Definition of Magdalenian in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the final Palaeolithic culture in Europe, following the Solutrean and dated to about 17,000–11,500 years ago. It is characterized by a range of bone and horn tools, and by highly developed cave art.

    • ‘The cave, discovered in 1952 by a dentist and amateur archaeologist, is home to drawings dating back to the Magdalenian period, or between 22 000 and 15 000 years BC, according to French experts.’
    • ‘More localized traditions, such as the Solutrian and Magdalenian, were responsible for the cave art of south-western France and northern Spain.’
    • ‘French prehistorian Stephane Lwoff has published sketches of Magdalenian III people from the walls of La Marche cave at Lussac-les-Chateaux.’
    • ‘By 1869 his scheme for European prehistory was fairly well elaborated and included: the Thenasian (for the now obsolete Eolithic), Chellean, Mousterian, Solutrean, Aurignacian, Magdalenian, and Robenhausian.’
    • ‘The archaeological material in the Grotte de Marsoulas, which is over 60 km. long, is from the Magdalenian phase of the Upper Palaeolithic.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Magdalenian The Magdalenian culture or period.


Late 19th century: from French Magdalénien ‘from La Madeleine’, a site of this culture in the Dordogne, France.