View Full Version : The Azilian Question

Saturday, November 19th, 2005, 04:04 PM
The Azilian techno-complex is a poorer and less polished, generally far inferior remnant of the Magdalénians with definite roots in Europe, unlike the Capsians and Natufians of the Levantine Epipaleolithic and their offshoots in Iberia and SW Russia. Its eponymous site is located in the Pyrenees. Traditionally is thought that the Cardials were seafaring Atlanto-Mediterreneans but a village site in South France brought doubt this generally accepted theory:


Interestingly the Mesolithics in Occitania belonged to a subraceclose to the Atlanto-Mediterrenean race , albeit slighter finer-build. However, its presence in Occitania and Liguria would be formed independent from the Levant and these regions show from the Mesolithic into the Early Neolithic more or less racial homogeinity.

While the use of microliths might have been introduced by Capsians and the Azilian arose from mutual contacts, other sources point out that southern influences degraded in later stages by greater use of bone material and rapid regionalisation of this industry.

The Magdalénians dispensed to a certain degree lithic material for manufacturing bone kits. They hunted reindeers and horses over great distances, they show a remarkeable fitness to svelte mobility and wander treks over vast territories. From the moment the glaciers retreated, they took full advantage of the free coming lands to migrate due north, covering Great Britain, Germany and the North European Plain. Anyway, the wide distribution of the Magdalénian tribes didn't inhibite them to maintain long distance contacts and exchanges(e.g. prestige gifts, cult objects...).

The Azilians continued the traditions of their ancestors. Microliths were important insofar it granted greater control and manipulation of the environment, small game replaced megafauna thatby the cataclysms of the Younger Dryas was lead to extinction in Europe.It suited a survival strategy, induced a shift in subsistence and new resources came in their scope. Microliths tells us more than anything else on socio-economic problems in that era.

As a side note, the beginning of microliths are now searched in the Iberomaurisians, though the Capsians elaborated the technique. The origin of the Magdalénians is a bit clouded in mystery, some regard it as a sudden transformation from Gravettian, others hint that it's initial distribution overlaps the Solustréan.

The Solustréans disappeared all the sudden, one theory says they crossed the Atlantic Ocean, very much like the travel mode of Eskimos, along the board of glaciers, and landed in North America, where they would give rise to the Clovis culture. Others could have remained closer to home. Tanged and barbed pressure-flaked points of the North African Atherian have been found in Solustréan deposits. Why wouldn't they dare to seek refuge in North Africa and take possession of the Atherian industry? Maybe this is the source of the Iberomaurisians... SW European colonizers.

Crossing the Street of Gibraltar and remaining stuck in Iberia is not really a big untertaking and maybe some residual racial memory lingered in their mind, the need to return to their point of origin. Eventually, they passed on more their techniques and products of workmanship over to the natives than anything else.

Coon states that the Neolithic population of North Africa beared more resemblance to Téviec and Mugem than with e.g. the Nile Delta people. The wanderlust of Solustréans and Magdalénians knowing, it's time to contemplate the obscured waves of UP and Mesolithic Europeans due south.

The Capsians must have send out prospecting missions before they ever engaged to break away for Europe or their ancestry somehow is linked with Europe. It's alerting that they likely entered Iberia along the Atlantic coast, it shows familiarity with the "terrain", the Iberian Atlantic coast is tricky due its difficult tidal waters, it acquires native seamanship and use of appropiate boat build.

Mesolithic living is grounded in exploiting the known environment and making optimal use of the avaliable resources, it derives from exhaustive knowledge of the local habitat and observing, studying and controlling the resource distribution(cfr. Stephen J.Mithen's chapter on the Mesolithic Age, in Prehistoric Europe.An Illustrated History (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0192854410/104-6018538-3079160?v=glance&n=283155&v=glance)).

John Gray regards hunter-gathering communities as highly mobile, but "their life does not require continious movement into new territory. Their survival depends on knowing a local milieu down to its last details. Farming multiplies human numbers. It thereby compels farmers to expand the land they work. Farming and the search for new lands are linked together."

(Straw Dogs. Thoughts on humans and other animals (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/1862075123/positiontec00-21/ref%3Dnosim/302-4415839-4538459)).

Interestingly, Hunter/Gatherers communities live according a pattern of fusion and fission. The community gather together in the winter months on the lowlands and seperate in small bands during the Summer, scattering over the uplands. It's a seasonal movement, however since it concerns the community as a whole one could it describe as seasonal and communal, although the latter is reserved for the Neolithic farming columns(cfr. founding fathers, etc...).

The Cardials or Impressed Ceramic People of the Early Neolithic were also characterized by seasonal and communal movement, and their lifeways relied generally on a riparian diet and hunting small game but also bears and deers, in other words, a typical mesolithic diet.

Saturday, November 19th, 2005, 04:47 PM
How would you classify the leptodolichomorphic people inside the original Berber stock, would you relate them to Atlantomediterranids, like some very general approaches of especially French anthropologists did it even in the 1970's (they saw as basic elements in NA those Atlantomediterranids, Mechta-Afalou type (classic Cromagnoid Berberids), classic Mediterranids (Gracil-), Alpinids and Nordids - with varying degrees of Negroid admixture.
Which relation do Atlantomediterranids have in your opinion?

And, quite important and distantly related, would you see tendencies foreign to Europe and partly Negroid in the Mugem population and similar Natufids?