The Aterian industry is a name given by archaeologists to a type of stone tool manufacturing dating to the Middle Stone Age (or Middle Palaeolithic). Derived from the Mousterian culture in the region around the Atlas Mountains and the northern Sahara, it refers to the site of Bir el Ater, south of Annaba.
The industry was probably created by modern humans (Homo sapiens), albeit of an early type, as shown by the few skeletal remains known so far from sites on the Moroccan Atlantic coast extending to Egypt.
Bifacially-worked, leaf-shaped and tanged projectile points are a common artefact type, and so are racloirs and Levallois flakes. Items of personal adornment (pierced and ochred Nassarius shell beads) are known from at least one Aterian site, with an age of 82,000 years.