Definition of Mousterian in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the main culture of the Middle Paleolithic period in Europe, between the Acheulian and Aurignacian periods (chiefly 80,000–35,000 years ago), and associated with Neanderthal peoples.

    • ‘Excavations have recovered several flint handaxes of Mousterian type to the east of the rock shelters, suggestive of Middle Palaeolithic occupation around if not within the shelters.’
    • ‘Associated with the Neanderthals is the Mousterian tool kit, comprising smaller and more refined implements than the Acheulian.’
    • ‘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 next culture/technology/industry is called Middle Stone Age or Mousterian (depending on whether the artifacts are recovered in Africa or Europe).’
    • ‘Characteristically, Mousterian tools were made from flint.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Mousterian The Mousterian culture or period.


Late 19th century: from French moustiérien, from Le Moustier, a cave in SW France where objects from this culture were found.