Definition of Magdalenian in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the final Paleolithic 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 archaeological material in the Grotte de Marsoulas, which is over 60 km. long, is from the Magdalenian phase of the Upper Palaeolithic.’
    • ‘More localized traditions, such as the Solutrian and Magdalenian, were responsible for the cave art of south-western France and northern Spain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘French prehistorian Stephane Lwoff has published sketches of Magdalenian III people from the walls of La Marche cave at Lussac-les-Chateaux.’
    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.