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CHELLIAN, the name given by the French anthropologist G. de Mortillet to the first epoch of the Quaternary period when the earliest human remains are discoverable. The word is derived from the French town Chelles in the department of Seine-et-Marne. The climate of the Chellian epoch was warm and humid as evidenced by the wild growth of fig-trees and laurels. The animals characteristic of the epoch are the Elephas antiquus, the rhinoceros, the cave-bear, the hippopotamus and the striped hyaena. Man existed and belonged to the Neanderthal type. The implements characteristic of the period are flints chipped into leaf-shaped forms and held in the hand when used. The drift-beds of St Acheul (Amiens), of Menchecourt (Abbeville), of Hoxne (Suffolk), and the detrital laterite of Madras are considered by de Mortillet to be synchronous with the Chellian beds.

See Gabriel de Mortillet, Le Préhistorique (1900); Lord Avebury, Prehistoric Times (1900).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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