The Epipaleolithic is a term used for the "final Upper Palaeolithic industries occurring at the end of the final glaciation which appear to merge technologically into the Mesolithic". [Bahn, Paul, "The Penguin Archaeology Guide", Penguin, London, pp. 141. ISBN 0-14-051448-1]

The term is sometimes confused with Mesolithic, and the two are sometimes used as synonyms. Yet, when a distinction is made, Epipaleolithic is used for those cultures that were not much affected by the ending of the Ice Age (like the Natufian culture of Western Asia [ [http://search.eb.com/eb/article-10760 agriculture, origins of] . (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online.] ) and the term Mesolithic is reserved for Western Europe where the extinction of the Megafauna had a great impact of the paleolithic populations at the end of the Ice Age (like European post-glacial cultures: Azilian, Sauveterrian, Tardenoisian, Maglemosian, etc.).

The term is some times used in the opposite meaning, Alfonso Moure says in this respect:

"In the language of Prehistorical Archaeology, the most extended trend is to use the term "Epipaleolithic" for the industrial complexes of the post-glacial hunter-gatherer groups. Inversely, those that are in transitional ways towards artificial production of food are inscribed in the "Mesolithic" [A. Moure "El Origen del Hombre", 1999. ISBN 84-7679-127-5]

Epipalaeolithic hunter-gatherers made relatively advanced tools made from small flint or obsidian blades, known as microliths that were hafted in wooden implements. They were generally nomadic.


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  • Epipaleolithic — /ep euh pay lee euh lith ik, pal ee /, adj. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the human cultures existing at the end of the Paleolithic and the beginnings of the Mesolithic periods of the Stone Age. [1920 25; EPI + PALEOLITHIC] * * * …   Universalium

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  • Epipaleolithic — noun middle part of the Stone Age beginning about 15,000 years ago • Syn: ↑Mesolithic Age, ↑Mesolithic • Instance Hypernyms: ↑time period, ↑period of time, ↑period • Part Holonyms: ↑Ston …   Useful english dictionary

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