The Upper Paleolithic period in Europe (40,000-20,000 years ago) was a time of great change, with a blossoming of human capabilities and a huge increase in the number of sites and the size and complexity of those sites.
This list of Upper Paleolithic sites in Europe was created for the About.com Guide to Prehistoric Europe. See the Guide to the Upper Paleolithic for more information on this fascinating period in human history.
The site of Arene Candide is a large cave located on the Ligurian coast of Italy near Savona. The site includes eight hearths, and the intentional burial of an adolescent male with a large number of grave goods, nicknamed "Il Principe" (The Prince), dated to the Upper Paleolithic (Gravettian) period.
Balma Guilanyà is a rockshelter that was occupied by Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers about 10,000-12,000 years ago, located near the city of Solsona in the Catalonia region of Spain
Bilancino is an Upper Paleolithic (Gravettian) open air site located in the Mugallo region of central Italy, which appears to have been occupied during the summer near a marsh or wetland some 25,000 years ago.
Chauvet Cave is one of the oldest rock art sites in the world, dating to the Aurignacian period in France, about 30,000-32,000 years ago. The site is located in the Pont-d'Arc Valley of Ardèche, France. Paintings in the cave include animals (reindeer, horses, aurochs, rhinocerus, buffalo), hand prints, and a series of dots
Dolní Vĕstonice is a site on the Dyje River in the Czech Republic, where Upper Paleolithic (Gravettian) artifacts, burials, hearths and structural remains dated about 30,000 years ago have been found.
Diuktai Cave (also spelled Dyuktai) is an archaeological site on the Aldan River, a tributary of the Lena in eastern Siberia, occupied by a group that may have been ancestral to some Paleoarctic people of North America. Dates on the occupations range between 33,000 and 10,000 years ago.