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[awr-in-yey-shuh n]
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  1. of, belonging to, or typical of an Upper Paleolithic industry with characteristic stone and bone artifacts that is distributed from western France to eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Origin of Aurignacian

First recorded in 1910–15; Aurignac + -ian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aurignacian

Historical Examples

  • I cannot here dwell at length on the triumphs of Aurignacian and Magdalenian artistry.

    Progress and History


  • The interment (for such it was) had taken place in the Aurignacian period.

    Prehistoric Man

    W. L. H. Duckworth

  • But the interment is considered to be later, and of Aurignacian antiquity.

    Prehistoric Man

    W. L. H. Duckworth

  • That work also helps to re-establish the Aurignacian horizon and period as distinctive.

    Prehistoric Man

    W. L. H. Duckworth

  • An Aurignacian 'loess' station is that of Willendorf, Austria.

    Men of the Old Stone Age

    Henry Fairfield Osborn

British Dictionary definitions for aurignacian


  1. of, relating to, or produced during a flint culture of the Upper Palaeolithic type characterized by the use of bone and antler tools, pins, awls, etc, and also by cave art and evidence of the beginnings of religion

Word Origin

C20: from French Aurignacien, after Aurignac, France, in the Pyrenees, near which is the cave where remains were discovered
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

aurignacian in Science


[ôr′ĭg-nāshən, ôr′ēn-yā-]
  1. Relating to an Upper Paleolithic culture in Europe between the Mousterian and Solutrean cultures, dating from around 32,000 to 25,000 years ago and characterized by flaked stone, bone, and antler tools such as scrapers, awls, and burins (engraving tools). Aurignacian culture is associated with Cro-Magnon populations and is especially noted for its well-developed art tradition, including engraved and sculpted animal forms and female figurines thought to be fertility objects. The earliest fully developed cave art, such as the painted animals in the Lascaux cave in southwest France, dates from this period.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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