These could have been used also for engraving on bones and soft stones and that is why they have been designated as graver. In French archaeology they are called burin. Because of preponderance of these tools Aurignacian culture is also known as blade and burin culture.
Most of the sites belonging to Aurignacian age have yielded awls, scrapers, engravers and knife blades. The characteristic knife blade of Aurignacian is sharp and pointed on one end and blunt on the other. Baton-de-Commandments may be cited as a mysterious bone tool of middle Aurignacian whose probable use is still a matter of conjecture. It may be arrow straightened or scepter, sometime decorated with floral designs. Usually T shaped, it may be a multi-purpose tool. The climatic conditions during Aurignacian times remained quite cold. The skeletal remains are fairly similar to those found during Mousterian times except that now a good many reindeer bones occur suggesting that the surroundings and other conditions could be tundra like.
On the basis of tool typology Aurignacian culture may be divided into five subdivisions. The lower two subdivisions are often grouped together and called as Erigordian Stage, the Middle Aurignac an as True Aurignac an and the upper two as Gravitation Stage. The Aurignacian industries have been found spread over a wide area. Central Europe, Italy, Spain, France, England, Finland and North Africa have yielded a large number of Aurignacian tools and implements. These are called as Caspian in Africa.
Aurignac and man was the representative of Homo sapiens. Many of his skeletal remains have been found in association with the ornaments made on ivory and sea shells. The Pavilion skeleton immersed in red clay suggests that they used to perform some elaborate rituals and leave some funerary appendages with the corpse. 2. Solutrean Culture:The name Silurian is based on a site called Solute located in Western Europe. The solitarians are known for their clean and beautiful tools. Their characteristic tools are laurel leaf and willow leaf lance points made on flint and worked on both sides.
These tools were manufactured through a new tool making technique called ‘pressure flakes’. Some other tools made by them are scraping knives, awls, needles and bone implements. The solitarians broke into Western Europe as hordes of invaders armed with the above mentioned characteristic tools, a new tool making technique, new types of gravers and a variety of bone tools. A three fold sub division of Silurian Culture has been suggested viz. Proto Solitarians, Typical Silurian and Upper Silurian. Towards the end the solitarians started removing half of the side vertically of their tools thus providing a shoulder so that it could be hafted into wood or tied to any wooden shaft. The solitarian tools look very effective. A number of archaeological evidences suggest that the solitarians were, perhaps, able to drive away aurignacians from many parts of Western Europe.
However, it also seems that after sometime the aurignacians again re-established their dominance. The basis of this statement is the fact that the next culture i.e. Magdalenian is more akin to the Aurignacian rather than the solitarian. The distribution of the solitarian industries is far more restricted than is the Aurignacian culture.
Silurian man does not seem to have penetrated beyond Pyrenees except at their extreme eastern end. Though England and Spain exhibit the influence of the solitarian but they never reached this region. Traces of solitarian culture may be seen also in Riviera and Italy. The skeletal remains found along with the tools in different sites of France are mostly of the Cro-Magnons Man but those found in central and East Europe belongs to some other racial type. 3. Magdelanean Culture:The Magdelanean Culture is considered as the zenith of the Upper Paleolithic.
This name owes it’s origin to a rock shelter located at a place called La Madeleine in France. It seems that the solitarians left the scene as suddenly as they arrived after a brief stay of about two thousand years and the magdelaneans finally took over the entire Western Europe. These magdelaneans showed a definite inclination for bone tools. Further, they over brimmed with art and artistic activities. Their tools and implements and ceilings/walls of rock shelters and caves bear testimony to their aesthetic sense of high order. This age is also known as Reindeer age. We cannot say for sure whether magdelanean man came from outside or were descendents of aurignacians and solitarians.
Their funeral practice was quite akin to that of Aurignacian and their tools too show strong resemblance to Aurignacian. Interestingly, some cultural remains of the magdelaneans have also been found from such places which were never inhabited by the solitarians. A six fold subdivision of magdelanean age has been found possible on the basis of tool typology. As already mentioned the magdelaneans excelled in making their tools and other artifacts on bone, ivory, horns and antler. The most frequently occurring tool is harpoon, the fishing tool.
Fishing hooks have also been discovered along with the harpoons. Beside these bone artifacts a number of their ‘exotic’ looking ones have also been discovered—some may be ornaments while the remaining just does not give any concrete idea about their usage. Baton-de-Commandments may be one such tool. Needles with and without eyes occur for the first time during the magdelanean culture. Among the stone tools, knife blades, awls and saws along with borers and burins made on flint have also been found from a number of sites.
One of the most important features of magdelanean culture is its cave art-paintings depicted on the ceilings and walls of the rock shelters and caves. The tool kit of the magdelaneans suggests that the economy of these people was based largely on hunting and fishing. They covered their bodies with the animal hide. They must be very intelligent and clever people who stood at the threshold of a big leap forward.