Châtelperronian

Châtelperronian was the earliest industry of the Upper Palaeolithic in central and south western France, extending also into Northern Spain. It derives its name from the site of la Grotte des Fées, in Châtelperron, Allier, France.

It arose from the earlier, Mousterian industry. It made use of the Levallois technique of lithic reduction (stone-knapping) and lasted from between c. 35,000 and c. 29,000 BP. The industry produced denticulate, or toothed, stone tools and also a distinctive flint knife with a single cutting edge and a blunt, curved back. The use of ivory at Châtelperronian sites tends to be more frequent than that of the later Aurignacian, while antler tools appear to be absent.

It was superseded by the Aurignacian industry around 29,000 BP. Controversy exists as to how far archaeologically it is associated with Neanderthal people. The Châtelperronian industry may relate to the origins of the very similar Gravettian culture. French archaeologists have traditionally classified both cultures together under the name Périgordian, Early Perigordian being equivalent to Châtelperronian and all the other phases corresponding to Gravettian, though this scheme is not often used by Anglophone authors.

Read more about ChâtelperronianLithic Production and Associations, Dispute Over Disruption of The Site, In Popular Culture

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