Cro-Magnon

/kroh mag"neuhn, -non, -man"yeuhn/, n.
1. an Upper Paleolithic population of humans, regarded as the prototype of modern Homo sapiens in Europe. Skeletal remains found in an Aurignacian cave in southern France indicate that the Cro-Magnon had long heads, broad faces, and sunken eyes, and reached a height of approximately 5 ft. 9 in. (175 cm). See illus. under hominid.
2. a member of the Cro-Magnon population.
[1865-70; named after the cave (near Périgueux, France) where the first remains were found]

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Population of anatomically modern Homo sapiens dating from the Upper Paleolithic Period (с 35,000–10,000 BC).

First discovered in 1868 at the Cro-Magnon rock shelter in the Dordogne region in southern France, the human skeletons that came to be called Cro-Magnon are now considered representative of humans at that time. Cro-Magnons were relatively more robust and powerful than today's humans, with a somewhat larger brain capacity. The Cro-Magnons are generally associated with the Aurignacian tool industry and artistic tradition (see Aurignacian culture). Cro-Magnons seem to have been a settled people, living in caves or primitive huts and lean-tos, moving only when necessary to find new hunting or because of environmental changes. It is difficult to determine how long the Cro-Magnons lasted and what happened to them; presumably they were gradually absorbed into the European populations that came later.

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 population of early Homo sapiens dating from the Upper Paleolithic Period (c. 40,000 to c. 10,000 years ago) in Europe.

      In 1868, in a shallow cave at Cro-Magnon near the town of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, a number of obviously ancient human skeletons were found. The cave was investigated by the French geologist Édouard Lartet (Lartet, Édouard Armand Isidore Hippolyte), who uncovered five archaeological layers. The human bones found in the topmost layer proved to be between 10,000 and 35,000 years old. The prehistoric humans revealed by this find were called Cro-Magnon and have since been considered, along with Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis), to be representative of prehistoric humans.

      Cro-Magnons were robustly built and powerful and are presumed to have been about 166 to 171 cm (about 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 7 inches) tall. The body was generally heavy and solid, apparently with strong musculature. The forehead was straight, with slight browridges, and the face short and wide. Cro-Magnons were the first humans (genus Homo) to have a prominent chin. The brain capacity was about 1,600 cc (100 cubic inches), somewhat larger than the average for modern humans. It is thought that Cro-Magnons were probably fairly tall compared with other early human species.

 It is still hard to say precisely where Cro-Magnons belong in recent human evolution, but they had a culture that produced a variety of sophisticated tools such as retouched blades, end scrapers, “nosed” scrapers, the chisel-like tool known as a burin, and fine bone tools (see Aurignacian culture). They also seem to have made tools for smoothing and scraping leather. Some Cro-Magnons have been associated with the Gravettian industry, or Upper Perigordian industry, which is characterized by an abrupt retouching technique that produces tools with flat backs. Cro-Magnon dwellings are most often found in deep caves and in shallow caves formed by rock overhangs, although primitive huts, either lean-tos against rock walls or those built completely from stones, have been found. The rock shelters were used year-round; the Cro-Magnons seem to have been a settled people, moving only when necessary to find new hunting or because of environmental changes.

 Like the Neanderthals, the Cro-Magnon people buried their dead. The first examples of art by prehistoric peoples are Cro-Magnon. The Cro-Magnons carved and sculpted small engravings, reliefs, and statuettes not only of humans but also of animals. Their human figures generally depict large-breasted, wide-hipped, and often obviously pregnant women, from which it is assumed that these figures had significance in fertility rites. Numerous depictions of animals are found in Cro-Magnon cave paintings throughout France and Spain at sites such as Lascaux (Lascaux Grotto), Eyzies-de-Tayac (Eyzies-de-Tayac caves), and Altamira, and some of them are surpassingly beautiful. It is thought that these paintings had some magic or ritual importance to the people. From the high quality of their art, it is clear that Cro-Magnons were not primitive amateurs but had previously experimented with artistic mediums and forms. Decorated tools and weapons show that they appreciated art for aesthetic purposes as well as for religious reasons.

      It is difficult to determine how long the Cro-Magnons lasted and what happened to them. Presumably they were gradually absorbed into the European populations that came later. Individuals with some Cro-Magnon characteristics, commonly called Cro-Magnoids, have been found in the Mesolithic Period (8000 to 5000 BC) and the Neolithic Period (5000 to 2000 BC).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cro-Magnon — Cro Magnon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Crô-Magnon — Crô Ma|gnon auch: Crô Mag|non 〈[kromanjɔ̃:] f. 19; unz.〉 = Cromagnon * * * Cro Magnon   [kroma ɲɔ̃], Abri (Halbhöhle) im Vézèretal bei Les Eyzies de Tayac im Département Dordogne, Frankreich. Im Abri Cro Magnon wurden 1868 altpaläolitische… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cro-Magnon 1 — Catalog number: Cro Magnon 1 Species: Homo Sapiens Age: 30,000 Place discovered: France Date discovered: 1868 Discovered by: Louis Lartet …   Wikipedia

  • Cro-magnon — prop. n. 1. a race of human like hominids of the Upper Paleolithic in Europe, considered of the same species as modern humans ({Homo sapiens}). Their skeletal remains were found mostly in southern France. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] 2. a member of the Cro …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cro-Magnon — o Cromañón (de «Cro Magnon», abrigo rocoso al suroeste de Francia) V. «hombre de Cro Magnon [o Cromañón]» …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cro-Magnon — (spr. manjóng), Höhle im Tal der Vezère bei Les Eysies, franz. Dep. Dordogne, mit Skelett und andern Resten einer Ansiedelung, angeblich der paläolithischen (diluvialen) Zeit (Hypothese einer Cro Magnon Rasse); von andern der neolithischen Zeit… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cro-Magnon — abri sous roche de la com. française des Eyzies de Tayac (Dordogne) où furent découverts, en 1868, plus. squelettes humains datant d env. 30 000 av. J. C. (l homme de Cro Magnon) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cro-Magnon — [krō mag′nən, krōman′yən] adj. [after the Cro Magnon cave, Dordogne department, SW France, where remains were discovered] belonging to a prehistoric, Caucasoid type of human who lived on the European continent, distinguished by tallness and erect …   English World dictionary

  • Cro-Magnon — ⇒ Anthropogenese …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • Cro-Magnon — → Cromañón …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • Cro Magnon — 1869, from the name of a hill in Dordogne department of France, where in a cave prehistoric human remains were found in 1868 …   Etymology dictionary


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