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Geographical range Europe
Period Upper Paleolithic
Dates 35,000 BP – 20,000 BP
Preceded by Mousterian
Followed by Mesolithic cultures
Defined by Denis Peyrony (fr), 1933
Antiquated by Denise de Sonneville-Bordes (fr), 1990s

Périgordian is a term for several distinct but related Upper Palaeolithic cultures which are thought by some archaeologists to represent a contiguous tradition. It existed between c.35,000 BP and c.20,000 BP. To Pesesse (2013), the Perigordian is one of the construction of prehistorians (namely Denis Peyrony (fr) 1933, 1936, 1946) most distantly removed from archaeological data.[1]

The earliest culture in the tradition is known as the Châtelperronian which produced denticulate tools and distinctive flint knives. It is argued that this was superseded by the Gravettian with its Font Robert points and Noailles burins. The tradition culminated in the proto-Magdalenian.

Critics have pointed out that no continuous sequence of Périgordian occupation has yet been found and that the tradition requires it to have co-existed separately from the Aurignacian industry rather than being differing industries that existed before and afterwards.


  1. ^ Pesesse, Damien (2013). "Le Gravettien existe-t-il? Le prisme du système technique lithique" [Does the Gravettian exist? The prism of the lithic technical system]. In Marcel Otte. Les Gravettiens. Civilisations et cultures (in French). Paris: Éditions errance. pp. 66–104. ISBN 978-2877725095. Les études sur le Gravettien se sont systématiquement heurtées à un problème : d'importantes différences ont très tôt été reconnues entre ces ensembles. Dès lors, comment appréhender et expliquer cette diversité? Les réponses à cette question ont fortement varié. L'exemple le plus éloquent est fourni par le modèle Périgordien (Peyrony, 1933, 1936, 1946), l'une des constructions préhistoriennes les plus éloignées des données archéologiques. [Studies on the Gravettian have systematically encountered a problem: important differences were recognised early among its different parts. So how is one to explain this diversity? Answers to this question have varied enormously. The most eloquent example was given for the Perigordian model (Peyrony, 1933, 1936, 1946), one of the prehistorian construction furthest away from archaeological data.] 

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