Hunting and gathering activities require seasonal mobility, based in particular on the migration of herds of large herbivores and schools of fish. In all likelihood, this nomadism was also influenced by flowering cycles and the growth of plant resources.

From ethnographic sources we learn that hunter-gatherer populations alternated between dividing up into small groups and coming together again for activities requiring many individuals. Lasting from between a few weeks to a few months, these larger groups had various economic (major hunts, trading in raw materials and/or finished items), social (marriage exchanges) and spiritual (art, rituals) functions.

Various types of occupations that have been identified as Magdalenian appear to fit this pattern: brief occupations with few individuals focused on a specific activity (hunting stopovers, sites near deposits of raw materials) co-exist with longer occupations, involving more people with a larger scope of activities, primarily domestic and cynegetic in nature (residential sites). Finally, some sites indicate particularly intense occupation periods, with a wide range of activities, particularly in relation to the symbolic sphere (the creation of jewellery, portable art and wall art).