Explore the site
The remains of Magdalenian camps at Étiolles have been perfectly preserved in deposits left by the flooding of the Seine. Their remarkable state of preservation has made it possible to gain a rare level of understanding of the way of life of these nomadic hunter-gatherers.
The Magdalenians in their camps
The high level of preservation of the archaeological levels at Étiolles enables us to understand the behaviour of Magdalenians in successive camps. It also allows us to make detailed comparisons of behaviour during different occupations. While much remained the same in successive camps, we can see subtle differences in the intensity of the activities of these nomadic groups and in the way they organised the spaces in which they lived.
More insights into the Magdalenian way of life
Near Étiolles and elsewhere in Europe there are other equally well-preserved sites which help further our understanding of Magdalenian culture.
Magdalenian sites of the Bassin parisien
Map of the Magdalenian sites identified and studied in the Basin parisien.
Media & Resources
Partially refitted core. This block of flint was knapped in habitation W11, one of the oldest at Étiolles. The sizes of the blades produced on it were exceptional: the knapper extracted a crested blade nearly 50 cm long and a series of very long blades between 30 and 40 cm long. Several blades haven’t been found as they were taken away from the camp. Upper Palaeolithic, Magdalenian, around 12,500 BCE, Étiolles (Essonne), “Les Coudray”. Conserved at the Musée de Préhistoire d’Île-de France (Seine-et-Marne). Property of the department of Essonne. Find out more at: www.musee-prehistoire-idf.fr/nucleus-en-silex
Digital production Summum 3D © Ministère de la Culture and musée de Préhistoire d'Île-de-France
The first flint scatter discovered
Flint scatter uncovered during the preliminary excavation in 1971. Around the flint scatter are the tips of large stone slabs belonging to habitation W11, which was excavated in 1972.
Photo © Club archéologique de la Snecma