1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Terra Amata (France)


Definition: Terra Amata is an Acheulean tradition Lower Paleolithic site located on the Mediterranean coast of southern France near the modern town of Nice. The site, excavated by Henry de Lumley of the Institut de Paléontologie Humaine in the mid-nineteen sixties, is located on a series of fossil beaches, and contains several occupation floors including evidence of small oval huts with central hearths.

Thermoluminescence dates taken on the floors revealed a date of approximately 380,000 years ago, making Terra Amata one of the oldest known examples of a site with prepared living structures.


de Lumley, Henry 1969 A Paleolithic camp at Nice. Scientific American 22:033-41.

Villa, Paola 1982 Conjoinable pieces and site formation processes. American Antiquity 47:276-310.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.