© Antropark 2006
Illustrations and text © Libor Balák
Antropark Home Page
Translated and modified by Vít Lang after discussions with the author.
This is the website of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Archaeology in Brno, The Center for Paleolithic and Paleoethnological Research
Era of the transitional cultures and the prominent European cultures of the
– 27,500 years ago (37,000-23,000 radiocarbon years before present).
It is possible that
some Aurignacian localities appeared at the end of the era of the transitional
cultures. (It is not clear who the bearers of the transitional cultures such as
the Szeletian or Chatelperronian were, whether the modern people or the
Neanderthals.) The rise of the first pan-European culture, which was carried by
the modern Homo sapiens, begins with the Early Upper Palaeolithic (41,000 -
35,000 years ago, 35,000 – 30,000 RCYBP). The findings of Moravia include both
artefacts and bones (the Mladeč Cave, 36,000 years old, 31,000 RCYBP). The
recent research underscored the pivotal place of the Mladeč site for
understanding of the emergence of modern Homo sapiens in Europe. There is only
one locality in Europe where older remains of modern people than those of Mladeč
were unearthed – bone fractions from Pestera cu Oase in Romania, about 41,000
years old (35,000 RCYBP). Nevertheless, the Mladeč cave yielded an assemblage
of bones of 5 or 6 persons and, what is even more notable, Mladeč is now the
only Aurignacian locality in Europe, where human remains are directly connected
with the bone and stone tools, ornaments and other artefacts.
typical Aurignacian site is 37-35,000 years old (32,000 – 30,000 RCYBP). There
are also some older or younger Aurignacian sites, but they are rare. The map of
the Gravettian sites of Moravia and Austria shows that the Gravettian people
disappeared from Central Moravia 27,500 years ago (23,000 RCYBP). At the same
time, they started to be more influenced by eastern cultures (the
Kostenki-Willendorf culture). It is possible to imagine that the reason was the
existence of post-Aurignacian people, who came to Central Moravia, and thus the
Gravettian people opened a new passage to the East. Nevertheless, the eastern
orientation could be also explained by changes caused by progressive cooling
before the last glacial maximum.
feline-man, a mythological being (a reconstructional transformation)
transformation shows the oldest demonstration of a mythological object and
mythological being at the same time (Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany, more than
35,000 years old, 30,000 RCYBP).
Early Upper Palaeolithic outside Europe
in a mine (a
Some 41,000 years ago (35,000 RCYBP), the first real stone mines appeared in Egypt (Nazlet Khater). Deep holes were dug up, sand and gravel were removed and raw stones were excavated from the bottom, where a large round space with a ledge emerged. The raw material was extracted through the central shaft. Pits that ran horizontally into a gentle hill slope were then dug from inside. Stones suitable for shaping were rare in the gravel or sand, and that is why mines appeared. Mines were quite common in the Palaeolithic. It is even possible that some of them were made by the Neanderthals (the Tata locality in Hungary).
Illustrations © Libor Balák
Translated and modified by
Vít Lang after discussions with the author.
© Antropark 2006