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date: 16 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Today, five broad stages can be discerned over the 35 000 years of the European Upper Palaeolithic; the Initial, Early, Mid, Late and Terminal Upper Palaeolithic. Although it is unclear whether some assemblages of the Initial Upper Palaeolithic were made by Neanderthals, it is clear that Early Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Upper Palaeolithic, Late Upper Palaeolithic and Terminal Upper Palaeolithic assemblages were produced by Homo sapiens. Although a number of behaviourally modern traits can be recognized in the earliest assemblages, a degree of development is noticeable, particularly between the Early Upper Palaeolithic and Middle Upper Palaeolithic. The broad period is reviewed here holistically, including human dispersals, lithic and organic technology, art, burial and other mortuary activity.

Keywords: Palaeolithic, lithics, art, burial, caves, Homo sapiens, Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition

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