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Felix Riede

House of cards: cultural taxonomy and the study of the European Upper Palaeolithic

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A fundamental element of Upper Palaeolithic archaeological practice is cultural taxonomy—the definition and description of taxonomic units that group assemblages according to their material culture and geographic and chronological distributions. The derived taxonomies, such as Aurignacian, Gravettian and Magdalenian, are used as units of analysis in many research questions and interpretations. The evidential and theoretical bases defining these taxonomic units, however, are generally lacking. Here, the authors review the current state of Upper Palaeolithic cultural taxonomy and make recommendations for the long-term improvement of the situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1350-1358
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

    Research areas

  • archaeological theory, cultural taxonomy, Europe, systematics, Upper Palaeolithic

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