Mousterian

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Mousterian
Geographical distribution of Mousterian sites
Geographical range Africa and Eurasia
Period Middle Paleolithic
Dates 160,000 – 40,000 BP[1]
Type site Le Moustier
Major sites Creswell Crags, Lynford Quarry, Arcy-sur-Cure, Vindija Cave, Atapuerca Mountains, Zafarraya, Gorham's Cave, Devil's Tower, Haua Fteah
Preceded by Micoquien, Clactonian
Followed by Châtelperronian, Emireh culture, Aterian
The Paleolithic
Pliocene (before Homo)
Lower Paleolithic
(c. 3.3 Ma – 300 ka)
Middle Paleolithic
(300–45 ka)
Upper Paleolithic
(50–10 ka)
Mesolithic
Stone Age
mtDNA-based simulation of the species Homo sapiens in Europe starting 1600 generations ago. Homo neanderthalensis range in light grey.[2]

The Mousterian (or Mode III) is a techno-complex (archaeological industry) of flint tools associated primarily with Neanderthals, as well as with the earliest anatomically modern humans in Eurasia. The Mousterian largely defines the latter part of the Middle Paleolithic, the middle of the West Eurasian Old Stone Age. It lasted roughly from 160,000 BP to 40,000 BP.

Naming[edit]

The culture was named after the type site of Le Moustier, a rock shelter in the Dordogne region of France.[3] 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.[4]

Characteristics[edit]

The European Mousterian is the product of Neanderthals. It existed roughly from 160,000 BP to 40,000 BP.[5] Some assemblages, namely those from Pech de l’Aze, include exceptionally small points prepared using the Levallois technique among other prepared core types, causing some researchers to suggest that these flakes take advantage of greater grip strength possessed by Neanderthals.[6] In North Africa and the Near East, Mousterian tools were also produced by anatomically modern humans. In the Levant, for example, assemblages produced by Neanderthals are indistinguishable from those made by Qafzeh type modern humans.[7]

Possible variants are Denticulate, Charentian (Ferrassie & Quina) named after the Charente region,[8] Typical and the Acheulean Tradition (MTA) - Type-A and Type-B.[9] The industry continued alongside the new Châtelperronian industry during the 45,000-40,000 BP period.[10]

Locations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neanderthals: Bone technique redrafts prehistory : Nature News & Comment
  2. ^ Currat, Mathias; Excoffier, Laurent (2004). "Modern Humans Did Not Admix with Neanderthals during Their Range Expansion into Europe". PLoS Biology. 2 (12): e421. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020421. PMC 532389Freely accessible. PMID 15562317. 
  3. ^ William A. Haviland; Harald E. L. Prins; Dana Walrath; Bunny McBride (24 February 2009). The Essence of Anthropology. Cengage Learning. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-495-59981-4. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Mark Aldenderfer; Alfred J. Andrea; Kevin McGeough; William E. Mierse; Carolyn Neel (29 April 2010). World History Encyclopedia. Abc-Clio. p. 330. ISBN 978-1-85109-929-0. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Shaw, Ian; Jameson, Robert, eds. (1999). A Dictionary of Archaeology. Blackwell. p. 408. ISBN 0-631-17423-0. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  6. ^ Dibble, Harold L.; McPherron, Shannon P. (October 2006). "The Missing Mousterian". Current Anthropology. 47 (5): 777–803. doi:10.1086/506282. 
  7. ^ Shea, J. J., 2003: Neandertals [sic], competition and the origin of modern human behaviour in the Levant, Evolutionary Anthropology, 12:173-187.
  8. ^ Andrew Lock, Charles R. Peters - Handbook of human symbolic evolution - 906 pages Oxford science publications Wiley-Blackwell, 1999 ISBN 0-631-21690-1 RETRIEVED 2012-01-06
  9. ^ University of Oslo P.O. Box 1072 - Blindern-0316 Oslo-Norway email : fa-admin@admin.uio.no. / international@mn.uio.no - Universitetet i Oslo Archived 2012-01-30 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2012-01-06
  10. ^ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v512/n7514/full/nature13621.html
  11. ^ a b c d e f Langer, William L., ed. (1972). An Encyclopedia of World History (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 9. ISBN 0-395-13592-3. 
  12. ^ Levy, T.(Ed.).(2001). The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. London : Leicester University Press.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Micoquien
Mousterian
600,000 years before present — 40,000 years before present
Succeeded by
Châtelperronian