Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Europe: Middle to Upper Paleolithic Transition

  • Marcel Otte
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_106


This “transition” condenses in fact an extreme variety of cultural factors dispersed across all continents but especially in the “Old World”: Africa, Europe, and Asia. Within each of these continents, these factors and processes interacted constantly. We focus here only on the apparently fundamental elements in each region. In terms of technology, China and the Far East shift in particular from the use of bamboo and cobbles to light blade blanks. During this phase, the general gracilization of the human skeleton and anatomic uprightness, observed simultaneously everywhere, are the result of bipedalism. In Africa an avalanche of autonomous technical inventions took place: from cobbles to bifaces, Levallois to blade production, up to agropastoral Neolithic civilizations and metallurgy. The immensity of this continent made it a sort of laboratory in which innovations and convergences emerged. But, leaving to one side these fabulous and exotic territories, we now focus on an...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Further Reading

  1. Dutour, O., J.-J. Hublin & B. Vandermeersch. (ed.) 2005. Origine et évolution des populations humaines. Paris: CTHS.Google Scholar
  2. Kozlowski, J.K.K. (dir.) 1988. L'homme de Néandertal, Volume 8: la mutation. Proceedings of the Liège International Symposium 4-7 December 1986 (ERAUL 35). Liège: Université de Liège.Google Scholar
  3. Mellars, P. (ed.) 1990. The emergence of modern humans, an archaeological perspective. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Otte, M. 2008. Cro Magnon. Paris: Perrin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service of PrehistoryUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium