Old Stone Age

Hunters' Equipment

The Neandertals (Mousterian) hunters who came to Solutrë some 50 000 years ago brought to the site large chunks of flint they had collected near La Sénétrière, less than 10 kilometers from the site.  While waiting for the game, they prepared cores, drew large flakes and made all the tools they needed.  They abandoned on site large quantity of chipping waste and used tools.

The Upper Paleolithic  (Homo sapiens sapiens) hunters who began to come to the site around 35000 years ago (Aurignaciens) behaved very differently.  They used the same sources of raw material but came to the site with a few cores already prepared; a the site, they drew blades which they transformed as needed into scrapers, burins or knives.  They left few debris and some broken tools on the site.  They also had spears tipped with bone points and they used shaft straighteners to maintain the spear shafts.

The Gravettian hunting parties came with already made blades and perhaps a few cores.  They used the blades as butchering knives, leaving worn and  useless tools when they left

The Solutrean people came in larger groups to camp at Solutré .  They made on site quantities of large and small bifacially retouched points which they could use as weapon tips and/or as knives.  Small chips,  debris of the bifacial point s manufactures, littered the site.

The Magdalenian came with prepared cores and some large blades.  their tool kits were more differentiated, containing a variety of tools for cutting meat, preparing, cutting and sewing hides.

Little is known of their weapons and actual hunting techniques beyond the general models discussed above.

Aurignacian scrapers (M12. 1998)

Aurignacian blades (M12, 1998)

Magdalenian armtures  (P16 1968-1976)

Gravettian blades

(J10, 1998)

Gravettian blades

(test pit C 1968)

Solutrean points found in P16