Cro-Magnon

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A computer-generated image of a Cro-Magnon, based on skulls found by archaeologists

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]

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.[7] Abri means "rock shelter" in French;[7] cro means "hole" in the Occitan language;[8] and "Magnon" was the name of the person who owned the land where Lartet found the skull.[9] 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 the scientific system which puts living things into categories, the term "Cro-Magnon" means nothing.[1]

Cro-Magnon life[change | change source]

Anatomy[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.[10] They hunted with spears, javelins, and spear-throwers. They also ate things that came 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.[11][12] They also made shelters from rocks, clay, tree branches, and animal fur.[12]

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. p. 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. doi:10.1038/nature10617. PMID 22048311. 
  3. Higham T; Compton T; et al. 2011. "The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe". Nature 479 (7374): 521–4. doi:10.1038/nature10484. PMID 22048314. 
  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. 
  5. Svendsen JI; Pavlov P 2003. "Mamontovaya Kurya: An enigmatic, nearly 40 000 years old Paleolithic site in the Russian Arctic". Trabalhos de Arqueologia 33: 109-120. doi:10.1038/35092552. PMID 11544525. https://notendur.hi.is/oi/AG-326%202006%20readings/Russian%20Arctic/Svendsen_MAMMOTH2003.pdf. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  6. "Cro-Magnon". Britannica.com. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 (French) "Mode de vie au paleolithique superieur". archive.wikiwix.com (cached). Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  8. Geuljans, Robert (July 5, 2011). "Cros". etymologie-occitane.fr. Dictionnaire Etymologique de la Langue D’Oc. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  9. 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.
  10. "Bones from French Cave Show Neanderthals, Cro-Magnon Hunted Same Prey". ScienceDaily. University of Washington. September 23, 2003. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  11. Dan Koehl. "The Cro Magnon man (Homo sapiens sapiens) Anatomically Modern or Early Modern Humans". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  12. 12.0 12.1 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.