Definition of Aurignacian in US English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the early stages of the Upper Paleolithic culture in Europe and the Near East. It is dated in most places to about 34,000–29,000 years ago, and is associated with Cro-Magnon Man.

    • ‘By 25,000 years ago, the Aurignacian culture had virtually disappeared, confined to a few small pockets scattered across southern Europe.’
    • ‘Modern humans, Homo sapiens, are known in northern Europe from about 40,000 BC and are associated with new styles of flint and stone tools, known as the Aurignacian.’
    • ‘The Mladec collection also includes Aurignacian tools and art associated with early modern humans.’
    • ‘This is the oldest assemblage of modern humans in Europe which retains many portions of the skeleton plus archaeological objects from the Aurignacian period.’
    • ‘With the skeletons were Upper Palaeolithic flint tools of Aurignacian type and signs of decorative art in the form of pierced sea shells.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Aurignacian The Aurignacian culture or period.


Early 20th century: from French Aurignacien, from Aurignac in SW France, where objects from this culture were found.