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Stone Age Historical Epoch

before Homo (Pliocene)

Paleolithic

Lower Paleolithic
Homo
control of fire, stone tools
Middle Paleolithic
Homo neanderthalensis
Homo sapiens
out of Africa
Upper Paleolithic, Late Stone Age
behavioral modernity, atlatl, dog

Mesolithic

microliths, bow, canoe

Neolithic

Pre-Pottery Neolithic
farming, animal husbandry, polished stone tools
Pottery Neolithic
pottery
Chalcolithic
metallurgy, horse, wheel
Bronze Age

Mousterian is a name given by archaeologists to a style of predominantly flint tools (or industry) associated primarily with Homo neanderthalensis and dating to the Middle Paleolithic, the middle part of the Old Stone Age. It was named after the type site of Le Moustier, a rock shelter in the Dordogne region of France.[1] Similar flintwork has been found all over unglaciated Europe and also the Near East and North Africa. Handaxes, racloirs and points constitute the industry; sometimes a Levallois technique or another prepared-core technique was employed in making the flint flakes.

Mousterian tool from Syria

Mousterian tools that have been found in Europe were made by Neanderthals and date from between 300,000 BP and 30,000 BP (from Layer 2A dated 330 ± 5 ka, (OIS) 9 at Pradayrol, France)[2]. In Northern Africa and the Near East they were also produced by anatomically modern humans. In the Levant for example, assemblages produced by Neanderthals are indistinguishable from those produced by Qafzeh type modern humans.[3]It may be an example of acculturation of modern humans by Neanderthals because the culture after 130,000 years reaching the Levant from Europe (the first Mousterian industry appears there 200,000) and the modern Qafzeh type humans appear in the Levant another 100,000 years later .

It was superseded by the Châtelperronian industry around 35,000-29,000 BP.

Several Mousterian variants are known:

  • Denticulate Mousterian
  • Ferrassie Mousterian
  • Mousterian of Acheulean Tradition (MTA)
  • Quina Mousterian
  • Typical Mousterian

See also

References

  1. ^ http://anthropology.si.edu/humanorigins/ha/lemoust.htm The importance of the cave site of Le Moustier lies not in the partial skeleton located there, but in the tool assemblage recovered, which gives the name to the "Mousterian" tool tradition.
  2. ^ Skinner et al., ʺNew ESR Dates for a New Bone‐Bearing Layer at Pradayrol, Lot, Franceʺ 2007
  3. ^ Shea, J. J., 2003: Neandertals [sic], competition and the origin of modern human behaviour in the Levant, Evolutionary Anthropology, 12:173-187.

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MOUSTERIAN, the name given by the French anthropologist G. de Mortillet to the second epoch of the Quaternary Age, and to the earliest in his system of cave-chronology. It is so named from a cave (Le Moustier), on the right bank of the Vezere, an affluent of the Dordogne, above Les Eyzies and Tayac, which has yielded typical palaeolithic implements. The epoch was characterized by cold wet climate, by the supposed existence of Man of the Olom type, that is, nearly as dolichocephalous as the Neanderthal type, but with superciliary ridges flat, and frontal bones high, and by the occurrence of the musk-ox, the horse, the cave-bear, Rhinoceros tichorhinus and the mammoth. The typical implements are flint points or spear-heads, left smooth and flat on one side, as struck from the cave, pointed and edged from the other side; a scraper treated in the same way, but with edge rather upon the side than at the end, as in the succeeding Solutrian and Madelenian epochs. Relics of the Mousterian age have been also found in Belgium, southern Germany, Bohemia and southern England, some of the "finds" including human remains.


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