blancan.
The Blancan extends forward into the Pleistocene, South American Land Mammal Ages include Montehermosan and Uquian. In the Paratethys area the Pliocene contains the Dacian and Romanian stages, as usual in stratigraphy, there are many other regional and local subdivisions in use. In Britain the Pliocene is divided into the stages, Waltonian, Pre-Ludhamian, Thurnian, Bramertonian or Antian, Pre-Pastonian or Baventian and Beestonian. The exact correlations between these stages and the ICS stages is still a matter of detail. The formation of an Arctic ice cap is signaled by a shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic. Mid-latitude glaciation was probably underway before the end of the epoch, the global cooling that occurred during the Pliocene may have spurred on the disappearance of forests and the spread of grasslands and savannas. Continents continued to drift, moving from positions possibly as far as 250 km from their present locations to positions only 70 km from their current locations, africas collision with Europe formed the Mediterranean Sea, cutting off the remnants of the Tethys Ocean.
The border between the Miocene and the Pliocene is the time of the Messinian salinity crisis, Sea level changes exposed the land-bridge between Alaska and Asia. Pliocene marine rocks are exposed in the Mediterranean, India. Elsewhere, they are exposed largely near shores, the change to a cooler, seasonal climate had considerable impacts on Pliocene vegetation, reducing tropical species worldwide. Deciduous forests proliferated, coniferous forests and tundra covered much of the north, tropical forests were limited to a tight band around the equator, and in addition to dry savannahs, deserts appeared in Asia and Africa
The Soanian is an archaeological culture of the Lower Paleolithic in Pakistan. Contemporary to the Acheulean, it is named after the Soan Valley in Pakistan, Soanian sites are found along the Sivalik region in present-day India and Pakistan. The term Soan Culture was first used by Hellmut De Terra in 1936, further archaeological research was conducted by Stephen Lycett in order to determine the morphometric assessment of the Soanian techno-complex. The result of this experiment concluded that the Soanian techno-complex contains a Mode 3 Levallois technique core component, on Adiyala and Khasala, about 16 km from Rawalpindi terrace on the bend of the river, hundreds of edged pebble tools were discovered. At Chauntra in Himachal Pradesh, hand axes and cleavers were found, tools up to two million years old have been recovered. In the Soan River Gorge, many fossil bearing rocks are exposed on the surface,14 million year old fossils of gazelle, crocodile and rodents have been found there. Some of these fossils are on display at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History in Islamabad, madrasian Culture Synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric cultures V. A.
Ranov, D. Dorj, Lu Zün-E. History of civilizations of Central Asia, early man, as depicted by leading authorities at the International symposium, the Academy of Natural Sciences, March 1937. Ayer Publishing, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the Middle Pleistocene Pebble Tool Site of Durkadi in Central India. The Emergence of the Handaxe Tradition in Asia, with Special Reference to India, in V. N. Misra, Peter S. Bellwood. Recent advances in Indo-Pacific prehistory, proceedings of the symposium held at Poona. A Decade of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology in India, 1951-1960
The Aurignacian culture is an archaeological culture of the Upper Palaeolithic. It is the earliest modern human culture in Europe, and is associated with the immigration of anatomically modern humans from the Near East and it first appeared in Eastern Europe around 43,000 BP, and in Western Europe between 40,000 and 36,000 years BP. It was replaced by the Gravettian culture around 28,000 to 26,000 years ago, the name originates from the type site of Aurignac, Haute-Garonne, which is a town in the south-west of France near Toulouse or Andorra. The oldest undisputed example of figurative art, the Venus of Hohle Fels. It was discovered in September 2008 in a cave at Schelklingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany, the Bacho Kiro site is one of the earliest known Aurignacian burials. The Aurignacian tool industry is characterized by worked bone or antler points with grooves cut in the bottom. Their flint tools include blades and bladelets struck from prepared cores rather than using crude flakes.
)The people of this culture produced some of the earliest known cave art, such as the animal engravings at Trois Freres. They made pendants and ivory beads, as well as three-dimensional figurines, perforated rods, thought to be spear throwers or shaft wrenches, are found at their sites. The sophistication and self-awareness demonstrated in the work led archaeologists to consider the makers of Aurignacian artifacts the first modern humans in Europe, human remains and Late Aurignacian artifacts found in juxtaposition support this inference. Although finds of human remains in direct association with Proto-Aurignacian technologies are scarce in Europe. At least three robust, but typically anatomically-modern individuals from the Peștera cu Oase cave in Romania, were dated directly from the bones to ca, although not associated directly with archaeological material, these finds are within the chronological and geographical range of the Early Aurignacian in southeastern Europe. On genetic evidence it has argued that both Aurignacian and the Dabba culture of North Africa came from an earlier big game hunting Aurignacian culture of the Levant.
Many 35, 000-year-old animal figurines were discovered in the Vogelherd Cave in Germany, one of the horses, amongst six tiny mammoth and horse ivory figures found previously at Vogelherd, was sculpted as skillfully as any piece found throughout the Upper Paleolithic. The production of ivory beads for body ornamentation was important during the Aurignacian, there is a notable absence of painted caves, which begin to appear within the Solutrean. Typical statuettes consist of women that are called Venus figurines and they emphasize the hips and other body parts associated with fertility. Feet and arms are lacking or minimized, one of the most ancient figurines was discovered in 2008 in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany. The figurine has been dated to 35,000 years ago, the oldest undisputed musical instrument was the Hohle Fels Flute discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in Germanys Swabian Alb in 2008. The flute is made from a wing bone perforated with five finger holes
The Oldowan, sometimes spelled Olduwan, is the earliest widespread stone tool archaeological industry in prehistory. Oldowan tools were used during the Lower Paleolithic period,2.6 million years ago up until 1.7 million years ago, by ancient hominids across much of Africa, South Asia and this technological industry was followed by the more sophisticated Acheulean industry. The term Oldowan is taken from the site of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, classification of Oldowan tools is still somewhat contentious. Mary Leakey was the first to create a system to classify Oldowan assemblages, the system included choppers and pounders. However, more recent classifications of Oldowan assemblages have been made that focus primarily on manufacture due to the nature of assuming use from stone artefacts. An example is Isaac et al. s tri-modal categories of Flaked Pieces, Detached Pieces, Pounded Pieces, Oldowan tools are sometimes called pebble tools, so named because the blanks chosen for their production already resemble, in pebble form, the final product.
It is not known for sure which hominin species actually created and used Oldowan tools and its emergence is often associated with the species Australopithecus garhi and its flourishing with early species of Homo such as H. habilis and H. ergaster. Early Homo erectus appears to inherit Oldowan technology and refines it into the Acheulean industry beginning 1.7 million years ago, the oldest known Oldowan tools have been found in Gona and are dated to about 2.6 mya. The use of tools by apes including chimpanzees and orangutans can be used to argue in favour of tool-use as a feature of the hominin family. Tools made from bone, wood, or other materials were therefore in all probability used before the Oldowan. Oldowan stone tools are simply the oldest recognisable tools which have preserved in the archaeological record. There is a flourishing of Oldowan tools in eastern Africa, spreading to southern Africa, at 1.7 mya. the first Acheulean tools appear even as Oldowan assemblages continue to be produced.
Both technologies are found in the same areas, dating to the same time periods. This realisation required a rethinking of old cultural sequences in which the more advanced Acheulean was supposed to have succeeded the Oldowan. Sometime before 1.8 mya Homo erectus had spread outside of Africa, reaching as far east as Java by 1.8 mya, in these newly colonised areas, no Acheulean assemblages have been found. In China, only Mode 1 Oldowan assemblages were produced, while in Indonesia stone tools from this age are unknown, by 1.8 mya early Homo was present in Europe, as shown by the discovery of fossil remains and Oldowan tools in Dmanisi, Georgia. Remains of their activities have excavated in Spain at sites in the Guadix-Baza basin. Most early European sites yield Mode 1 or Oldowan assemblages, the earliest Acheulean sites in Europe only appear around 0.5 mya
In archaeology a type site is a site that is considered the model of a particular archaeological culture. For example, the site of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A culture is Jericho. A type site is often the eponym. For example, the site of the pre-Celtic/Celtic Bronze Age Hallstatt culture is the lakeside village of Hallstatt. In geology the term is used similarly for a site considered to be typical of a rock formation etc. A type site contains artifacts, in an assemblage, that are typical of that culture, type sites are often the first or foundational site discovered about the culture they represent. The use of term is therefore similar to that of the specimen type in biology or locus typicus in geology. New Caledonia, of the Lapita culture
The Balve Cave is the biggest cultural cave in Europe. It is located in Balve, the Balve Cave was mentioned in the Thidrekssaga. Since 160 years the annual Schützenfest is a part of the culture, in 1985 the Festspiele Balver Höhle were founded with the mystery play Katharina von Georgien directed by artistic director Hermann Wedekind. This was based on an idea by former chairman Agatha Allhoff-Cramer, in 1991 a fairy tale festival was installed by Festspiele Balver Höhle. In 1998 the Festspiele Balver Höhle performed their first oriental musical, semi-professionals and professionals are working together at Irish Folk & Celtic Music, Balver Märchenwochen and other activities of Festspiele Balver Höhle. Sebastian Balve Peter Pan auf der Insel Nimmerland - Schützenbruderschaft St. Sebastian Balve
The Magdalenian refers to one of the cultures of the Upper Paleolithic in western Europe, dating from around 17,000 to 12,000 years ago. It is named after the site of La Madeleine, a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, commune of Tursac. The culture was geographically widespread, and Magdalenian sites have found from Portugal in the west to Poland in the east. It is the epoch of Gabriel de Mortillets cave chronology system. The Magdalenian epoch was a one, represented by numerous stations, whose contents show progress in the arts. It was characterized by a cold and dry climate, the existence of humans in association with the reindeer, the use of bone and ivory for various implements, already begun in the preceding Solutrian epoch, was much increased, and the period is essentially a Bone age. The bone instruments are varied, spear-points, harpoon-heads, hooks. Most remarkable is the evidence La Madeleine affords of prehistoric art, numbers of bones, reindeer antlers and animal teeth were found, with rude pictures, carved or etched on them, of seals, reindeer and other creatures.
The man is naked which, together with the snake, suggests a warm climate, the fauna of the Madelenian epoch seems, indeed, to have included tigers and other tropical species side by side with reindeer, blue foxes, Arctic hares and other polar creatures. Madelenian humans appears to have been of low stature, with low retreating forehead, the culture spans approximatively from 17,000 to 12,000 BP, toward the end of the last ice age. The Magdalenian tool culture is characterised by regular blade industries struck from carinated cores, the Magdalenian is divided into six phases which are generally agreed to have chronological significance. Similarly, finds from the forest of Beauregard near Paris often have been suggested as belonging to the earliest Magdalenian, the earliest Magdalenian sites are all found in France. The Epigravettian is a similar culture appearing at the time in Italy, the Balkans, Romania. The phases of the Magdalenian are synonymous with the human re-settlement of north-western Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum during the Late Glacial Maximum, research in Switzerland, southern Germany, and Belgium has provided AMS radiocarbon dating to support this.
Being hunter gatherers, Magdalenians did not simply re-settle permanently in north-west Europe, however, as they often followed herds, by the end of the Magdalenian, the lithic technology shows a pronounced trend toward increased microlithisation. The bone harpoons and points have the most distinctive chronological markers within the typological sequence, as well as flint tools, the Magdalenians are best known for their elaborate worked bone and ivory that served both functional and aesthetic purposes, including perforated batons. Cave sites such as the world famous Lascaux contain the best known examples of Magdalenian cave art, in northern Spain and south west France this tool culture was superseded by the Azilian culture. In northern Europe a slightly different situation exists, with different variants of the Tjongerian techno-complex following it
The Aterian is a Middle Stone Age stone tool industry centered in the Maghreb, but found in Oman and the Thar Desert. The earliest Aterian dates to c.145,000 years ago, most of the early dates cluster around the beginning of the Last Interglacial, around 130,000 years ago, when the environment of North Africa began to ameliorate. The Aterian disappeared around 30,000 years ago and it is not thought to have influenced subsequent archaeological cultures in the region. The Aterian is primarily distinguished through the presence of tanged or pedunculated tools, bifacially-worked, leaf-shaped tools are a common artefact type, and so are racloirs and Levallois flakes and cores. Items of personal adornment are known from at least one Aterian site, the appropriateness of the term Mousterian is contested in a North African context, however. The technological character of the Aterian has been debated for almost a century, Levallois reduction is widespread across the whole of North Africa throughout the Middle Stone Age, and scrapers and denticulates are ubiquitous.
Bifacial foliates moreover represent a huge taxonomic category and the form, there is a significant variation of tanged tools themselves, with various forms representing both different tool types and the degree tool resharpening. For example, bifacial leaf points are found widely across North Africa in assemblages that lack tanged tools and this notwithstanding, the term still usefully denotes the presence of tanged tools in North African Middle Stone Age assemblages. Tanged tools persisted in North Africa until around 30,000 years ago, by this time, the Aterian lithic industry had long ceased to exist in the rest of North Africa due to the onset of the Ice Age, which in North Africa, resulted in hyperarid conditions. Assemblages with tanged tools, the Aterian, therefore have a significant temporal and spatial range, they have not yet been found east of the Nile and no Aterian sites are known from the Nile Valley. The Aterian is associated with early Homo sapiens at a number of sites in Morocco, the Aterian fossils display similarities to the earliest modern humans found out of Africa at Skhul and Qafzeh in the Levant, and they are broadly contemporary to them.
Such examples of shell beads have been found far inland, suggesting the presence of long distance social networks, such a subdivided population structure has been inferred from the pattern of variation observed in early African fossils of Homo sapiens. Associated faunal studies suggest that the making the Aterian exploited coastal resources as well as engaging in hunting. It has so far been difficult to estimate whether Aterian populations further inland were exploiting freshwater resources as well, studies have suggested that hafting was widespread, perhaps to maintain flexibility in the face of strongly seasonal environment with a pronounced dry season. Scrapers and points all seem to have been hafted and it is probably that plant resources were exploited. Although there is no evidence from the Aterian yet, plant processing is evidenced in North Africa from as much as 182,000 years ago. Aterian lithic tools have discovered in Middle Paleolithic deposits in Oman. Ifri nAmmar Contrebandiers Taforalt Rhafas Dar es Soltan I El Mnasra Kharga Oasis Uan Tabu Oued el Akarit Adrar Bous Oman Thar Desert Synoptic table of the old world prehistoric cultures