Magdalenian culture [Мадленська культура; Madlenska kultura]. The last of the cultures of the Paleolithic Period in Europe, named after the rock shelter of La Madeleine in France. It lasted in Ukraine from approximately the 20th to the 8th millennium BC. People of the Magdalenian culture engaged in hunting, gathering, and fishing. They lived a semi-nomadic life in loose tribal groupings with a matriarchal structure. Their dwellings consisted of conical huts made from animal skins placed on a frame of large bones (occasionally wood) and secured by stones and bones. Their flint technology, while still primitive, had become more sophisticated than in earlier eras. Notable artistic developments took place during this time, especially as seen in sculpture (particularly female figurines carved out of mammoth tusks) and (cave) paintings of the period. Important Magdalenian culture sites in Ukraine include the Molodove archeological site, Mizyn archeological site, Hintsi archeological site, Mezhyrich archeological site, Dobranichivka archeological site, and Kyrylivska archeological site.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]