2What Was the Culture of Upper Paleolithic Peoples Like? Upper Paleolithic cultures include a greater diversity of tools as well as a greater frequency of blade tools.Pressure flaking techniques and the use of burins to fashion implements of bone and antler became widespread.In Europe, success of large game hunting increased with the invention of the spear-thrower and nets aided in hunting of small game.In Africa the earliest small points appropriate for arrowheads appear during this time period.
3Cro-MagnonsThe remains of ancient people who looked more like contemporary Europeans than Neandertals were discovered in 1868 at Les Eyzies in France, in a rock shelter together with tools of the Upper Paleolithic,40,000ya.Consisting of eight skeletons, they are commonly referred to as Cro-Magnons, after the rock shelter in which they were found.
4Visual CounterpointWith a high forehead, the Cro-Magnon skull (left) is more like contemporary Europeans than the prominent brow ridge and sloping forehead seen in the Neandertal skull (right).The Cro-Magnon skull has evidence of a fungal infection, perhaps from eating tainted mushrooms. Mushrooms are a tremendous delicacy in this region of France to this day.
5Upper Paleolithic Technology Upper Paleolithic tool kits are known for a preponderance of blade tools, with flint flakes at least twice as long as they are wide.The earliest blade tools come from sites in Africa, but they do not make up the majority of the tool types until well into the Upper Paleolithic.
6Blade TechniqueDuring the Upper Paleolithic, a new technique was used to manufacture blades.The stone is worked to create a striking platform; long almost parallel-sided flakes then are struck around the sides, providing sharp- edged blades.
7Pressure FlakingTwo methods used for pressure flaking in which a bone, antler, or wooden tool is used to press rather than strike off small flakes.
8Techniques of the Upper Paleolithic The Solutrean bifaces of Europe were made using the pressure technique. Tools such as eyed needles and harpoons began to be manufactured out of bone as well.
9Spear ThrowersSpear-throwers (atlatls) allowed Upper Paleolithic people to throw spears from a safe distance while maintaining accuracy.Upper Paleolithic artists combined artistic expression with function, ornamenting spear-throwers with animal figures.
11Lascaux CaveThese 17,000-year-old images, painted on a wall in the multichambered Lascaux Cave in the Dordogne region of southwest France, were discovered in 1940 by 4 teenage boys.In addition to the Ice Age animals depicted here— horses, wild ox, rhino, and bison—the chambers of Lascaux feature renderings of other recognizable species.
12Personal AdornmentPendants and beads for personal adornment became common in the Upper Paleolithic. In Europe, most were made by Cro-Magnons, but some—like these shown here—were made by Neandertals. The earliest undisputed items of personal adornment are some 40,000- year-old beads from Africa made from ostrich egg shell.
13The Spread of Upper Paleolithic Peoples Expanded into regions previously uninhabited by their archaic forebears.Colonization of Siberia began 42,000 y.a.10,000 years later they reached the northeastern part of that region.
14The Spread of Upper Paleolithic Peoples 60,000 y.a., people arrived in Australia and New Guinea.They crossed at least 90 kilometers of water that separated Australia and New Guinea from the Asian continent throughout Paleolithic times.
15Habitation of Australia and New Guinea Dependent upon travel across the open ocean even during maximum glaciation when sea levels were low.This figure represents the coastlines of Sahul and Sunda now and in the past.As sea levels rose with melting glaciers, sites of early human habitation were submerged under water.
16Upper Paleolithic HutReconstruction of an Upper Paleolithic hut with walls of interlocked mammoth mandibles.