Definition of Gravettian in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting an Upper Palaeolithic culture in Europe following the Aurignacian, dated to about 28,000–19,000 years ago.

    • ‘The ‘Red Lady’ would now be interpreted as a ceremonial interment of the Gravettian period of the Palaeolithic, such as are now known across Europe from Paviland to Moscow and south to Portugal.’
    • ‘The study of the lithic industries showed that the Gravettian culture appeared earlier than it was thought or 35 000 years ago.’
    • ‘These two caves set into a promontory in the foothills of the Pyrenees were occupied and decorated by hunter-gatherer groups of the Perigordian, Chatelperronian, Aurignacian, and Gravettian cultures.’
    • ‘This was followed by the Gravettian, stretching from France to the Ukraine, featuring small pointed stone blades with one blunt edge, small female figurines are also associated with Gravettian culture.’
    • ‘We see pretty clear evidence of this as far back as the mid-Upper Palaeolithic (or Gravettian period), after about 27,000 years ago, when individual skulls or long bones were heavily ochred and separately buried.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Gravettian The Gravettian culture or period.


1930s: from la Gravette, an archaeological site in SW France, where objects from this culture were found.