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Solutrean

From Academic Kids

The Solutrean industry was an advanced flint tool making style of the Upper Palaeolithic.

It is named after the type-site of the Solutré Cave in the Macon district, Saone-et-Loire, eastern France and appeared around 23,000 BCE. The makers of Solutrean-style tools used techniques not seen before and not rediscovered for millennia. They also made ornamental beads and bone pins as well as creating prehistoric art.

They produced relatively finely worked, bifacial points using pressure flaking rather than cruder flint knapping. This method permitted working of delicate slivers of flint to make light projectiles and even elaborate barbed and tanged arrowheads.

Large thin spear-heads; scrapers with edge not on the side but on the end; flint knives and saws, but all still chipped, not ground or polished; long spear-points, with tang and shoulder on one side only, are also characteristic implements of this industry. Bone or horn, too, was used.

The name was created by G de Mortillet to describe the second stage of his system of cave-chronology, following the Mousterian and he considered it synchronous with the third division of the Quaternary period.

The Solutrian work exhibits a transitory stage of art between the flint implements of the Mousterian and the bone implements of the Magdelanian epochs. Faunal finds include horse, reindeer, mammoth, cave lion, rhinoceros, bear and urus. Solutrean finds have been also made in the caves of Les Eyzies and Laugerie Haute, and in the Lower Beds of Cresswell Crags in Derbyshire in England.

The pioneers of this new flint working technique lived in modern day France and Spain and disappeared from the archaeological record around 19,000 BCE as mysteriously as they appeared. Given the technological superiority of Solutrean tools it is difficult to ascribe a reason for their replacement by the Magdelanian culture. Some archaeologists have found similarities between the Solutean industry and the later Clovis culture / Clovis points of North America and suggested that the Solutreans crossed the Ice Age Atlantic by moving between ice floes. Others argue that through force of numbers, the makers of Magdelanian tools replaced the Solutrean culture through invasion.de:Solutréen

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