CLACTONIAN: An early flake-tool culture of Europe, dating from the early Mindel-Riss (Great interglacial) of the Pleistocene epoch, which occurred from 1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago. It was named after discoveries at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England. A kind of concave scraper, perhaps used to smooth and shape wooden spears, is typical of the Clactonian industry. Apart from the tip of a wooden spear, the artifacts consist of trimmed flint flakes and chipped pebbles, some of which can be classified as chopper tools. Hand axes were absent. The Clactonian seems, therefore, to have coexisted with the early Acheulian. Some believe that the two industries are quite distinct, while others maintain that both assemblages might have been made by the same people, and that the Clactonian could in theory be an Acheulian industry from which hand axes were absent because such tools were not needed for the jobs carried out at a particular site. Clactonian and related industries are distributed throughout the north European plain, and Clactonian tools are similar in appearance to those produced in the Soan industry of Pakistan and in several sites in eastern and southern Africa. The Tayacian industry of France and Israel is believed to be a smaller edition of the Clactonian.