Gravettian existed paleolithicly around 33,000 to 20,000 years ago. It is named after the site of La Gravette in southwestern France

The Gravettians were skilled hunters and gatherers who relied on a variety of food sources, including large game animals like mammoths, reindeer, and bison. They also exploited other resources, such as fish, birds, and plant materials. Evidence suggests that they lived in small groups or mobile bands and likely had a nomadic lifestyle, following the seasonal movements of game animals.

During this period. The megafauna were still around and the climate was different. Gravettians thrived on their ability to hunt animals. Through lithic reduction they utilized a variety of tools such as blades and bladelets. Made from stone, and other materials such as bone, antler and ivory. They utilized special hunting strategies. Compared to Neanderthals and earlier humans. Gravettian hunters appear to be more complex and mobile. They lived in caves, semi-subterranean areas, or both. Typically arranged in small “villages”. Gravettian rounded dwellings were even found.
Gravettians were adaptable. It is thought that they may have innovated tools and technology. Such as blunted-back knives, tanged arrowheads and boomerangs. Other developments included the use of woven nets and oil lamps made of stone.

Gravettian Range
Gravettian culture extends across a large geographic region. Scientists usually divide two areas of Gravettians. West and Central Europe; and eastern. During this time. The west and central Europe were extremely cold. The west Gravettians became mostly known from cave sites in France, Spain and Britain. While the eastern Gravettian in Central Europe and Russia. Were more known as specialized mammoth hunters. There remains were not necessarily found in caves, but open air sites.

Did you know? Surviving Gravettian art includes numerous cave paintings and small, portable Venus figurines made from clay or ivory, as well as jewelry objects. They created figurines and engraved objects, often depicting animals such as mammoths, horses, and lions. These artworks were typically made from bone, ivory, or stone and showcase a high level of artistic skill.

Present day Moravia is suggested as a closely related Gravettian era landscape
For example, animals remains demonstrate both decorative and utilitarian purposes. Bones and hides were used for shelters here. Fox teeth were used for decoration, and horse ribs and others for pelt preparation and other tools. Like pointers, knives, arrow points and fish hooks.

During this period. Animals were a primary food source. Because of the cooler temperatures. Humans preferred food sources high in energy and fat content. Picture prehistoric beef jerky. The more north you went, studies on dietary remains reveal greater emphasis on meat. Versus neanderthals, who went extinct earlier. Gravettians developed the technology and societal organization that enabled them to migrate with food.

Evidence suggests they following the seasonal movements of game animals. Gravettians were smart hunters. They tended to settle near valleys where prey mingled and migrated. Like Klithi in Greece. It allowed them to travel less distances. Specifically, another site, La Gala, in southern Italy. While the temperature from nearby hills and mountains was cooling, it forced the deer in. Thereby allowing the crews and groups big catch.
Discoveries also include a prehistoric trapping net. In the Czech Republic. A 4 mm (0.16 in) thick rope was preserved on clay imprints. Weaving of the nets must have been a community task. Relying on the work of both women, men and families.

Move with the herds; and, characteristics of hides
Diets incorporated a huge variety of animal prey. The main factors were animal’s age and size. For example, for common animals such as deer. One year olds were more suitable for clothing, while older ones contained more meat. Dietary analysis also showed larger animals such as hyenas, wolves, reindeer, and mammoth were ate.
It has even been show, foxes, hares and smaller mammals were caught with nets. The time period must have emphasized large meat consumption. Agriculture had not been fully documents or introduced. And, the areas and climate was not yet favorable.

Sea food
Coastal Gravettians were able to avail of marine protein. From remains found in Italy and Wales, carbon dating reveals that 20-30% of Gravettian diets of coastal peoples consisted of sea animals. Populations of lower latitudes relied more on shellfish and fish while higher latitudes’ diets consisted of seals.

Physical type
Physical remains of people of the Gravettian have revealed that males were tall, relatively slender people with high cheekbones. The male height of the Gravettian culture burial at Sungir, Russia, was around 6 feet and 150lbs. Females were shorter, around 5 foot 2 and 119 lb.

During the post glacial period (about 22,000 years ago), evidence of the culture begins to disappear. Except for areas around the Mediterranean. Where some elements lasted until c. 17,000 BP. In Spain and France, Gravettian was succeeded by Solutrean. In Italy, the Balkans, Ukraine and Russia. The culture developed into the Epigravettian.

Suggesting a belief in the afterlife. The culture is also associated with the development of some early forms of ritual and burial practices. Burial sites have been found. The deceased were often laid to rest with grave goods, such as tools, ornaments, and animal remains.

Overall, the Gravettian culture represents an important phase in human prehistory, characterized by significant advancements in tool technology, artistic expression, and social complexity. It provides valuable insights into the lives and behaviors of early modern humans in Europe during the pre-neolithic and upper Paleolithic period.


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Cave sites in France (

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