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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

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

Anatomy

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 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.[11][12] They also made shelters from rocks, clay, tree branches, and animal fur.[12]

Related pages

References

  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. 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". Encyclopaedia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/topic/Cro-Magnon. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 (in French) "Mode de vie au paleolithique superieur". http://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=http://prehisto.ifrance.com/viesup.htm&title=Mode%20de%20vie%20au%20paléolithique%20supérieur. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  8. Geuljans, Robert (July 5, 2011). "Cros". Dictionnaire Etymologique de la Langue D’Oc. http://www.etymologie-occitane.fr/2011/07/cros/. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  9. Hitchcock, Don (January 3, 2016). "The Cro-Magnon Shelter". http://donsmaps.com/cromagnon.html. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  10. "Bones from French Cave Show Neanderthals, Cro-Magnon Hunted Same Prey". University of Washington. September 23, 2003. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030923065212.htm. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  11. Dan Koehl. "The Cro Magnon man (Homo sapiens sapiens) Anatomically Modern or Early Modern Humans". http://www.elephant.se/cro-magnon.php. 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 .