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Ateriense Punta foliácea.png
Geographical range Upper Egypt
Period Middle Palaeolithic
Dates circa 82,000 B.C.E. — circa 40,000 B.C.E.
Type site Bir el Ater
Preceded by Mousterian
Followed by Khormusan Industry
The Paleolithic

Pliocene (before Homo)

Lower Paleolithic (c. 2.6 Ma – 300 ka)

Oldowan (2.6–1.7 Ma)
Riwat (1.9–0.045 Ma)
Soanian (0.5–0.13 Ma)
Acheulean (1.8–0.1 Ma)
Clactonian (0.3–0.2 Ma)

Middle Paleolithic (300–45 ka)

Mousterian (600–40 ka)
Micoquien (130–70 ka)
Aterian (82 ka)

Upper Paleolithic (40–10 ka)

Baradostian (36 ka)
Châtelperronian (41–39 ka)
Aurignacian (38–29 ka)
Gravettian (29–22 ka)
Solutrean (22–17 ka)
Magdalenian (17–12 ka)
Hamburg (14–11 ka)
Federmesser (14–13 ka)
Ahrensburg (12–11 ka)
Swiderian (11–8 ka)
Stone Age

The Aterian industry is a name given by archaeologists to a type of stone tool manufacturing dating to the Middle Stone Age (or Middle Palaeolithic). Derived from the Mousterian culture in the region around the Atlas Mountains and the northern Sahara, it refers to the site of Bir el Ater, south of Annaba.[1]

The industry was probably created by modern humans (Homo sapiens), albeit of an early type, as shown by the few skeletal remains known so far from sites on the Moroccan Atlantic coast extending to Egypt.

Bifacially-worked, leaf-shaped and tanged projectile points are a common artefact type, and so are racloirs and Levallois flakes. Items of personal adornment (pierced and ochred Nassarius shell beads) are known from at least one Aterian site, with an age of 82,000 years. Aterian tool-making reached Egypt c. 40,000 BC.[2]



  • Northwest Africa[1]
  • Egypt: Excavations at the Nile have located within the 15 and 10 foot terraces Aterian implements.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Langer, William L., ed. (1972). An Encyclopedia of World History (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 9. ISBN 0-395-13592-3. 
  2. ^ Bouchneba, L.; Crevecoeur, I. (2009). "The inner ear of Nazlet Khater 2 (Upper Paleolithic, Egypt)". Journal of Human Evolution 56 (3): 257–262. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.12.003.