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Middle Paleolithic

Between 250,000 and 35,000 years before the present. It is the moment in which the Homo neanderthalensis appear in Europe whose material culture is known as mousterian.

They lived in Europe and the Near East. Hybridization with Homo sapiens seems to be clearly established in some European sites, as DNA analysis shows, although it does not seem to be widespread throughout Europe.

During this period the use of fire by the Neanderthal human groups is generalized and a great technological progression is observed in the manufacture of lithic instruments with the development of new knapping techniques that improve the efficiency of the tools.

These groups produce the first manifestations related to symbolic abstraction, non-figurative representations, the first ornaments as well as the first evidences of burials.

Hunting, scavenging and the collection of fruits and vegetables are the basic means of subsistence, adapting to the different territories in which these groups live in Europe.

The application of diverse analytics on the human remains allow a greater approach to the daily life of these societies and allow to know aspects about the diet, its exchange networks, the work done by each sex, etc.

Picture: Homo neanderthalensis. Illustrated by Andrés Marín

Homo neanderthalensis Paleolítico Medio. Ilustrado por Andrés Marín

Homo neanderthalensis Paleolítico Medio. Ilustrado por Andrés Marín

Archaeological Sites


The Pastwomen Network co-organizes the International Seminar "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Gender Archaeology" at the University of Tübingen.

July 4-10, 2022

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