Superior paleolithic

The Upper Paleolithic covers between 35,000 and 10,000 BC. n. and. Hominization evolves to homo sapiens sapiens , with a greater cranial capacity and ease of learning new knowledge. Sapiens humans enhance lithic tools by crafting spears, harpoons, and knives, and develop rock art with hunting scenes and symbolic graphics.


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  • 1 Description
  • 2 Dating
  • 3 Approximate chronology
  • 4 Sources


The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last of the periods into which the Paleolithic (the initial stage of the Stone Age ) is divided . It is characterized by the preponderance of lithic industries (based on stone) classified in different chronocultures (named according to the eponymous sites in France where they were identified):

  • Châtelperronian
  • Aurignacian
  • Gravettian
  • Solutrean and

The Upper Paleolithic coincides with the second half of the last glacial period, with a very cold climate although with somewhat more temperate intervals (the interstadials). It was also characterized by the fact that human species from earlier periods – such as Homo erectus , Denisovan hominid , Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo floresiensis – were replaced worldwide by Homo sapiens , which remained as the only survivor of the Hominin subtribe. .


In Europe, the Upper Paleolithic lasted approximately between 40,000 BC. n. and. and 10 000 a. n. and.

In Africa, on the other hand, some of the cultural novelties that occurred in Europe from 40,000 BC. n. and. they had already been produced in Africa before: art, laminar lithic carving, a very specific bone industry and new hunting tools and strategies. The first symbolic-artistic manifestations have been found in South Africa and date back to about 75,000 years, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo bone instruments of about 90,000 years were identified. The oldest known remains of archaic Homo sapiens are 150,000 years old (in South Africa) and 170,000 years old (in Ethiopia). Likewise, studies of the mitochondrial genome indicate that the origin of Homo sapiensin Africa it happened between those dates and 200,000 BC. n. and.

The transformations that gave rise to our species must have occurred in a small part of the African population, in about 15,000 individuals, from which all modern human groups were generated. This would be demonstrated by the little genetic variability that exists among modern people.3


Approximate chronology

  • Between 50,000 and 23,000 BC: groups of Asian people enter the American continent through different routes ( population of America).
  • 29,000-25,000 BC: Near the current city of Brno ( Czech Republic ), a craftsman creates the Venus of Dolní Vestonice, the oldest known archaeological piece of pottery in the world. [one]
  • 27,000 BC: In Europe , mammoth hunters model figures in clay .
  • 27,000-23,000 BC: The Paudorf Oscillation is recorded worldwide, with less cold weather.
  • 26,000 BC: The second Mousterian pluvial period begins in North Africa .
  • 25,000 BC: In the present city of Ostrava (Czech Republic), a craftsman creates the Venus of Petřkovice, a female ceramic figure. In a cave in the present village of Pech-Merle (France), cave paintings are created .
  • 24,000 BC: The last glacial maximum is recorded worldwide.
  • 24,000 BC: Neanderthals , the last non- Homo sapienshuman species, become extinct in Europe .
  • 24,000 BC: In the Pope’s Grotto, located in the town of Brassempouy (southern France), a craftsman creates the Venus de Brassempouy, a female figure carved in ivory .
  • 24,000-23,000 BC: In Aggsbach ( Austria ) a craftsman creates the Venus of Willendorf , a female figure sculpted in limestone .
  • 22,000 BC: In North Africa the second Mousterian pluvial period ends.
  • 22,000 BC: Peak of the Würm glaciation : glaciers cover Greenland , Canada , half the British Isles , all of Scandinavia and Siberia , the Himalayas , Australia , New Zealand , the Andes Mountains . There is so much water trapped by the ice that the sea level dropped as much as 150 meters at some points. The human population worldwide is estimated to be around 6 million.
  • 22,000 BC: In northeastern Siberia , the Dyuktai culture is created. The colonizers are believed to have migrated from northern China .
  • 20,000 BC: Paintings of horses in the Pech Merle cave, in the Dordogne (France). The representations were discovered in December 1994 .
  • 20,000-13,000 BC: Near the current village of Le Mas d’Azil (France), a villager from the Azilian culture creates a spear with an Iberian head
  • 20,000-14,000 BC: In the village of Mezhirich ( Ukraine ), humans live with mammoths .
  • 19,000 BC: in the Pech Merle cave, in the Dordogne (France) several people leave the prints of their painted hands. They were discovered in December 1994.
  • 19,000-17,000 BC: In the cavern of Lascaux (France), the prehistoric people paint bulls in the “Hall of Bulls” and paintings of birds with the heads of men, bison and rhinos . They were discovered in 1940, but in 1963 they had to be closed to the public due to vandalism and looting by French tourists.
  • 19,000-17,000 BC: In La Mouthe cave, in the Dordogne (France), a craftsman creates a lamp with an ibex design .
  • 18 500 BC: In the Cosquer cave (France) they create paintings on the walls.
  • 18,000-14,000 BC: In the cave of Laugerie Basse (France) they create paintings of pregnant women and deer .
  • 17510 BC: In the rocky shelters of Chiribiquete (in present-day Colombia), a person from the Karijona ethnic group (related to the Caribs ) makes a cave painting; it is the oldest carbon- 14dating in the entire American continent. [two]
  • 17,000 BC: Paintings of bison in Le Tuc d’Audoubert, in Ariège (France).
  • 16,000 BC: Paintings of bison on the ceiling of the Altamira cave (Spain). Discovered in 1879 and accepted as authentic in 1902.
  • 16,000 BC: In the current Hovenweep National Monument (between the state of Utah and the state of Colorado ), several Paleo-Indian families live , in search of larger game .
  • 15,000 BC: Approximate date of the beginning of the Holocene mass extinction .
  • 14,000-13,000 BC: The Bølling oscillation is recorded worldwide, with less cold weather.
  • 14,000 BC: In Monte Verde (southern Chile) a group of hunter-gatherers inhabit huts, leaving the oldest habitation traces in all of South America .
  • 14,000 BC: The Cenolithic period begins in present-day Mexico . [3]
  • 14,000 BC: In Ancient Egypt there is the first evidence that its inhabitants grind wild seeds.
  • 13,500 BC: In New Mexico (now the United States), people of the Clovis culture begin to produce the typical stone points, which are considered one of the oldest evidences of human presence on the continent, after Monte Verde (Chile ).
  • 13,500-12,000 BC: in Chile they build wooden houses, the first in South America.
  • 13,500-12,000 BC: First ceramic pots in Japan .
  • 13,000 BC: In the Cueva de las Manos ( Argentine Patagonia ) several settlers leave evidence of their settlement.
  • 13,000 BC: On Santa Rosa Island (off the coast of California ) the “man from Arlington Springs” dies.
  • 13,000 BC: off the coast of Yucatán (Mexico), the inhabitants deposit the corpses of their relatives in caves. [4]
  • 12,000 BC: In the Cueva de las Manos (Argentina) they paint animals on the walls. Around 550 a. n. and. they will record the negative image of their hands (airbrush stencil) and around 180 BC. n. and. the positive image of the hands (supporting them painted).
  • 12 000-11000 BC: The Allerød Oscillation is recorded worldwide, with less cold weather.
  • 12,000 BC: On the Syrian coast of the Mediterranean Sea , Natufian hunter-gatherers begin to grow wild cereals .
  • 12,000 BC: The Jomon culture begins in Japan .
  • 12,000 to 11,000 BC: Mastodons become extinct .
  • 11,600 BC: end of the Younger Dryas glaciation, the border between the Pleistocene and the Holocene (and traditionally the border between the Paleolithic and Mesolithic ).
  • 10,000 BC: In Gobekli Tepe (current Turkish border with Syria) a stone temple is built (which will be abandoned two millennia later). His remains will be discovered in October 1994 by the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt. It is currently considered the oldest temple in the world.


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