AEA_60 Paleolithic in Central Europe - seminar

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2011
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 2 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
doc. PhDr. Martin Oliva, Ph.D., DSc. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Zdeněk Měřínský, CSc.
Department of Archaeology and Museology - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Dobešová
each even Thursday 17:30–19:05 C43
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
Seminar to course, which introduce to history of cognition of the Paleolithic in our territory, basic concepts from the cooperating branches of natural sciences, division, characteristic and utilization of chipped industry raw materials, typology of chipped industry and chronological, anthropological and archaeological aspects of the lower Paleolithic to Mesolithic.
  • 1. History of cognition of the Paleolithic in our territory: the period till 1914; main places of work and persons after WWII. 2. Basic concepts from the cooperating branches of natural sciences: geology – division of the Quarternary period; glacial cycle; types of deposits. 3. Archaeological materials. Division, characteristic and utilization of chipped industry raw materials Technology: the concept of artefact; basic concepts (style, technique, method); types of retouch, their functions. Dynamic classification of the Polish School; the study of operating chains in France. Experiments; ethnographic analogies; trasology. Pseudoartefacts. 4. Typology of chipped industry. 5. Lower Paleolithic: finds of Homo erectus; pebble, fragment and fine-shaped industries; the question of scavenging; chronologically by the end of Holstein interglacial. 6. Middle Paleolithic: flake industries; Levallois and discoid methods; hunter 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 Paleolithic – a local continuity or an arrival of the H.s.s. from Africa through the Near East? Chronological, anthropological and archaeological aspects of the issue. The oldest Upper Paleolithic industries (Szeletien, Bohunicien) and their counterparts in Europe and the Near East. 8. Aurignacien – the first civilization of the modern-type man in the entire territory of Europe and the Near East. The oldest entirely worked bone weapons; Upper Paleolithic blade technique. Míškovice type in East Moravia. 9. Middle phase of Upper Paleolithic – Gravettien; in Moravia an advanced civilization of Pavlovien. The role of mammoth hunting in the increase of social complexity. The move of settlement into river valleys; chipped 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. Epiaurignacien and Epigravettien 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; renewal of the leaf point tradition. Proto-Magdalenian phenomena in Grubgraben. 11. Magdalenien – the last great hunter civilization in Europe and the position of Moravia at its eastern edge. Settlement of caves and sporadic sites in the open (by contrast typical for Thuringia); prevalence of reindeer and horse in the game fauna; development of antler throwing weapons; chipped industry and its raw materials; absence of burials; engravings of animals and the stylized representations of women. 12. Late Paleolithic – the 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 in the open); the decline of art. 13. Mesolithic: nature at the beginning of the Holocene; the situation of settlements – both at river sandbanks and remote areas, under overhangs etc.; utilization of minor local sources 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 at the Near East. Issues of spreading of agriculture: invasion versus acculturation. The attitude of hunters and gatherers to the adoption of productive economy.
  • PODBORSKÝ, Vladimír. Pravěké dějiny Moravy. Edited by Jaromír Kubíček. V Brně: Muzejní a vlastivědná společnost, 1993. 543 s. ISBN 8085048450. info
Teaching methods
lectures, discussions on chosen topics
Assessment methods
Requirements for the examination: Active participation, a detailed knowledge of the development tendencies of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic in Central Europe; basic knowledge of the most important sites (e.g. the Kůlna Cave, Předmostí, Willendorf, Smolín, etc.), distinguishing of the basic techniques, types and raw materials of chipped industry on marked examples.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
Information on completion of the course: Ke získání kolokvia je třeba dostatečná a aktivní účast a splnění zadaných referátů.
The course is taught once in two years.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2003, Autumn 2005, Autumn 2007, Autumn 2009, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2015, Autumn 2017, Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2011, recent)
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