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The Paleolithic

Pliocene (before Homo)

Lower Paleolithic (c. 2.6 Ma–300 ka)

Oldowan (2.6–1.8 Ma)
Acheulean (1.7–0.1 Ma)
Clactonian (0.3–0.2 Ma)

Middle Paleolithic (300–30 ka)

Mousterian (300–30 ka)
Aterian (82 ka)

Upper Paleolithic (50–10 ka)

Baradostian (36 ka)
Châtelperronian (35–29 ka)
Aurignacian (32–26 ka)
Gravettian (28–22 ka)
Solutrean (21–17 ka)
Magdalenian (18–10 ka)
Hamburg (15 ka)
Ahrensburg (13 ka)
Swiderian (10 ka)
Stone 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.


Restoration of Le Moustier Neanderthals by Charles R. Knight

The culture 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.[2]


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).[3] 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.[4] 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.

Possible variants are Denticulate , Charentian (Ferrassie & Quina) named after the Charente region,[5] Typical and the Acheulean Tradition (MTA) - Type-A and Type-B.[6] The Industry was superseded by the Châtelperronian during 35,000-29,000 BP.[7]

Right : Proximal Phalanges Left : Findspot : Beuzeville, Eure, France.


Geographical distribution of Mousterian sites

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Shea, J. J., 2003: Neandertals [sic], competition and the origin of modern human behaviour in the Levant, Evolutionary Anthropology, 12:173-187.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ University of Oslo P.O. Box 1072 - Blindern-0316 Oslo-Norway email : fa-admin@admin.uio.no. / international@mn.uio.no - Universitetet i Oslo RETRIEVED 2012-01-06
  7. ^ Gregory Cochran; Henry Harpending (19 October 2010). The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution. Basic Books. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-465-02042-3. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  8. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
300,000–30,000 BP
Succeeded by

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261 videos foundNext > 

How to Pronounce Mousterian

Learn how to say Mousterian correctly with EmmaSaying's "how do you pronounce" free tutorials. Definition of Mousterian (oxford dictionary): adjective Archae...


Levallois Technique- ideas and observations

Great to see lots of interest in this video- please leave a comment -Levallois Technique - ideas, observations & "attempts" at manufacture. www.handaxe.co.uk.

Windsurf à Mousterian - GoPro HD 2

Session dans le golfe du Morbihan le 4 mars 2012. Vent : 20 - 25/30 noeuds. North sails ice hd 5,3 Mistral Flow 85L.

A Mousterian Moon Over the Blombos Cave

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Excavations at the Palaeolithic site of Aghavnatun-1 - 2011

The Palaeolithic (Acheullean-Mousterian) site of Aghavnatun-1 is situated in Armavir Province of Armenia, near Lernamerdz village. It has been excavated sinc...

the stone age, prehistory

The Stone Age is the period roughly between 2500000 and 3000 years before Christ., And its main feature is the human learning techniques for the developme...

The Minds of Stone Age Toolmakers

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La Photo Qui Bouge Suite/canal historique.La pêche

Mousterian , Golfe du Morbihan, dimanche 6 octobre 2013 à 18h15.

Woodworking Tips : Woodworking Tools

http://bit.ly/1eLtBCq Along with stone, mud and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousteria...

261 videos foundNext > 

6 news items


New Scientist
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:52:30 -0700

They studied three types of artefact. Two of them, Mousterian and Châtelperronian, are probably Neanderthal. The third kind, Uluzzian, were once attributed to late Neanderthals, but recent work suggests they were made by humans (Nature, doi.org/bxh255).
Discovery News
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:03:45 -0700

The sites were either previously linked to the Neanderthal tool-making industry, known as Mousterian, or were so-called “transitional” sites containing stone tools associated with either our species or Neanderthals. VIDEO: How Old Is the Human Race?
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:01:54 -0700

They have now applied the technique to Neanderthal occupations across Europe, which are associated with stone tools known as Mousterian artefacts. From the Black Sea to the Atlantic coast of France, these artefacts and Neanderthal remains disappear ...
Financial Times
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:11:40 -0700

Using the latest carbon dating techniques, researchers were able to establish that the Mousterian toolmaking industry attributed to Neanderthals ended between 39,260 and 41,030 years ago. Based on the latest evidence of when modern humans arrived in ...
Business Insider Australia
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:52:30 -0700

The new information clearly dates stone tools and artefacts attributed to Neanderthals, known as the Mousterian industry in regions of France, Germany and northern Spain, as younger than the Italian Uluzzian industry, which contains teeth from modern ...


Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:48:45 -0700

... من الآن، وقد تلا هذا العصر الموستيري "Mousterian" الذي ينسب إليه العلماء الآثار التي عثر عليها في حوض "الجارون" بفرنسا والجزء الشمال الغربي من قارة أفريقيا، ويليه العصر الأورجناسي "Aurignancian" والسولتيري "Solitarian" وفي النهاية المجدليني "Magdalenian".

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