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Mousterian

MOUSTERIAN, the name given by the French anthropologist G. de Mortillet to the second epoch of the Quaternary Age, and to the earliest in his system of cave-chronology. It is so named from a cave (Le Moustier), on the right bank of the Vezere, an affluent of the Dordogne, above Les Eyzies and Tayac, which has yielded typical palaeolithic implements. The epoch was characterized by cold wet climate, by the supposed existence of Man of the Olom type, that is, nearly as dolichocephalous as the Neanderthal type, but with superciliary ridges flat, and frontal bones high, and by the occurrence of the musk-ox, the horse, the cave-bear, Rhinoceros tichorhinus and the mammoth. The typical implements are flint points or spear-heads, left smooth and flat on one side, as struck from the cave, pointed and edged from the other side; a scraper treated in the same way, but with edge rather upon the side than at the end, as in the succeeding Solutrian and Madelenian epochs. Relics of the Mousterian age have been also found in Belgium, southern Germany, Bohemia and southern England, some of the " finds " including human remains.

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

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