ABBEVILLIAN: Name for the period of the earliest hand-ax industries of Europe, taken from Abbeville, the type site near the mouth of the River Somme in northern France. The site is a gravel pit in which crudely chipped oval or pear-shaped hand axes were discovered, probably dating to the Mindel glaciation. This was one of the key places which showed that man was of great antiquity. In 1939, Abbé Breuil proposed the name Abbevillian for both the hand ax and the industry, which preceded the Acheulian in Europe.
|Abbevillian biface flake from the Douro river region near Valladolid, Spain|