Subsequently Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet (1821-1898), professor of prehistoric anthropology at the School of Anthropology in Paris, published (1882) "Le Prehistorique, antiquité de l'homme", in which he was the first to characterize periods by the name of a site. Many of his names are still in use. His first two were Chellean and Acheulean.
Chellean included artifacts discovered at the town of Chelles, a suburb of Paris. They are similar to those found at Abbeville. Later anthropologists substituted Abbevillian for Chellean, which is now not in use at all.
Mortillet had portrayed his traditions as chronologically sequential. In the Abbevillian, early Palaeolithic man used cores; in the Acheulian, flakes. Olduwan tools, however, indicate that in the earliest Palaeolithic, the distinction between flake and core is smeared. Consequently there is a tendency to view Abbevillian as a phase of Acheulian.
The Abbevillian is a phase of Olduwan that occurred in Europe near, but not at, the end of the Lower Palaeolithic (2.5 mya. – 250,000 years ago). Those who adopt the Acheulian scheme refer to it as the middle Acheulian, about - years ago. Geologically it occurred in the Middle Pleistocene, younger than about 700,000 years ago. It spanned the interglacial between the Günz and the Mindel, but more recent finds of the East Anglian Palaeolithic push the date back into the Günz, closer to the ya mark.
The Abbevillian culture bearers are not believed to have evolved in Europe, but to have entered it from further east. It was thus preceded by the earlier Olduwan of Homo erectus, and was supplanted by the classical Acheulian, of which Clactonian and Tayacian are considered phases. The Acheulian there went on into the Levalloisian and Mousterian associated with Neanderthal man.
Beyond these basic concessions, there is a dispute of a purely semantic nature. Three points of view are emergent:
|Arago Cave near the village of Tautavel in the Languedoc-Roussillon district of France.||Arago Man;|
Homo erectus tautavelensis;
Archaic Homo sapiens;
Arago n, where n is a catalog number assigned to the bone.
|A community of about 100 individuals discovered over the years in the ongoing excavations of the cave by a team of the Centre Européen de Recherches Préhistoriques de Tautavel under the direction of Henry de Lumley. Excavations began in 1964, the first mandible came to light in 1969, and the first "Tautavel Man" in 1971, though in fact many subsequent Tautavel men and women appeared. The date range is a fairly secure 690,000-300,000 years ago by many methods. The prevailing view is that the fossils are intermediary to the Neanderthals. Tools were found as well.|| Prehistoric Man, Active x site with sound and animation.|
The Tautavel Man
Nature, various articles and abstracts.
A New Look at the Human Past
|Barnfield Pit near Swanscombe in Kent, England||Swanscombe Man (female);|
Archaic Homo sapiens;
|Portions of a skull excavated from a gravel pit by Alvin T. Marston in 1935-36 along with handaxes and animal bones. Two more pieces and some charcoal were found in 1955 by John Wymer. Estimated date 250,000 ya.||Swanscombe|
EARLY PREHISTORIC PEOPLES IN THE DARTFORD AREA
|Boxgrove, outside Chichester, Great Britain.||Homo heidelbergensis||Shin bone & two teeth found in 1994, 1996 in a quarry, with butchered animal bones & handaxes, ca. 500,000 ya.||Boxgrove|
Boxgrove Home Page
|Mauer near Heidelberg, Germany|| Homo Heidelbergensis;|
|Lower jaw & tooth discovered 1907 in a gravel pit. Dated to 600,000-250,000 ya.|| Homo heidelbergensis|
Archaic Homo sapiens
|Petralona in Chalcidice, Greece.||Homo heidelbergensis;|
Archanthropus europaeus petralonsiensis;
Homo erectus petralonensis;
|Skull found in a cave with animal bones, stone tools and evidence of fire in 1960. Studied by Aris Poulianos, given various dates, ESR date range is 240,000-160,000.||Aris Poulianos|
Spilaio Archantropon Petralona
ESR-dating of the fossil hominid cranium from Petralona...
PETRALONA PROVIDES Α NEW DATING...
|Sima de los huesos, "pit of bones", a chimney site in a cave, one of many fossil hominin sites in the hills of Atapuerca, Castile-Leon, Spain||Homo heidelbergensis||About 4000 hominin bones from which about 30 individuals have been reconstructed since the mid-1970s. Bones of carnivores are mixed in. A handaxe was found in 1998. Date is 500,000-350,000 ya.|| Atapuerca|
The First Europeans
Infants, cannibals, and the pit of bones
Disaster may have killed ancients
|Steinheim an der Murr, north of Stuttgart, Germany.||Homo heidelbergensis;|
Archaic Homo sapiens;
Homo sapiens praesapius.
|Skull found in 1933 by Karl Sigrist, currently dated to about 250,000 ya.||Steinheim an der Murr|
|Homo erectus paleohungaricus;|
Homo sapiens paleohungaricus;
|Occipital bone and a few teeth excavated 1964-65 in a quarry by Laszlo Vertes. The site was in the open and used for butchery. Human fossils were with a hearth, dwelling, tools, footprints, plant and animal fossils.|| Vértesszőlős|
Vértesszőlős prehistoric man colony