Definition of Azilian in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting an early Mesolithic culture in Europe, succeeding the Magdalenian and dated to about 11,500–9,500 years ago. It is characterized by flat bone harpoons, painted pebbles, and microliths.

    • ‘The stratigraphic sequence is uncertain, as no systematic digs have been carried out, but Upper Palaeolithic and Azilian layers have been identified.’
    • ‘Although occurring in time at the beginning of the Mesolithic, the Azilian is Upper Paleolithic in character.’
    • ‘The Upper Paleolithic covers all the postglacial stages down to the Neolithic, and includes the subdivisions of the Aurignacian, Solutrean, Magdalenian, and Azilian.’
    • ‘Additional information on the Azilian pebbles may be found in our Handbook ‘Ancient Man’.’
    • ‘During the first excavation period, performed between 1928 and 1936, two Azilian skulls were found.’
    • ‘The Azilian industry seems to be a declining remnant of dispersed Magdalenian communities.’
    • ‘The evolution of grinding and milling techniques began with the earliest known pestle and mortar, dating from about 10000 BC; this came from the Azilian culture of S. France, where it was used to grind pigments.’
    • ‘Thus, the Azilian hunters who established their camp in the La Fru and Campalou rockshelters hunted around the site, killing ibex.’
    • ‘The term ‘biomorphic’ originates with Geoffrey Grigson, who ‘proposed… the adoption of the term… from an unnamed anthropologist who employed it in relation to the painted pebbles of the prehistoric Azilian culture ’.’
    • ‘She was known for her analysis of Azilian skeletal remains excavated in France.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Azilian The Azilian culture or period.


Late 19th century: named after Mas d'Azil in the French Pyrenees, where objects from this culture were found.