AEB_A14a Paleolithic and Mesolithic in Central Europe

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2019
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Mgr. et Mgr. Ludmila Kaňáková Hladíková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. Martin Oliva, Ph.D., DSc. (lecturer)
Mgr. Klára Šabatová, Ph.D. (assistant)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. et Mgr. Ludmila Kaňáková Hladíková, Ph.D.
Department of Archaeology and Museology - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Šibíčková
Supplier department: Department of Archaeology and Museology - Faculty of Arts
Mon 14:00–15:40 M21
Prerequisites (in Czech)
Předchozí absolvování AEB_A06a Introduction to prehistoric and early historic studies je výhodou, ale nikoliv podmínkou. Doporučujeme současně zapsat AEB_A15a Paleolithic in Central Europe - seminar a AEB_A07a Material Culture of the Stone Age.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 35 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 14/35, only registered: 0/35
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 9 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course provides an introduction to the history of Palaeolithic research on our territory, basic concepts from the cooperating natural sciences, classification, characteristic and utilization of raw materials for chipped stone industry, typology of chipped stone industry and chronological, anthropological and archaeological aspects of the Lower Palaeolithic to Mesolithic periods.
Learning outcomes
After completion of the course, student will be able to:
- describe key problems of present-day Palaeolithic and Mesolithic research in Central Europe
- define and summarize important characteristics of the main phases of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods
- describe the main characteristics of technocomplexes and archaeological cultures within the traditional scheme
- compare the differences between historical and present interpretations.
  • 1. History of Palaeolithic research on our territory: the period until 1914; main places of work and persons after WWII.
  • 2. Basic concepts from the cooperating natural sciences: geology – division of the Quaternary period; glacial cycle; types of deposits.
  • 3. Archaeological materials. Division, characteristic and utilization of raw materials for chipped stone industry Technology: artefact; basic concepts (style, technique, method); types of retouch, their functions. Dynamic classification of the Polish school; the study of operation sequences in France. Experiments; ethnographic analogies; use-wear analysis. Pseudoartefacts.
  • 4. Typology of chipped stone industry.
  • 5. Lower Palaeolithic: finds of Homo heidelbergensis; pebble, fragment and fine-shaped industries; scavenging; chronologically by the end of Holstein interglacial.
  • 6. Middle Palaeolithic: flake industries; Levallois and discoid methods; hunting specialization?; regional and local stability of industries; finds of the Neanderthal people; first burials (so far not in the area of interest).
  • 7. The question of transition to Upper Palaeolithic – local continuity or arrival of the H.s.s. from Africa through the Near East? Chronological, anthropological and archaeological aspects of the issue. The oldest Upper Palaeolithic industries (Szeletian, Bohunician) and their counterparts in Europe and the Near East.
  • 8. Aurignacian – the first civilisation of anatomically modern humans on the whole territory of Europe and the Near East. The oldest entirely worked bone weapons; Upper Palaeolithic blade technique. Míškovice type in East Moravia.
  • 9. Middle phase of Upper Palaeolithic – Gravettian; in Moravia an advanced civilisation of Pavlovian. The role of mammoth hunting in the increase in social complexity. The shift of settlement into river valleys; chipped stone industry and the imported raw materials; the boom of bone industry, ornaments and art; variable handling with human remains; interpretation of the so-called dumps of mammoth bones. Upper Gravettian complexes with notched points.
  • 10. Epiaurignacian and Epigravettian as a manifestation of economic change with the worsening climate of Upper Würm. The continued connection to erratic flint resources; large settlement agglomerations in Central Moravia; hyper-specialization of the typological sphere; revival of the leaf point tradition. Proto-Magdalenian phenomena in Grubgraben.
  • 11. Magdalenian – the last great civilisation of hunters in Europe and the position of Moravia at its eastern edge. Occupation of caves and sporadic open-air sites (the latter are typical of Thuringia); prevalence of reindeer and horse in the game fauna; development of throwing weapons from antlers; chipped stone industry and its raw materials; absence of burials; engravings of animals and stylised representations of women.
  • 12. Late Palaeolithic – development of local groups in the Late Glacial; greater mobility of groups of people; extraction of silicites and ochre in Poland; specialized workshops. The character of settlements (mostly short-term and open-air sites); the decline of art.
  • 13. Mesolithic: nature at the beginning of the Holocene; the situation of settlements – both at river sandbanks and in remote areas, under overhangs etc.; utilization of minor local resources of food and raw materials; variability of adaptation in various ecological zones as an alternative to the origins of plant cultivation and domestication of animals in the Near East. Spread of agriculture: invasion versus acculturation. The attitude of hunters and gatherers to the adoption of productive economy.
    required literature
  • SVOBODA, Jiří. Mezolit severních Čech II (Mesolithic of Northern Bohemia II). 1. vyd. Brno: Archeologický ústav AV ČR Brno, v.v.i., 2017. 247 pp. The Dolní Věstonice Studies / Dolnověstonické studie 22. ISBN 978-80-7524-005-7. info
  • NERUDA, Petr. Střední paleolit v moravských jeskyních (Middle Palaeolithic in Moravian Caves). 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2011. 247 pp. Dissertationes Archaeologicae Brun/Prag 8. ISBN 978-80-210-5444-8. info
  • SVOBODA, Jiří, T. CZUDEK, P. HAVLÍČEK, V. LOŽEK, E. MACOUN, Antonín PŘICHYSTAL, H. SVOBODOVÁ and E. VLČEK. Paleolit Moravy a Slezska. (Paleolithic of Moravia and Silesia.). Brno: Archeologický ústav AV ČR, 1994. 209 pp. Dolnověstonické studie 1. ISBN 80-901679-1-8. info
  • KLÍMA, Bohuslav. Dolní Věstonice : tábořiště lovců mamutů. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 1983. 176 s., fo. info
  • OLIVA, Martin. Aurignacien na Moravě. Edited by Vladimír Podborský. 1980. [1], 185 s. info
    recommended literature
  • Palaeolithic and mesolothic technology. Edited by Petr Neruda - Zdeňka Nerudová - Michal Maruška. Brno: Anthropos,. 1 videodis. info
  • SVOBODA, Jiří. Dolní Věstonice - Pavlov. 1. vyd. Praha: Academia, 2016. 399 pp. ISBN 978-80-200-2550-0. info
  • NERUDA, Petr. Time of neanderthals. Translated by Lada Krutilová. Vydání první. Brno: Moravské zemské muzeum, 2016. 315 stran. ISBN 9788070284759. info
  • KOSTRHUN, Petr and Petr NERUDA. Hranice - Velká Kobylanka, Mladopaleolitická stanice v Moravské bráně (Hranice - Velká Kobylanak, Magdalenian sites in Moravian Gate). Acta musei Moraviae : scientiae sociales, Brno: Moravské zemské muzeum, 2002, vol. 87, 1-2, p. 105-155. ISSN 0521-2359. info
  • PODBORSKÝ, Vladimír. Pravěké dějiny Moravy. Edited by Jaromír Kubíček. V Brně: Muzejní a vlastivědná společnost, 1993. 543 s. ISBN 8085048450. info
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
Requirements for the examination: A detailed knowledge of the development tendencies of the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic in Central Europe; basic knowledge of the most important sites (e.g. the Kůlna Cave, Předmostí, Willendorf, Smolín, etc.), identification of the basic techniques, types and raw materials of chipped stone industry on marked examples.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.

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