Site Name
Site Type
Site Function
Time Period
  • Researched sites
  • Wikipedia sites
  • Unconfirmed sites
Age MinAge Max
Abri AudiFranceShelter
Abric AgutSpain
Abric RomaniSpainCave44000110000
Abri de Cap BlancFranceShelter
Abri de Cro-MagnonFranceShelter
Abri de FontfroideFranceShelter
Abri de la MadeleineFranceShelter
Abri de LausselFranceShelter
Abri de Raymonden IFranceShelter
Abri des FieuxFranceShelter

What are "Sites" according to Gignos?

Gignos is a catalog of archaeological sites which are defined traditionally as a place of historic or prehistoric significance that contain specimens or evidence of human activity which is preserved. The Gignos catalog is focused on archaeological sites that are older than 10K years and classified as pre-historic.

Archaeological finds can consist of a single specimen to hundreds of thousands of specimens from a locality. The term Site is loosely used in our context to represent a very specific location where a single specimen was found as well as a broader grouping of locations where many specimens were found.[1]

Why 10,000 years old?

10,000 years old is a nice round number! It also signifies a period of time when the human world was in transition. At approximately 10,000 years ago the last ice age was coming to a close, and Homo sapiens were the last remaining hominid branch to make it through the gauntlet of our evolutionary human family tree.

How many 10,000 year old Archaeological Sites are there on planet earth?

The short answer is that so far Gignos knows about roughly 477 sites. Of those 477 sites we have published 15 with rich content pages. The long answer is that we don't know and there are likely thousands upon thousands of sites that are waiting to be discovered. We hope to help everyone discover more information about existing known sites, and we hope that those discoveries will lead us to more undiscovered sites.

What are Paleoanthropological Archaeology Sites?

Paleoanthropological archaeology sites are locations where evidence of early human activity and evolution has been found. These sites can include places where ancient human fossils have been discovered, as well as areas where stone tools and other artifacts from early human cultures have been found.

Paleoanthropological archaeology sites are often found in regions with a long history of human occupation, such as Africa, Asia, and Europe. These sites are important for understanding the development of human cultures and societies over time, as well as the physical and biological evolution of our species. Researchers who study these sites are known as paleoanthropologists, and they use a variety of techniques, such as radiocarbon dating and analysis of stone tools and other artifacts, to learn about the lives of our ancestors.

Recently Added Sites

Lang Rongrien Rock Shelter

Lang Rongrien (Thai: หลังโรงเรียน, lit. 'behind the school') is a rock shelter and Hoabinhian habitation site in the upland region of Krabi province in west-coast southern Thailand. The site is of the Pleistocene, early Holocene archaeological time frame. Excavations at the site began in 1974, and primary research was headed by Douglas Anderson. Though this rock shelter site is not as large as some others, it is archaeologically rich in its findings. Some of the sediment at the site was disturbed by soil collections, but not enough to have ruined the more impressive archaeological finds. The site is located within the Krabi River valley, in a somewhat hard-to-reach area that can only be accessed from a steep trail below the rock shelter, or a narrow ridge that approaches the rock shelter from the north. Radiocarbon dating at the site has put the evidence from between 39,000 and 28,000 years before present.

Hoabinhian habitation sites are most often found in rock shelters and are found all across southeast Asia.  The Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers who lived at the Lang Rongrien rock shelter used the site as a temporary habitation site, inhabited on a seasonal basis. There are multiple generations of inhabitants at Lang Rongrien. The oldest use for the rock shelter was as a campground for hunters in the late Pleistocene epoch. In the early Holocene epoch the rock shelter was also used for habitation. The last time the site was inhabited about 4,000 years ago it was used again as a campground, but was also used as a grave site. All of these distinct periods of habitation at the rock shelter contain periods of time in-between when no one seemingly inhabited the site at all.

The dating at Lang Rongrien was done by radiocarbon dating pieces of charcoal that come from the stratigraphic layers. The oldest pieces of charcoal found in the lowermost layers where human habitation is seen have been dated to around 39,000 years ago. A piece of charcoal found in the 7th layer has been dated to almost 45,000 years ago, but this is likely because it came from the roof fall, and does not indicate anything about human habitation at this site. Charcoal pieces from the upper layers have been dated to about 9,000 years ago. The most recent dates from the site come from pieces of pottery found with the burial goods and are placed at an age of 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

Spirit Cave

Spirit Cave (Thai: ถ้ำผีแมน, Tham Phii Man) is an archaeological site in Pang Mapha district, Mae Hong Son Province, northwestern Thailand. It was occupied 12,000 to 7,000 uncalibrated radiocarbon years ago by prehistoric humans of the Hoabinhian culture.

Human presence at the site is documented from the Upper Paleolithic to the early Neolithic, but the primary occupation layers represent Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers. Radiocarbon dating of organic resin on some pottery sherds returned Late Neolithic-Bronze ages, at odds with Gorman's claims for the Palaeolithic age of the deposit. Radiocarbon dating of four freshwater crab (Indochinamon sp.) dactyls from Spirit Cave showed that they all date to the Early Holocene, consistent with Gorman's claims of occupation during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition.

Tham Lod Rockshelter

Tham Lod Rockshelter (Thai: เพิงผาถ้ำลอด), first researched by Rasmi Shoocongdej from Silpakorn University, funded by the Thai Research Fund, was a prehistoric cemetery and a workshop located in Northern Thailand known to have human inhabitants from the late Pleistocene to the late Holocene period Additionally, Tham Lod is near Ban Rai, another rock shelter and is in the vicinity of two well-known caves, Spirit Cave and Tham Lot cave. Recent research and carbon dating suggested that Homo sapiens have occupied the area. These researches provide more detail on the activities by the humans in the area which include burials, living habits, gathering, and tool making, and social interactions.

A study in Northwest Thailand, in particular Tham Lod funded by the Australian National University's Graduate School and Center for Archaeological Research and the Australian Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering, conducted by Ben Marwick dates human occupation in Tham Lod from 40,000 BP to 10,000 BP. The population was highest during the Holocene period where biomass was greater because of the wet climate. Additionally, migrants from China may have contributed to the population increase.

The Tham Lod rock shelter was discovered to contain multiple bodies that were buried in the past by humans. This discovery was made by research carried out by Rasmi Shoocongdej of the Highland Archaeology Project funded by the US Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation in 2006. There were two of which had significant traces of possible human culture at the time. These bodies were buried in levels above one another (the undetermined skeleton was above the female skeleton). The first skeleton, with an undetermined gender, was found in an extended burial 46 cm (18.1 in) underground and the age was 12,100 +/- 60 years BP. The second skeleton, a female was found in a flexible burial; the approximate height of the skeleton was about 152 cm (59.8 in) and dated to 13,640 +/- 80 years BP. The undetermined skeleton was found to be buried with shellfish and land snails, while the female skeleton had plants, flakes, and a hammerstone.

Nasera Rockshelter

Nasera Rockshelter is an archaeological site located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area within Ngorongoro District of Arusha Region in northern Tanzania, and it has evidence of Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age occupations in the Late Pleistocene to early Holocene, and ceramic-bearing Holocene occupations attributed to Kansyore, Nderit, and Savanna Pastoral Neolithic traditions. It was first excavated by Louis Leakey in 1932. A second series of excavations by Michael Mehlman in 1975 and 1976 led to the first comprehensive published study of the shelter, its stratigraphy and chronology (supported by radiocarbon dates), and its abundant material culture, including stone tools, faunal remains, and pottery. Recent work has sought to better understand chronology, lithic technology, mobility and demography, and site formation processes at Nasera Rockshelter. Nasera Rockshelter is considered a key site in eastern Africa for understanding the Middle Stone Age to Later Stone Age transition, and also for the study of the spread of livestock herding during the Pastoral Neolithic. Its chronology and archaeological sequence have been compared to those of other key sites in the region such as Mumba Rockshelter, Kisese II Rockshelter, Panga ya Saidi, and Enkapune ya Muto.


Gignos Sites terms and metadata

Site Name

The name of the archaeological site or locality which contains the collection of specimens or reminense of human habitation or usage.

Site Identifier

The scientific identifier usually originating from a publication or journal or museum catalog system usually a unique identifier

Site Types

The category of physical characterisitics of the site. Currently this attribute includes Cave,  Open-air, and Shelter. Can be expanded to include more in future.

Site Usage

Refers to the general usage of the site by it's inhabitants. This attribute includes the optoins for 'Habitation' and 'Decorative' referring to whether the site was used for habitation and/or contains works of art.

Date Range Min and Max

The Date Range of the site is gleaned from what we know from our researched sources about the site. It is also informed by the oldest and youngest dates on the related specimens that were found within the locality.


The location metadata has been made less precise on purpose to help protect cultural resources wherever possible. All of the data in the Gignos catalog is aggregated from existing sources, and as such we are avoiding any further granularity of information regarding locations than already exists in the public domain.


Cited References

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This page was last edited on December 19, 2022 at 04:05:12 UTC