The archaeological site Abri de la Madeleine (Magdalene Shelter) is a rock shelter under an overhanging cliff situated near Tursac, in the Dordogne département of the Aquitaine Région of South-Western France. It represents the type site of the Magdalenian culture of the Upper Paleolithic. The Bison Licking Insect Bite, a 20,000 year old carving of exceptional artistic quality was excavated at the site. The shelter was also occupied during the Middle Ages. The medieval castle of Petit Marsac stands on the top of the cliff just above the shelter.
|Abri de la Madeleine|
La Madeleine rock shelter
La Madeleine rock shelter location in France
Abri de la Madeleine (France)
|Alternative name||Magdalene rock shelter|
|Location||near Tursac, Dordogne département|
|Region||Aquitaine région, southwestern France|
|Associated with||European early modern humans|
|Archaeologists||Édouard Lartet, Henry Christy|
Édouard Lartet & Henry Christy were the first systematic excavators of the site, and published their findings in 1875 under the name of the Age of the Reindeer ("L'âge du renne"). Objects that were found at the la Madeleine site are distributed among a number of museums, including the Muséum de Toulouse, the Musee des Antiquites Nationales, St. Germain-en-Laye and the British Museum.
The Bare Island projectile point is a stone projectile point of prehistoric indigenous peoples of North America. It was named by Fred Kinsey in 1959 for examples recovered at the Kent-Halley site on Bare Island in Pennsylvania.Baton fragment (Palart 310)
Dating to the last Ice Age (Upper Palaeolithic), this decorated fragment of a perforated antler baton was discovered in 1863 by Edouard Lartet and Henry Christy at the Abri de la Madeleine, an overhanging cliff situated near Tursac, in the Dordogne département and the Aquitaine Région of South-Western France. This is the type-site for the Magdalenian culture. It was bequeathed to the British Museum by Christy, and is now catalogued as Palart.310, but not normally on display (see below for current exhibition). The baton is 16.6 cm long, 5.5 cm wide and 3 cm thick. The fragment is broken at both ends and is distinguished by a near-cylindrical section, which is interrupted on one side by a horse motif, and on the other side by three deeply cut grooves.
The baton has one perforated hole in the near centre, with a deep groove above it, which runs long ways just below the upper edge. Directly to the left of the perforated hole is an image of a horse; this faces to the right, and appears in low-relief. The figure has a large eye, a high angular shaped mane, and small forelegs that seem to sweep backwards. There are two incised V shapes on its flank – that might suggest injury – or more likely movement.
The occurrence of a large eye is a feature found on other baton examples excavated at La Madeleine.Bison Licking Insect Bite
Bison Licking Insect Bite is a prehistoric carving from the Upper Paleolithic, found at Abri de la Madeleine near Tursac in Dordogne, France, the type-site of the Magdalenian culture, which produced many fine small carvings in antler or bone.
Created sometime between 20,000 and 12,000 BP (15,000 BP according to the museum), it was formerly in the Musee des Antiquites Nationales, St. Germain-en-Laye, but has been transferred to the expanded National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil that opened in 2004, not far from its findspot. It is a carved and engraved fragment of a spear-thrower made of reindeer antler. It depicts the figure of a bison, of the now extinct species steppe wisent (bison priscus) with its head turned around and showing its tongue extended. It is thought the spear-thrower was broken into roughly its present shape before the carving was made from the fragment, hence the need to show the turned-back head of the animal in order to fit the existing structure.Celt (tool)
In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.Cumberland point
A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.Folsom point
Folsom points are a distinct form of knapped stone projectile points associated with the Folsom tradition of North America. The style of tool-making was named after the Folsom Site located in Folsom, New Mexico, where the first sample was found by George McJunkin within the bone structure of a bison in 1908. The Folsom point was identified as a unique style of projectile point in 1926.Grattoir de côté
A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).Grinding slab
In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.
Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.Lamoka projectile point
Lamoka projectile points are stone projectile points manufactured by Native Americans what is now the northeastern United States, generally in the time interval of 3500-2500 B.C. They predate the invention of the bow and arrow, and are therefore not true "arrowheads", but rather atlatl dart points. They derive their name from the specimens found at the Lamoka site in Schuyler County, New York.List of Stone Age art
This is a descriptive list of art from the Stone Age, the period of prehistory characterised by the widespread use of stone tools. This page contains, by sheer volume of the artwork discovered, a very incomplete list of the works of the painters, sculptors, and other artists who created what we now call prehistoric art. For fuller lists see Art of the Upper Paleolithic, Art of the Middle Paleolithic, and Category:Prehistoric art and its many sub-categories.Magdalenian
The Magdalenian (also Madelenian; French: Magdalénien) cultures are later cultures of the Upper Paleolithic in western Europe, dating from around 17,000 to 12,000 years ago. It is named after the type site of La Madeleine, a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, commune of Tursac, in the Dordogne department of France.
Originally termed L'âge du renne (the Age of the Reindeer) by Édouard Lartet and Henry Christy, the first systematic excavators of the type site, in their publication of 1875, the Magdalenian is synonymous in many people's minds with reindeer hunters, although Magdalenian sites also contain extensive evidence for the hunting of red deer, horses, and other large mammals present in Europe toward the end of the last ice age. The culture was geographically widespread, and later Magdalenian sites have been found from Portugal in the west to Poland in the east. It is the third epoch of Gabriel de Mortillet's cave chronology system, corresponding roughly to the Late Pleistocene.Pesse canoe
The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.Plano point
In archeology, Plano point is flaked stone projectile points and tools created by the various Plano cultures of the North American Great Plains between 9000 BC and 6000 BC for hunting, and possibly to kill other humans.
They are bifacially worked and have been divided into numerous sub-groups based on variations in size, shape and function including Alberta points, Cody points, Frederick points, Eden points and Scottsbluff points. Plano points do not include the hollowing or 'fluting' found in Clovis and Folsom points.Racloir
In archeology, a racloir, also known as racloirs sur talon (French for scraper on the platform), is a certain type of flint tool made by prehistoric peoples.
It is a type of side scraper distinctive of Mousterian assemblages. It is created from a flint flake and looks like a large scraper. As well as being used for scraping hides and bark, it may also have been used as a knife. Racloirs are most associated with the Neanderthal Mousterian industry. These racloirs are retouched along the ridge between the striking platform and the dorsal face. They have shaped edges and are modified by abrupt flaking from the dorsal face.Swimming Reindeer
The Swimming Reindeer is the name given to a 13,000-year-old Magdalenian sculpture of two swimming reindeer conserved in the British Museum. The sculpture was made in what is now modern-day France by an unknown artist who carved the artwork from the tip of a mammoth tusk. The sculpture was found in two pieces in 1866, but it was not until the early 20th century that Abbé Henri Breuil realised that the two pieces fit together to form a single sculpture of two reindeer swimming nose-to-tail.Tool stone
In archaeology, a tool stone is a type of stone that is used to manufacture stone tools,
or stones used as the raw material for tools.Generally speaking, tools that require a sharp edge are made using cryptocrystalline materials that fracture in an easily controlled conchoidal manner.
Cryptocrystalline tool stones include flint and chert, which are fine-grained sedimentary materials; rhyolite and felsite, which are igneous flowstones; and obsidian, a form of natural glass created by igneous processes. These materials fracture in a predictable fashion, and are easily resharpened. For more information on this subject, see lithic reduction.
Large-grained materials, such as basalt, granite, and sandstone, may also be used as tool stones, but for a very different purpose: they are ideal for ground stone artifacts. Whereas cryptocrystalline materials are most useful for killing and processing animals, large-grained materials are usually used for processing plant matter. Their rough faces often make excellent surfaces for grinding plant seeds. With much effort, some large-grained stones may be ground down into awls, adzes, and axes.Tursac
Tursac is a commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Abri de la Madeleine is the site of Magdalenian prehistoric finds.Uniface
In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.Yubetsu technique
The Yubetsu technique (湧別技法, Yūbetsu gihō) is a special technique to make microblades, proposed by Japanese scholar Yoshizaki in 1961, based on his finds in some Upper Palaeolithic sites in Hokkaido, Japan, which date from c. 13,000 bp.
The name comes from the Yūbetsu River (湧別川, Yubetsugawa), on the right bank of which the Shirataki (白滝遺跡, Shirataki Iseki) Palaeolithic sites were discovered.
To make microblades by this technique, a large biface is made into a core which looks like a tall carinated scraper. Then one lateral edge of the bifacial core is removed, producing at first a triangular spall. After, more edge removals will produce ski spalls of parallel surfaces.
This technique was also used from Mongolia to Kamchatka Peninsula during the later Pleistocene.
Prehistoric cave sites, rock shelters and cave paintings