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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.
The culture was named after the type site of Le Moustier, a rock shelter in the Dordogne region of France. 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 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). 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. It may be an example of acculturation of modern humans by Neanderthals because the culture after 130,000 years reached the Levant from Europe (the first Mousterian industry appears there 200,000 BP) and the modern Qafzeh type humans appear in the Levant another 100,000 years later.
Several Mousterian variants are known:
- Denticulate Mousterian
- Ferrassie Mousterian
- Mousterian of Acheulean Tradition (MTA)
- Quina Mousterian
- Typical Mousterian
- ^ 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.
- ^ Skinner et al., ʺNew ESR Dates for a New Bone‐Bearing Layer at Pradayrol, Lot, Franceʺ 2007, "Abstracts of the PaleoAnthropology Society 2007 Meetings." PaleoAnthropology 2007:A1-A35
- ^ Shea, J. J., 2003: Neandertals [sic], competition and the origin of modern human behaviour in the Levant, Evolutionary Anthropology, 12:173-187.
- Mousterian Neanderthal Stone Tools
- Neanderthals’ Last Stand Is Traced — New York Times article (Published: September 13, 2006)
- Lower Paleolithic
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Mousterian — [mo͞os tir′ē ən] adj. [Fr moustérien: remains were found at Le Moustier, cave in S France] designating or of a Middle Paleolithic culture, associated with the Neanderthal cave people and characterized by the use of flaked hand axes, scrapers, etc … English World dictionary
Mousterian — adjective Etymology: French moustérien, from Le Moustier, cave in Dordogne, France Date: 1890 of or relating to a Middle Paleolithic culture that is characterized by well made flake tools often considered the work of Neanderthal man … New Collegiate Dictionary
Mousterian — /mooh stear ee euhn/, adj. Anthropol. 1. of or pertaining to a Middle Paleolithic culture of Neanderthal man dating to the early upper Pleistocene Epoch (c100,000 40,000 B.C.) and consisting of five or more stone artifact traditions in Europe… … Universalium
Mousterian — [mu: stɪərɪən] adjective Archaeology relating to or denoting the main culture of the Middle Palaeolithic period in Europe, between the Acheulian and Aurignacian periods (chiefly 80,000–35,000 years ago). Origin C19: from Fr. moustiérien, from Le… … English new terms dictionary
mousterian — mous·te·ri·an … English syllables
Mousterian — Mous•te•ri•an or Mous•tie•ri•an [[t]muˈstɪər i ən[/t]] adj. ara of or designating a Middle Paleolithic toolmaking tradition, cl00,000–40,000 b.c. characterized by side scrapers and points and generally ascribed to the Neanderthals • Etymology:… … From formal English to slang
Mousterian — /muˈstɪəriən/ (say mooh stearreeuhn) adjective 1. relating to Palaeolithic human relics displaying the skill, finish, and character of the flint scrapers found in the sands of south western France. 2. relating to human relics of this part of the… … Australian English dictionary
mousterian — adj. Archaeol. of or relating to the flint workings of the middle palaeolithic epoch, dated to c.70,000 30,000 BC, and attributed to Neanderthal peoples. Etymology: F mousteacuterien f. Le Moustier in SW France, where remains were found … Useful english dictionary
Mousterian Pluvial — The Mousterian Pluvial was an extended wet and rainy period in the climate history of North Africa. It occurred during the Upper Paleolithic era, beginning around 50,000 years before the present (ybp), lasting 20,000 years, and ending around… … Wikipedia
Mousterian industry — Tool culture traditionally associated with the Neanderthals in Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa during the early fourth (Würm) glacial period (с 40,000 BC). The Mousterian tool assemblage included small hand axes made from disk shaped… … Universalium