Definition of Mousterian in US 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.

    • ‘Characteristically, Mousterian tools were made from flint.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The next culture/technology/industry is called Middle Stone Age or Mousterian (depending on whether the artifacts are recovered in Africa or Europe).’
    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.