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A computer-generated image of a Cro-Magnon, based on skulls found by archaeologists
1916 reconstruction of the elderly Cro-Magnon 1

The earliest known Cro-Magnon remains are between 35,000 and 45,000 years old,[1][2] based on radiometric dating. The oldest remains, from 43,000 – 45,000 years ago, were found in Italy[2] and Britain.[3] Other remains also show that Cro-Magnons reached the Russian Arctic about 40,000 years ago.[4][5]

Cro-Magnons had powerful bodies, which were usually heavy and solid with strong muscles. Unlike Neanderthals, which had slanted foreheads, the Cro-Magnons had straight foreheads, like modern humans. Their faces were short and wide with a large chin. Their brains were slightly larger than the average human's is today.[6][7]

Naming[change | change source]

The name "Cro-Magnon" was created by Louis Lartet, who discovered the first Cro-Magnon skull in southwestern France in 1868. He called the place where he found the skull Abri de Cro-Magnon.[8] Abri means "rock shelter" in French;[8] cro means "hole" in the Occitan language;[9] and "Magnon" was the name of the person who owned the land where Lartet found the skull.[10] Basically, Cro-Magnon means "rock shelter in a hole on Magnon's land."

This is why scientists now use the term "European early modern humans" instead of "Cro-Magnons." In taxonomy, the term "Cro-Magnon" means nothing.[1]

Cro-Magnon life[change | change source]

Cave painting from the Upper Paleolithic period, found in Lascaux, France

Like most early humans, the Cro-Magnons mostly hunted large animals. For example, they killed mammoths, cave bears, horses, and reindeer for food.[11] They hunted with spears, javelins, and spear-throwers. They also ate fruits from plants.

The Cro-Magnons were nomadic or semi-nomadic. This means that instead of living in just one place, they followed the migration of the animals they wanted to hunt. They may have built hunting camps from mammoth bones; some of these camps were found in a village in the Ukraine.[12][13] They also made shelters from rocks, clay, tree branches, and animal skin (leather).[13]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fagan, B.M. (1996). The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 864. ISBN 978-0-19-507618-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Early dispersal of modern humans in Europe and implications for Neanderthal behaviour". Nature. 479 (7374): 525–8. Bibcode:2011Natur.479..525B. doi:10.1038/nature10617. PMID 22048311. Unknown parameter |lauthor= ignored (help)
  3. Higham T; Compton T; et al. 2011. "The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe". Nature. 479 (7374): 521–4. Bibcode:2011Natur.479..521H. doi:10.1038/nature10484. PMID 22048314.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Pavlov P; Svendsen JI; et al. 2001. "Human presence in the European Arctic nearly 40,000 years ago". Nature. 413 (6851): 64–7. doi:10.1038/35092552. PMID 11544525.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. Svendsen JI; Pavlov P 2003. "Mamontovaya Kurya: An enigmatic, nearly 40 000 years old Paleolithic site in the Russian Arctic" (PDF). Trabalhos de Arqueologia. 33: 109–120. doi:10.1038/35092552. PMID 11544525. Retrieved February 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. "Cro-Magnon". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved February 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. Stringer C. 2012. What makes a modern human. Nature 485 (7396): 33–35. [1]
  8. 8.0 8.1 (in French) "Mode de vie au paleolithique superieur". (cached). Retrieved February 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. Geuljans, Robert (July 5, 2011). "Cros". Dictionnaire Etymologique de la Langue D’Oc. Retrieved February 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. Hitchcock, Don (January 3, 2016). "The Cro-Magnon Shelter". Don’s Maps: Resources for the study of Palaeolithic / Paleolithic European, Russian and Australian Archaeology / Archeology. Retrieved February 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. "Bones from French Cave Show Neanderthals, Cro-Magnon Hunted Same Prey". ScienceDaily. University of Washington. September 23, 2003. Retrieved February 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. Dan Koehl. "The Cro Magnon man (Homo sapiens sapiens) Anatomically Modern or Early Modern Humans". Retrieved February 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Pidoplichko, I.H. (1998). Upper Palaeolithic dwellings of mammoth bones in the Ukraine: Kiev-Kirillovskii, Gontsy, Dobranichevka, Mezin and Mezhirich. Oxford: J. and E. Hedges. ISBN 0-86054-949-6.