Definition of Gravettian in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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. 1.1The Gravettian culture or period.


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