AEM_03a Palaeolithic and Mesolithic in Europe

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2019
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Mgr. Peter Tóth, PhD. (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. Petr Neruda, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. Zdeňka Nerudová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Peter Tóth, PhD.
Department of Archaeology and Museology - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Šibíčková
Supplier department: Department of Archaeology and Museology - Faculty of Arts
Thu 8:00–9:40 M22
Prerequisites (in Czech)
Absolvování kurzu AEB_A14a Paleolithic and Mesolithic in Central Europe výhodou.
Předmět je součástí bloku teoretických přednášek k pravěkým a historickým dějinám Evropy a je určen zájemcům o problematiku.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course follows the lectures and seminars titled Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of Central Europe with the aim to enhance the information on the history of Palaeolithic research in the surrounding countries, it will offer a characterization of interdisciplinary research within the discipline, and define relevant terms, chronology, classification, typology and characteristics of chipped stone industry, and anthropological context of the Lower Palaeolithic to Mesolithic.
Learning outcomes
After completion of the course, student will:
- be able to assign individual archaeological cultures to specific regions and chronological periods
- be knowledgeable of the basic methods of tool production
- have good orientation in the material content of individual cultures
- be well versed in basic types of human bearers and their origin
- know the most important localities
- have good orientation in application of methods of Palaeolithic research
- be able to define and characterise the crucial periods of the Palaeolithic
  • 1. History of Palaeolithic research.
  • 2. Characteristics of Pleistocene and its division into individual epochs; cooperating natural sciences and their characteristics and possible applications.
  • 3. Evolution of the genus Homo, “Out of Africa” and gradual colonisation of the European continent. Differences in settlement strategies, supply and hunting methods.
  • 4. The earliest industries. Their recognising, chronostratigraphy, typology and technology.
  • 5. Lower Palaeolithic: finds of Homo erectus, pebble-, fragmentary and small-sized industries, the problem of scavenging.
  • 6. Middle Palaeolithic: flake industries, Levallois and discoidal method, hunting specialisation?, regional and local stability of industries, finds of the Neanderthals, the first burials.
  • 7. The early phase of the Upper Palaeolithic. Definition of the term, chronological frame, character of industries. The problem of coexistence of the Neanderthals with AMH. The origins of blade industries.
  • 8. Aurignacian – the first uniform culture on a wide territory associated with AMH.
  • 9. The middle phase of the Upper Palaeolithic – Gravettian. Changes in socio-economic structure, the impact of climatic changes.
  • 10. The fade-out of Gravettian and the following phase, depopulation, the beginning of extinction of large mammals.
  • 11. The rise and development of Magdalenian, various hunting strategies as a result of inhabitation of seasonal camp sites, changes in types of hunting weapons and changes in socio-cultural sphere.
  • 12. Late Palaeolithic. Development of small-sized local industries. Mobility of individual groups, small size of industries and a different way of knapping as an adaptation to the beginning of Holocene environment. Alternatives in supply and acquisition of food (gathering, fishing, exchange).
  • 13. Mesolithic: distinct change of natural environment. Coexistence of the last hunters/gatherers and the first agriculturalists.
    required literature
  • GAMBLE, C. 1986: The Palaeolithic settlement of Europe. Cambridge.
  • NERUDA, Petr, Petr NERUDA and Petr NERUDA. Čas neandertálců = Time of Neanderthals (Time of Neanderthals). Vydání první. Brno: Moravské zemské muzeum, 2016. 315 pp. ISBN 978-80-7028-475-9. info
  • SVOBODA, Jiří. Předkové. Evoluce člověka. 1. vyd. Praha: Academia, 2014. 480 pp. ISBN 978-80-200-2324-7. info
  • Počátky umění. Photo by Jiří A. Svoboda. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 2011. 335 s. ISBN 9788020019257. info
    recommended literature
  • CUMMINGS, V. - JORDAN, P. 2014: The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers. Oxford.
  • FLOSS, H. (Hrg.) 2012 : Steiartefakte. Vom Altpaläolithikum bis in die Neuzeit.Tübingen.
  • McCARTAN, S. - SCHULTING, R. - WARREN, G. - WOODMAN, P. (eds.) 2009: Mesolithic horizons. 2 Vol. Oxbow books.
  • LEROI-GOURHAN, A. 1988: Dictionnaire de la Préhistoire. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France.
  • GARANGER, J. (ed.) 1992: La Préhistoire dans la monde. (Nouvelle édition de la préhistoire d´André leroi-Gourhan). Paris.
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
Requirements for the exam: knowledge of developmental tendencies of Central European Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, basic knowledge of the most important sites (e.g. Moustier, Quina, Willendorf, Neanderthal, etc.), distinction of basic techniques and types of chipped stone industry on typical examples.
For information by the lecturer see the recommended literature and the written works on individual countries and periods.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.

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