Definitions for abbevillianæbˌvɪl i ən, -ˈvɪl yən, ˌæb əˈvɪl-
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Of, or relating to any of various early Paleolithic sites, particularly in Europe, that are characterized by the presence of bifacial stone axes.
The earliest epoch of the early Paleolithic stage or tradition characterized by the presence of bifacial stone axes, especially in Europe.
Origin: Name derived from Abbeville, France (location of the archaeological sites).
Abbevillian is a currently obsolescent name for a tool tradition that is increasingly coming to be called Oldowan. The original artifacts were collected from road construction sites on the Somme river near Abbeville by a French customs officer, Boucher de Perthes. He published his findings in 1836. Subsequently Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet, professor of prehistoric anthropology at the School of Anthropology in Paris, published "Le Prehistorique, antiquité de l'homme", in which he was the first to characterize periods by the name of a site. Many of his names are still in use. His first two were Chellean and Acheulean. Chellean included artifacts discovered at the town of Chelles, a suburb of Paris. They are similar to those found at Abbeville. Later anthropologists substituted Abbevillian for Chellean, the latter which is no longer in use.
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