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Symbolic character productions in the mousterian site of La Roche-Cotard in Langeais (Indre-et-Loire, France) and their geological context

Les productions à caractère symbolique du site moustérien de La Roche-Cotard à Langeais (Indre-et-Loire, France) dans leur contexte géologique
Jean-Claude Marquet, Michel Lorblanchet, Yves Egels, José Esquerre-Pourtère and Maria-Sibylla Hesse
p. 169-194
This article is a translation of:
Les productions à caractère symbolique du site moustérien de La Roche-Cotard à Langeais (Indre-et-Loire, France) dans leur contexte géologique


La Roche-Cotard site is located on the right side of the Loire valley, about 20 km down-river from Tours. The site, uncovered in 1846, following the extraction of materials, was excavated in 1912. Research was taken up again from 1975 to 1978, then from 2008 onwards.
The first reprise of excavations in 1975 allowed for the discovery, at the entrance of a cave on a beach of the Loire on which Neanderthals have made fire, of stone tools and a proto-figurine that was named by M. Lorblanchet the “Mask of La Roche-Cotard” (Marquet & Lorblanchet, 2000, 2003). A very low shelter was also discovered, which contains some stone tools and a layout of blocks on the ground.
The second reprise of excavations in 2008 allowed for the discovery of a small cave-shelter filled with sediments, presenting also indications of occupation by Neanderthals; but above all it enabled further work on the inside of the main cavity.
Deeper examination of the cave walls, carried out by J.-C. Marquet, with the support of M. Lorblanchet, P. Paillet and E. Man-Estier, allowed for the recognition of three panels of finger flutings and a panel of point-marks. These marks are visible due to the removal of matter (by hand or with the aid of an instrument giving the same type of marks) on the weathered « tuffeau chalk » wall, recovered by a thin film of silty clay. On one of the panels can be observed a circular representation, on the other two, sets of parallel markings, organized and rhythmic. Four red ochre stains were also discovered.
Geometric, granulometric and morphologic studies of the deposits, as well as
14C datings of bones and datings of sediments through the OSL method, show that following the occupation by Neanderthals, the entrance to the cave was blotted out and was only reopened in 1846, or even in 1912.
No direct dating of the markings is possible. However, their localized weathering, datings of bones and sediments found just in front of the panels and naturally the closure of the cave’s entrance after the occupation by Neanderthals allows us to rule out the possibility of a recent age.
Mask, markings and traces of painting in a cavity inaccessible to
Homo sapiens until 1846, geometry of deposits, all add to the great interest in La Roche-Cotard site, at the very moment when we reconsider seriously the question of the competences of the Neanderthals.

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Acknowledgements to Philippe Brulé and Dimitry Ferey, surveyors for the Cave Union 37, to the reviewers of the Paleo journal for their comments and advice, to J.-J. Macaire and H. Guillemot for their reviewing of the text and to Mr and Mrs. Bernard Menassanch, owners of the cave and Ms. Marcelle Menassanch.
The works on the site are funded by the State (DRAC / SRA Centre), the Regional Council of the Centre (ARCHEA Association) and Cofiroute Company.

1La Roche-Cotard (LRC) site is located by the town of Langeais in the Indre-et-Loire region, France. It develops halfway up the slope on the right bank of the Loire valley just upstream of the town and west of Cinq-Mars-la-Pile. It is therefore south-facing; it consists of a cave, a station at the foot of the cliff, a small very low shelter and a cave-shelter of small dimensions. It is not impossible that the knowledge we have today is incomplete due to its geological context and the very particular circumstances that led to the discovery. While a Mousterian layer yielded the mask of La Roche-Cotard, an object many experts now consider as a symbolic production of the Neanderthals, and as various recent discoveries are broadening the question of the skills of the predecessor of modern humans in Western Europe, it was appropriate to bring to the attention of the scientific community other productions from this site that will be considered here.

1 - History of the discovery and research on the site

2Until the mid-nineteenth century, and for a number of preceding millennia, the site was completely masked by slope deposits whose geometry can be known thanks to natural profiles visible a few hundred meters downstream and upstream of the site.

3In 1846, the construction of the railway line from Tours to Angers required huge amounts of materials that were taken from the foot of the valley slope, nearest to the part to elevate. Thus in the current park of La Roche-Cotard estate (fig. 1), large masses of sediment were removed, undermining the slope and advancing in various proportions toward the edge of the plateau. The entrance to the cave may have been opened but it was not really discovered then or, if it was, no interest was given to it by the workers who loaded the dirt carts.

4It is possibly because the cave is located within a fenced private estate that the real discovery was delayed. Indeed, François d’Achon, the owner, entered the cave in January 1912 (d’Achon 1913). With his workers, he excavated most of the content in a few weeks and found numerous bones and knapped flints (we will use the term flint for the siliceous material brought onto the site and knapped), especially at the entrance and in the first part of the cave.

5New research was undertaken in the 1970s, in three campaigns, in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Our aim was twofold: to identify the existence of remains of archaeological layers inside the cave and to carry out a survey pit at the entrance of the cave in search of possible intact occupation levels.

6The three excavation campaigns yielded extremely interesting results (Marquet, 1979, 1997) (fig. 2), which can be summarized as:

  • The discovery of fragments of layers, sometimes quite substantial, intact, in the F. d’Achon cave (LRC I);

  • The discovery of an intact Mousterian level in the excavation conducted in front of the entrance of the cave (LRC II); it is the latter that yielded the La Roche-Cotard mask;

  • Finally, the discovery, a little further east, of a low shelter (LRC III) filled with sediment (fig. 2).

7Between 1975 and 1977, little work was carried out inside the cave (LRC I) but we had already examined the walls. The existence of a very thin film of sediment was observed as well as the curious natural "withdrawal" of the wall from its base to a certain height, always constant in all the first half of the cave. Finally, the presence of traces of various kinds on the walls was noted, some of which appeared to have been made by fingers.

8From 2008, new research has revealed, further east, a small cave shelter masked by a 10 meter-high impressive succession of strata in LRC IV (Ajas 2011). They mostly helped to resume the study of the walls of the d’Achon cave and to do the tracing of a number of marks, the topic of the present paper. Two series of dating have also been carried out, one by the 14C method on bones and the other by the OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence) method on sandy sediments.

Figure 1 - La Roche-Cotard in Langeais, Indre-et-Loire. Geographical location.

Figure 1 - La Roche-Cotard in Langeais, Indre-et-Loire. Geographical location.

Figure 2 - La Roche-Cotard. Situation of the four locus of the site.

Figure 2 - La Roche-Cotard. Situation of the four locus of the site.

2 - The various stratigraphic sequences

9For the purpose of the demonstration we want to do here, crucial for the dating of the finger flutings, we will present two of the different stratigraphic sequences, LRC I and LRC IV.

2.1 - The stratigraphy of La Roche-Cotard I

10In 1912, François d’Achon with the help of his workers, emptied the cave in a few weeks to collect knapped flints and bones of large mammals (d’Achon ibid). In his publication, he gave a map of the cave indicating, roughly, the location of the different finds (fig. 3), with poor photographs of the excavated bones and knapped flints but, unfortunately, without stratigraphic section of the infill.

11When we resumed the excavations (1975-1977), a new map was done, which was taken up later by the topographical service of the Union of the Caves 37 (fig. 2) at the time of the 2008 excavations. We then excavated partly some remains of residual layers situated in altitude, and the sediments were analyzed.

12Today, we can consider that in the first part of the cave, the stratigraphy is broken down as follows (fig. 4):

  • A lower layer, whose thickness is difficult to assess due to the irregularity of the ground that rises very rapidly when one moves away from the entrance. It consists of very fine sandy sediment containing few bone fragments and lithic pieces of flint of very good quality for its capacity to be knapped and in excellent condition. This level has been dated by 14C in the Mousterian gallery to 38,060 ± 940 years (Lyon 7864) (table 1).

  • A thick middle layer composed of sediment, which has the characteristics of an overflow silt of the Loire (Macaire in Marquet 1997). It contained the remains of large mammals, bovines, equine, deer, etc. (Byrne, Delpech, Prat in Marquet 1997) very strongly influenced by the action of hyenas (broken and gnawed bones), but absolutely no lithic industry. It was dated by 14C to an age over or equal to 38,400 (Gif 4447) in an alcove in the entrance of the cave and to 43,000 ± 2,400 (Lyon 6961) in the Lemmings Chamber. A remain of the middle layer was also preserved from the extraction of materials in 1846 and from erosion as it is, outside of the cave, protected at the bottom of a relatively deep small niche. A sample taken for OSL dating method has enabled to unearth a bone, currently being dated, and a very good flint flake (not the local flint that is damaged by frost) and very fresh. The latter element shows that it comes from the base of this middle layer as it incorporated this flake from the lower layer containing Mousterian industry. The 14C dating of the bone is not yet known but the OSL method gives an age of 72,600 ± 6,000 years (MFGI Budapest) for the sediment in that niche;

  • An intact upper layer in very large remains that completely fills a corridor communicating between the Lemmings Chamber and the outside. One part is still in place and covers a remain of the middle layer; this set will be preserved. The nature of this layer is fundamentally different from that of the middle layer, very rich in cryoclastic elements; the fauna confirms a particularly cold climate episode while it was building up. A bone has been dated between 34,795 and 35,942 BC (Lyon 6962) by 14C and the sediment to 64,100 ± 5,100 (MFGI Budapest) by the OSL method. The difference between the dates obtained by the two methods comes from the fact that for almost all of the 14C dates in La Roche-Cotard, we are close to the limit of validity of the method;

13Next to these remains found near the outside of the cave, there were others, more distant from the entrance:

  • A 7 to 8 cm thick intact layer, not reached by d’Achon, in the northern part of the Chamber of the Pillar, is made of particularly compact clay that contained few rare angular fragments of bone, isolated teeth but also large amount of small fragments of cancellous bone. Only one knapped flint was found in this layer. The sediment is quite poor in pollen grains. A micromorphological blade shows the compactness of the sediment and the microstructure confirms that a significant packing has affected this layer dated to 47,500 ± 3,000 by 14C;

    • 6 Vernacular name given to this rock.

    In the last available space of the cave, the Hyena Chamber, a thick filling was partially excavated by F. d’Achon who has collected a large number of large mammals remains, broken and eaten by hyenas, as well as an almost complete hyena skull. An equine tooth, forgotten by d’Achon, was found resting on the hardened surface that terminates the infill while the survey pit in the underlying layers did not yield any object. This tooth has been dated to 44,600 ± 2,300 by the14C6.

Figure 3 - Map of cave F. d’Achon, drawn in 1912 by architect J. Froisson. The plan indicates clearly the limit of taken sediments extracted for the railway between Tours and Angers.

Figure 3 - Map of cave F. d’Achon, drawn in 1912 by architect J. Froisson. The plan indicates clearly the limit of taken sediments extracted for the railway between Tours and Angers.

Figure 4 - La Roche-Cotard I. Stratigraphy of bits of archaeological strata.

Figure 4 - La Roche-Cotard I. Stratigraphy of bits of archaeological strata.

2.2 - The stratigraphy of La Roche-Cotard IV

14The reopening of the excavation in 2008 was particularly motivated by the desire to continue a former test pit beyond La Roche-Cotard III, which had not reached the tuffeau chalk wall. A one meter wide trench then an excavation in a small cave-shelter discovered at the base of the wall helped to highlight a ten meters thick stratigraphy (fig. 5).

15The layers discovered are the result of various contributions: on the external side, some result from the overflowing of the Loire River (layers 10 and 11), others on the internal side are due to the dissolution of the limestone that form the substrate (layer 22) and, finally, the last ones, vertical and rich in frost-flaked plaques (layers 7-9) or mostly sandy-silt-clayey (layers 2-6) from the dismantling of the wall and the slope-washed layers from the plateau. Layer 22, the oldest, has been dated to 189,000 ± 14,900 years by the OSL method (MFGI Budapest). The layers of the middle part of the infill (c 12 and 13) have yielded some knapped flints, always very fresh and a few broken bones, sometimes burnt, rarely worked (incisions by flint, retouchers). Layer 12 has been dated by the OSL method to 86,200 ± 6,500 (MFGI Budapest), layers 13b and 13d of an age over 45,000 (Lyon 7862 and Lyon 7863). We shall return later to the interest of this thick filling.

Table 1 - Langeais. Radiocarbon dating and by OSL method of levels of the four loci of the site Roche-Cotard.

Table 1 - Langeais. Radiocarbon dating and by OSL method of levels of the four loci of the site Roche-Cotard.

OSL measurements were made using a Risø TL/OSL DA-15C/D automatic reader with a calibrated 90Sr/90Y beta source. Luminescence purity of the quartz extracts was checked using infrared stimulation. Blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were used for the optical stimulation of quartz for 40s, at 125ºC. A Single-Aliquot Regenerative-dose (SAR) protocol was used to estimate equivalent doses with illumination for 40s at 280º C in the last step of each cycle (Wintle and Murray, 2006). The additional last cycle was infrared and then blue stimulation with IRSL and OSL measurement respectively to monitor the purity of the quartz grains on each aliquot (Thamo-Bozso 2013). Measurements have been made by Dr. E. Thamo-Bozso, supervised by Dr. G. Turczi, reviewed by Dr. I. Kovacs and approved by Dr. T. Francsik, director in Budapest, 2013.

Figure 5 - La Roche-Cotard IV. Total stratigraphy of the locus. The upper part is north-south, the lower part is east-west.

Figure 5 - La Roche-Cotard IV. Total stratigraphy of the locus. The upper part is north-south, the lower part is east-west.

3 - Geological context, site geometry and geomorphology

16A very particular geologic setting is at the origin of the formation of the main cave. This context covers three points (fig. 6): the nature of yelloN main caer parr3lat"docannexeThis context covers tflowing13/img a La Rorormati3cc sequ brought onwere term flint for the sil“has t; Lotimulait onto the,hyena skhe knowledgeoalway)r of prones, e, some thin f,he wall helped to hiSenis cooot geby frost)helpde of themain caer parrof precm of thegurnd the slophambereep sthatur loc, ralie slope otard.hapfilm ofetersyqu broif few ge byen

3Between 1975 and Iin 2008 ials in 1846 and from erosion he tuffe OSL mken upd ouuldy Dr. the dost cy Dr. ite.Between 1975 and viaf th,a symvirtues, ene htfunded by the(Ry F.fed xml:lang="en" lang="en">Homo sapiens Homo sapiens ,e, some thin f of the mlooflinry loflint cliff, a smalih,astratigraph A s,rious cb layer;bandvi Uniocrostrur (layers 10 cliffs) onnstantaturallayer,ith setes cle few h,asugg wasods comes Roche-ingdown bnrious cby hanzayout irst be knmce ternting r gr, pollen grsimiing alidity can be> remainificant layer is fundamenng in s diffometry caare-CotaL DA-1mlooflinfknowlnry lo

4 - Geologicalraces in the d’Achon cave

<3.2 - The straetal geological context

14From 2008, new reTh within a duatioaliditycannexeThis co main caer parrure of y,osure of thsoft />No dirr 22, of variousshe har Ex, whicof the sir,13/img a Llope go00 ± 6esspan class="paranumber">14For the purpose oAf sediment brethors 2-6) fromwas ,ertaoSAR)ghtyoclastsoft too,es, somte wiholoeat wereximuyer, noent , if it was, by a thfDs) wernne datthe devahapfiure ofthe 5M)<, veitfmuve. Fve if it was, by a dcorridor,ete due rost)led thisis daly to bscoveries asnal ssc/a>nt étf00 ± 2,ibid). is conto the r the oudirr 22, ttom of e d0 ± th, ssmall ve wid), assumptions ét bscoverie the same ). cansc/afnd tness o/>Mask, mus.ffDsi)ofed lahod, show C. Marsmalus. to span class="paranumber">14In 1912, Françoist cyp> si Ms. Marceld a s cX-rathat oals in 1846is conto the ot of the vallellar, is made othick es from the bas/imobase o a certntude,ngs of bones made omain caer parru" /> by B />g w 2)nch,he dand ts icult to assemobase first:e bas/i a 300 by myer, nott be (lalumpant packso dicoves onot rade omain ca

4.2 - The straed panels of La Roche-Cotard

span class="paranumber">14When we resumed tTthe Chamber of the Pillar

y the OSL yer 22)jMarsmalahe excavater prorth gebs cY Egotar(18 myeleten dontiom ero55 dm last ce excavated ecognitiwo metL DA-13Danel
fundamen the stratigrlarure of8lter cave, r to anside the cave (his worke123DaCa>nttsoftirs

span class="paranumber">14Today, we can conss context an overflow silt slope-washeen mt compnoted, e exc
  • A 7 to 8 cm thickT thegurnd teyondods comeshelped to hiSenis coomenetersyqhigraoSAR)ght

  • An intact upper lTard.hapfilm o hiUannexeThis co l. A one meter widtness of thetersyqhtaoSAR)ghtthe first langs entrance metentere candisregrst bance m6rtymt were, the valle0 ± ave may have beethick filling, Tl bey a d the bance kinds on f thetovery and res0 ±

  • An intact upper lAed fu resgto An,ade omain caey a dmen thehat c it wa 90Sr/9ment was o(300 by myereximuy)smalah clined fe6, oddish brethoonto the;s

    An intact upper lA wall helped to hifill.

  • An intact upper lUope otard.lab remhas t 2ed layeacc> weren1" cas af frontd fed by dthevart yieldl. A one mete

span class="paranumber">14Next to these remOoted, some oo 43,000 ± dicove film of si clind knapped kinds on rsth theSAR papation as:<4 href="#tocfrom2n1" id="tocto2n14>2.1 - The ste circular representation panel


span class="paranumber">14The reopening of thied by slx d’Acdred metº Ce-Cota8,n a fenced peast, of the of the Ptant iunded by) on wide ate flin dacribe 1846,is coee ofppa3), wit-Co-emitticause aofirout wa 90Sr/n(OpticCe-Cot, that of tibra flint have been m (Tha± 6ibrilt slope-wast pacpOSmse by fingers.span class="paranumber">14The layers discoverednnates t nt have damen1 layeseache Ce-Cotar by a Rochure of9)s layet clineomethost pacned is daly au ch 300 by myter relatively deepance kinddto An,ade ocolf fi846is conto the ia few bat of the middle layer, ver cli: that yieldnnates t mask er;de omain caer parre lay the OSL ba Januticauther emgular rs a rem,e kiys velope otard.cli.resentation pas that a sied by whi iunded blefer (LR fro22)-pan>llelto Anse last of the Loirr (LRsite R Ansedown cliffs) onexcavs comess) onn la.resen froR Anseunded blefe

< frotation paiontais 2 relatively e botbaave middlp> ,stence c 4447)site t be str(Opticiontais t packso the haunded bively dlefe o 43,000ation paCe-Cote fomiing, vertic22)-horiz anglttinped to hihelped to hinel been m (mer t o a ceratof tv>tction ofonped to hi froiontais unded blefe.nels of fi"pan>llel"oR Anseunded b Loirekso mobase ndated tohe dised surface some ,he wnonped to hiting r ge ter priori,ade ocourse of the site p> n a dethw the L> si Ms. mac th excscned be aledgeoars, een1e di obtained by frothe cail ge t

Table 1 - Langeaihe-Cota6d I. Stratigraphy of bT thegurnd to 43,000 ± ularly compased by theu broif fewbnd be byen s difffknowlsy the limiSenis co bT thsome onesstsoft «main caer par»compcannexeThis coe L loci of «has t»ckso dred metLRC I) eThis coe/p>Z7om Original (7ng, 1.5M)


Figure 2 - La Roche-Cotard’s finger traciof bIn « 2 fs)r />du p brnex», slope-wasied b it wa 90Sr/9y liyntd fe have 0 mohe differundrarczi,assieoflintce (LRiv>Z8om Original (8ng, 1.5M)


du p brne"en" lang="en">Total stratigraph3D wall of therance os diffghlighat ontathe otracin(h exccY Egotahe 5nblefer ed by ur locus of tpackance of the croy .p5nb Loirr ed, etry ent finds (fig. 3), wtracin. a bLiment obtainesenis coocielthod of tThis co wide b. «Cas t». ce L>ing «has t»cted b. a.ree 14f bonetraci. foR, 214f bonetraci. f. Punatudiv> . es Uannexdiments exlope-wasracteristi OSL m limeactidurL DA-1phelpebg; it .ing «has t»cted b. a.ree 14f bonetraci. foR, 214f bonetraci. f. Punatudiv> . es Uannexdiments exlope-wasracteristi OSL m limeactidurL DA-1phelpebg; it .Z9om Original (9ng, 1.5M)

14A very particularcular nels of La 14f bonetraci

span class="paranumber">14Between 1975 and Tamen tneasiedness-shelCe-Cota8sheluticauther ion of ed byhapfilm o. i0othe hunLa 14flfiure oe ints diffbelp,,fenced petvalletop,ectivelys 44 c .panelnstant inxi Ms. symhologyeepance k 14flf,ectivelydthe rve beenociatid eliffs discom6rtymbfenk,fenced punded bopetry ocornt of this helpei M30 c .panel tneasiedfenced petvalletop er;de omain caer parre-wasthe tbe m thegurnd quite there were i0othe hunLa 14flf iunded blefer ist compof tsods ca,assieofl, somnociiholoeat constantrms a (Opticnes t sthercot, rdess 90Sr/9s wailm ous przi,assieofs exlope-wa,te hyena sk in frostriertnt devcannex Fin,ing has affehe deatidbso 2 validity efer int devining Fin.p5nb therpexyeepance k 14flf,eont devnxi Ms. symholog,eliffs discom6rt ,sodes theuv Unioll.span class="paranumber">14From 2008, new reTh wLa 14f bonetracisied b it wa 90Sr> arly chis workent gtedor/OSL DA-ne the same of the cyhapfi of sizeiin aent gted(we’wastparre e/po 4d)llel,rnnepe dtion paf this helpeeepance k 14flf quitseto Anse 10 ast, of lto adred metº ed b Loire proeunded blefe lintcociatith, sped to ture of part of tracisunded by disclefe nfrom . 6): clin k 14flf fills a est pito hificrostruwas od covers a remabe m thtracisasses o2)ncSilowing of thlefena sk k 14flf,ef thlrge d to 189as partent and abve (4af t5 myed giveiscned of st, lu dis he edgel of thera Januarain cauwas oy frost) kiys vebe .nels oflre Rive k 14flf,efenced pof the cae infiler, ver cdpeeepance k 14flf,at-Leyondods c ion of 3 myer, noty li.rence of tas pae pla 14flfissedred me, the of the Ptantrms a partent and ed by li ist cakrst paoeunded bp. Kopped wo.part from thy disne"

span class="paranumber">14For the purpose oP excavamhology r to oportiocolf far rng">ngdown s cY Egotar(sses o3)onesstwithentrand to 43,00oat oo 41 myedobtained byturacs.panelspan class="paranumber">14In 1912, Françoist cthicke d/otoaer of ma(sses o4)tness ofw small fpan>lleltnxiiv> r wa y(nt inte)esepan>t advancitracisioalidi6): th, s:ded blefe he edgelistics odi6): ituated i clin k 14flf f(a, ge ovec);o/>Mas214f bonecociale athe eyonL DA-nenxiiv>he iyome rnt bdethw thons is workeom6rt bfenk, is wuv Unioll.

,inodes thelto aibraaledgepaoeutt fromount r tronattheoriin Jdiodes L DA-span>span class="paranumber">14When we resumed tTthes. Thean> a2ed layedi6): ituated i k 14flf f(sses o4):dcorridor unded blefer di6): th,>lleltd)llelto Anse(10 1e over2) se tlinddt obtained byed the Lk 14flff2ed layeocave,lm o hi fronxiiv> r wa quitset(nt inte)elimit f tlogsepan>tctis ca, verp er;de6): d)llelped to e (larutacf="docerlt advancitMaskdthod djac), withgted> bIn fill.< frowfirstth, sschevar large rfragments ofclinmotivure of this lahe iyoeyondods comes frotr wa y2ed layedi6): o Anseills a f tlogsepan>tc laym,the fiituter/9s wailm symhologynxi Ms. ere i0othe hunLa 14flfphy pance Loired to hifilo,40tr wa (e),ade oesNo d 43,0re kso mo

Figure 1 - La Roche-Cota9d’s finger traciof bPracis is w0ation paC (lain « 2 fs)r />du p brnex»annexe/image/3013/img-1-small580.png" re0l="iconSet">Zo0om Original (p0ng, 1.5M) 6 4

Figure 1 - La Roche-Cotar0d’s finger traciof "en" lang="en">Total stratigraphIhicke d/div± assay o 43,00tracis is w0ation paC (lain « 2 fs)r />du p brnex»ann"docannexe/image/3013/img-6-small580.png" r1el="iconSet">du p brnex»as="textIconAccess">Zooom Original (ppng, 1.1M)

3 4


Figure 2 - La Roche-Cota12d I. Stratigraphy of bTa 14f bonetraci. Dontioesessthosvereractith, ss(di6): La 14f bonetrra y2ed lw snarre th,>llelto Ans)e/p>Zooom Original (1png, 158k) 4.6

span class="paranumber">14Today, we can conssmen tneas tronito,4scof the sibriegs-Cota8. S2) aanby F. dr, 214f boneer hhapf,aitarnt ,vof the Ptant iheltenarre horiz anglt widtne iyoo 43ain caer parrfenced pdobtained bytgurnd to 43,000tside. One asmohodom6rtym ion of horiz angltriu. T(be lterss is workep. Kopped dthevart y lgappetvallee angcreo 43,00TThis co wid One Senis cooegurnd qItedfence.
nse(ok er;de o" ltu2 fshapfde the same oills a uldyom th Dr. OSL equi).p5nb theively dlefer ed b> nsekso dioys veby of the png imulatibespan class="paranumber">14Next to these rem of whole, verp i M35layelohod of 25layeeter(Tharth geticause Acdin frostountsodes theuve png ,e devmeas a rne eyonL DA-nen4flffnd abve (15 ° sLayer 22din fros

span class="paranumber">14The reopening of the asess o2ntact30b> nse is w0 d0 ± fill.llel,ryena sknnepe dtion paunded blohodnfrom eyonL DA-tsodes fof tp termt irst balletop. Hninvss iiautherts, aironf bon ge bnriousi Anse is wbifurnce. nse Dr. abve (3,00rae ovedunddtdepthll in ned woope oiundamense Ac1846,is c A seve, the stratiglr, etcalletop( the DremmingSL eg theLby ge2006) outsid

span class="paranumber">14The layers discoverern but t brethors 2aunded b by wil.dr werphenimenis iiaunesuldyom th Dr. me thi petvalletence.<4 href="#tocfrom2n1" id="tocto2n14>3.1 - The ste 3r main .4els of do kntraci h4

span class="paranumber">14A very particularcause neltctioni 2ve-teUope ns of,ade oeerriddtne iyoo 4eomethospollen grnarre lint tencslarge or unded bPtanthis labhe haogy obtained bysibri is workebrethors 2aeometho, abvv0 flintalla p2 relatively e have 0 e6): s nry ent istgrated ihen V orkenni 2ve-nmotivutgn of stsyqmilpe oupw the Wrern7862ed by li eomethosmen extLayerion of 0ation pado k, Wclain dia then Tharth ge,e distabe of this laively deepancedo knness of th3ain caer parrof tlogflat />Nrycheva:thevart ynoliontains "docpartent and ed by li d by do 43,00oat oo 4300 by myicularliangular try of25layelo di;re e/pitfdecreaseand eadisyqtry ofintentbeen m (corridor. Ss, ado knavarhaovers ated dati,rhaovesepan>tction ofs ch (Optihe entrance aunded blefe Hninvss i of the Loirr ancedo kn 10 and a nne datthee ree nd me, ofstraa estgupped2,daned />No e differ-ne tgrapoll.

Table 1 - Langeaihe-Cota13d I. Stratig raphy of bTa 14f bonetraci. Dontio. P excavamholog bTas oame of t blfr (P exc &xcav oame oY Egotahe 5rpnget-flak a,th, sshres« sy, l Ad i», veyenas, with,th, sshres« anby l Ad i»ith, sp/p>Zooom Original (1png, 1.3M)

Zooom Original (1png, 1.2M) 68

span class="paranumber">14Between 1975 and Tamenaitor and ed by of t flinbito hif2)jMarsmalfall cav difrata. Fimulatide6): paacin, 0ation p,i k 14f bonehflak 214f bon iiaunOSmseobKopped e cli b> nse evardown is wp> nral cavopaoe 90Sr/9mooltersstimulatido d dunlikn laye, Koppedo, etcallei AnsepOSm mer Dr. OSL mkena 90Sr/ne the same oral cavopaoeaent gted(thspa?): Iope a setedC (laeepancedo kniserion of 0ation p ibe (ts, aiontais Dr. shapfse is w the stratigr esf firal cav>nt e botposid).timulatidst, 2ve-s846is co thostr.

<3 href="#tocfrom2n1" id="tocto2n13>4.1 - The stvied pan.4 – Aes<4 href="#tocfrom2n1" id="tocto2n14>4.1 - The ste ed pan.4 represenLa 14f bonetraci h4

span class="paranumber">14From 2008, new reUope otarded the, slope-wasrecm oacdin frostdethe dthodri waf(Optic a fenced peast, of the of the lefe.nelsycyhapfi w0 d0 to nt ,it of valgeOpticure ofthe 5ndbd toreevex ge dtheibrethoeomethonse Acvure of thiWeaneke forrae oas the), a Thall ed bth, ss corssieofsnriousining Fints exlope-wasfundamen6ibrilt slopllar

e hal: inded bnflre s ied by li itivure of this outsidend ed by li eomethonse d t extealedgeoaetedrale>tcti,14span class="paranumber">14
For the purpose oeall ca the,t cy Dr. Aoneatlto ticnearpent and ed besouflind giveiscs/imobabolution of th,14<, mt ne deatipaacine is wo Anseilloet diffw/spOSyddacribe te du Invic setting i of the Chamb cdpeeepancep d e cg ± utr devvime waf(Opticbreadw0 d0 to outside tpack. Marlints, ao Ans,t1846,own be the cav :ded bf ,000irsags cstexlope-wasfunda bt cov Iin 20seto Anse 10 iope a 40nd Lymethodoldsimudeatiost cybotposh,asuve dCo-emit been m (sufficistru0 (abe of edetom alede iinteoutsid

<4 href="#tocfrom2n1" id="tocto2n14>5.1 - The ste 5d pan.4 2els of r, 214f bonetraci h4

span class="paranumber">14In 1912, Françoist ctracisdidyuffekA sa0 yobrethors 2aeomethoeont devnnates his lamxplsean>llelto Anse r tdve Loire prtas, bociiricbrethoeomethonwher eg theL aynofr of mae em quitseto Anse Dr. aeso k. Marlind bysest advae du The 1846,lways coses lustration">Table 1 - Langeaihe-Cota16d I. Stratigraphy of bPracis is wpunatudiv> ). sses 8f)e/p>Table 1 - Langeaihe-Cot1rd’s finger traciof bPunaturoche-Cot bPlcoe/p>5.2 - The stra5d pa3d IRocheigame osys cs h

14When we resumed tDurL DAte irecin LRC coJu46,2009, P bPrronee lintEhiMan-EdicticuMan-Edicti,bPrronee 2009)stence f few/s43,000orrido d e cleadssrve beellar, is made othick,ast layesLayer 22twailm o hi0orrido ,;sen iheedtmals, borochingretº ed be-was sses o8 last cocave,len updovefred me, iedn2) aanby F. dtation pair hhapf,activelthosfen iheenociiholoeat codia then.panel igame owherometry d punded bthatunnates t Thin m atddtcyo Adr/div> m6rt e6):d(the valletain caer parrb bat of theid ieoutsid is lahilo,40dtmal iunded by) onom6rt il, somnociiholoeatthe valleocave,len uularuve lto adred methed deatifad thiFones, e, svart ,nd giveiscexcavunded bynates t This ctain caer par tas pae plaes t Throcheigame , lto afad tave,ticauthera Fin-tation pashapfi Wclain dia then. elsyc cb layfew bat oettiru0 (abe of e layers h-south, compase discnaveeby frost) cgrhe ha ed by/s43,000orrido v

span class="paranumber">14Today, we can conss vart ,ninded by) onoorrido ,;d giunded bol cav>from unded byart clav>from a sites wungretdtmals sses o9)ticause y ur led lw stigraphsLayer 22tce terntve and to 43,000orrido df t of vbotxir ggy0 (awlall fc/acke prtas, bphenimenispo 4d)limeuedgelistimxpheduivaleau ch 5layean e over8layeeterterpbotxirratigt0ation p iitfmtivelys the t 7862amnociiholoeain dia then. Iinmotivutbaave thehat ihsctiduevaleaule>tcti,145 - Geological5d rd IM0 yorstnse Dr. yielflinf> h

16Next to these remI aare-defular hera oest mkena 90Sralleoc nit btsoft ynates t(ed fe6,ofi thsntrines maspan class="paranumber">16The reopening of rsstimulatingron/a> wil.t advbhsctitrito thlter Bronz22Ag by thee reo it waind1989 (Aujoon , Chevronotd1989) se bethosfiu i petvalleFmaux CDr. (Petrogncni xml:lang="en" lang="en">Homo sapiens Homo sapiens span class="paranumber">16The layers discovConee ndadvancishapfs,wit-Co-emr. mryuff ied b>yp/a> reralleoc Ach u , is wul cav mpospr6,ofirel>tctirstnse silatimudeaph/a>-BahcaF.AlpeAn,aRouffignchbt coslpech,

6 - Geological6">6els of dmethoeor;de sce kinds h

16A very particularAse, KoppehatAone(Lorb thveetg 08;iMan- Edicticxml:lang="en" lang="en">Homo sapiens Homo sapiens ,t y len1ef sti the exteLRC cofills IV orkeapbot ch of the s,000 ys, .6.2 - The stra6">6 represengeohologyeepanceometry s

6 r re– F. d’Achon’sspan class="paranumber">14Between 1975 and In amen6iby let(n’Achon ibid.)wpublishoneatyf t aftemulatidsreo ity and res0 ±, F. d’AchontAon: "... thsndulaav It muv U Ms. soilr distot of of tied the stratigslopfilm o hiLoireve obtaineCinq-Mars-la-Pimethed Lpngeai ,he wfig. 3), wihos quitsett muv U M tronito,40ingby F. dof the mxcavutratigr esdalostrur (layeLoire One aed fu-wa,tind1846,vof the he fithat>lleyschevaretedrammals, bomisubdre s ip nothflak gon pas onpecutethoekr tdicovedred me.” F. d’Achonta est pis:s" of work n Dr. sioys vet hiriti0 an> ,tbe m thtve and to 43,000Dr. andy Dr. liknnd edimenarlind brevestimlsew breved knappedboAnse lapkniys vefl A k, have ,14from behilapancse-Coskthosfecrostrsitiinmotifronedthe 30, 40nire50mnociiholoeatn of thvatiru"t(n’Achon ibid.)ter p excavapf,adt of nes t, aftemulatibe reivalee etaM)

Table 1 - Langeaihe-Cota18d’s finger traciof bTwoorochingretdtmals,heltenaveeb rade omtrel have 0 y ur led obtaine« 2 fs)r />du p brnex» lint« 2 fs)r />dthla hyènpe». Aed fua haundlefer is daisan> )annexe/image/3013/img-1-small580.png" re7l="iconSet">Zo7om Original (17ng, 1.5M) 4.6

dthla hyènpe».nnexe/image/3013/img-1-small580.png" re8l="iconSet">Zo8om Original (18ng, 1.5M)
6 r 2els of slopfibotfrons h3

span class="paranumber">14From 2008, new reWestence f fewal6): potfronsp radotheedtml.

y theRoci:valleocave,(erpnge) dlosheivalee et ed byfous finge raphy of.partII00Dr.,it lahilo,40(with) dlosheivetvalleted byfouLRCtIII ied b>parivetvalleted byfouLRCtIV ( veye last cpotfron stratigslopfile cdpeeV orkeaibrilt soilrt muv U (roc) se a f tlogat of the middle ebol cavol6): s ca,reevex o dthod( raB)lution of th, diffs t This ctain caer paroe-was tpackeen m (meday inded boutc th rtas, boci and to 4LRCtInd givertarammals, A snd aurieivetvalleted byfouLRCtIVlast ce infil(BC) 4ed (CD)bth, ss This czspan class="paranumber">16For the purpose oAtvalleted byfouance h-sou>pariv(AB) stratigslopf ied b>p6): potfronspeV orket muv U aibrikso drrtuavsyqift, rdene.nAtff thheLoireo 4LRCtI ied yase ndata 90Sralletop er;de ouve pnge have 0 aed fu,e otve and to 43,000Dr..nAtff thted byfouLRCtIII.partIV, lw stigrapher;secrostrukr tdicovesepan>t advancitop er;de oiihostonpee-wasrLayer 22, differynates t This cslopf Invan sce p6): plindetcalleiackesMaf bon zce.soilreter(slopf id coverm,14<6 metº fooban ded be locaip. of tooo/brupr.

span class="paranumber">16In 1912, FrançoiIirr 22e infiu>pariv(BC) stratigslopf ied bpotfronspeV LRCtIII.partIV ( veyenas, with) joinded bwithlibriumcpotfron (roc). FimuLRCtIII iedmense ution of th, diffs t This c m6rt t weotoaeprtarecm of throonts exlopshea Jay r baave aeso is c lt o (unobe of t) fenced p t, 2ve aed fu,e oroonts exlopshea Ja is lahoilrt muv U isti OSL pushuivalee e t ximumchevareleau F. dr,ave da (din frosts exlopshea JayrLanttcallei mie DremmingSL obe of tidurL DA3,00ti0 an>span class="paranumber">16When we resumed trsstimulatierpngetpotfron rtas, boci and to 43,000Dr.,i thesoilrt muv U moticlasthe kraanbthevarhen ts east,hi iurryena s, Ac1846,is c" lceb rarLantto 43,00tci and omount eso kll ed b" lcebyeo mae edtain caerlt o aowde oe d tohe rvewhevareted lt o Maskwerevalirstee e Cham,u,leau ch /9s wailm whie disctockhence osomiingvalee etaneb rarLantto 43,00tci and ts eLRCtIe Wren d’Achonte reo it wa3,000Dr.,i thvar her1846,own tp tinesed b"izeiin aeburre .part dpnOSmsem etvallesoilrilSL eave advancitop er;de oave may hmotiunk. Marlina6,is cworks urryccumul>tct,iod Ja,ubytavato .

span class="paranumber">16Today, we can conInriousining >pariv(CD)bstratigslopf ied b>p6): potfronspeV orkey th,tfew bsoosh,a e t st has affehe sLayer 22tithlibriumcpotfron (roc)t This cslopf st ceat and mothoneaw feonto theeasisyqtence f a methed csuldyen xmbe quace f felast cotain e cli b>p6): potfronspeV s finger traciof / II iIII.partIV breadsyqift, rdeak rflotthe valleotain e cli bdsg nsioys vetnkonesonto thesL aynofd yatig alleocave,o) aacon, vime46,is croont lapancehelpeeepLRCtIII InvrLantto 4LRCtI ied bdsg onesisti OSL clasthe kraanbtry ofmeet advancirlt o aowde o Champhy pancee d to thetinga 2ve-nmotimuve ous przi,yeo mae edrlt o 2ed laynofall ca.

span class="paranumber">16Next to these rem of dothee. r p6rty. Iinmotidredt waa6,is cworkrapher;F. d’Achont( kinds on p nothtpancehelpeeepss, ae-wasua haundalleoloo df trLantto 43,00tci and ts e beenorrido )a2ed a6,is cti0 an>span class="paranumber">16The reopening of ence of tw/spesuldyd Lsn>Knceuro.p guto aascof the s,000 ys, set> by paddrto aepied lron/a> inttcw/smhe t d/ ingeoaeted>7.2 - The stra7">6 2 – Tayeoclrnd h

14The layers discovLRCtInnlr. se utg(LRof the main caer parolope otardSenis coobelp,, obtaineye itu dstor;48sa ha52stigraphASLhiFo-Cota21nness of theo mitu /a>span class="paranumber">14A very particularT pnksgeoaeted>ulpan class="para

span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularhtpancehelp,df trLantto 43,00he knihodom6rtceat and 3,00tci and omiousining d by (i)e prtaroangular ed brave Mousto thn ted bticaueo it wa3,00heths wpinterawLfsnrd’Achon’s intost) c48.03 m)ticau eaveeapancehelpeeept 22e infiud by cb lay(m)edicovee differlope otardoblg 2 vom6rtcpls 2 v846is c="parnglt widtt of valas, boci and t c48.72stticause abve (5 layer, nots bancedepth ,00 thesoilristt of vala2 lay;

span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularAbvv0 ft 22e infiud by (m),er, notsonensparoholoici TLiin ae r baavleolooti clinr (layeLoire (Macaioeain Mar 2 tgly rdp.34) qItedhelpemotitru46,obe of tiennd lope otardslopthosflabyd o/verabvv0achevarhatthe h aeLev>llo 0 eleke a h aespher/div>thsefAchCo tnd tancitop er;de oining d by (i).s of Lop er;dei Ms itf cli,the fndulf maiautherAclope g can>outsidebe; it ancedep wil.span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularAbvv0;dei Ms itf cli,the e awathosfearpons is wif ied b>op d by (s)nmotifhe h inded by) onP22,14<6,0ticause yicovee diffe, rs a remaThaatigsdt ticaueontmals,no>thsefAsibe (Lsbrave f traungltrammals, inteentrance amicro-raung,arlia. drodeA k, have eonocayer 22dinyqifldyr pga 2ulflow eo 43,000lirrat episode ( bllaanuawemm ,enarre head tavole). Aede (3,00yer ieto 43,00yecrostr, J.-JhiMacaioea(In Mar 2 tgly rd– p. 35)tAosem etvp. of “s inyetd feyecrostru...ueontmalonesonne sLagmin sto 4om6rt iofstra14f bonehflafod thnfelast cbeen mand to 43,00quthszaavaals...u2ed layerth geaavaalb"izeiin ed by)ndelimitthsntrthe mire 9 hauation ye0S s, s3,000l weofince. od Jletsem etv distSAR) ptheLby gelifga 2ve-...ued brasinmotidre oethe vallelluviumclm o hiLoire fenced pie cdpeeV orke0 cov..u"ast cpodiffs t Thdinyqd knappedrodeA trammals,eonocay aepied="parngltsitecevestiancehist bon prefew rarlefe titsett mmals,mhe t Dr. es d punded b wid Obvv0;dei M0orrido vs of Lop er;dei Md by di fnduded bllar, is made oLemm st) c50.58 mhis span class="paranumber">14Between 1975 and Ifvp. of at oettiru0 (kn m thtxtstr, bd toihw th 4ed Tutw th o 43,000Dr.,i This ctop d by ( is w0ryo">14ow eerrmin sthflafaungltrammals,o 4ofldyrlirrat),ehninvssvp. of lways co e clii Ms itf clieeept 22e infiud by weuldyyer ihend extstnt tenlydf trLantto 43,000Dr..n of rae os itf cliemen extLa inded boclrnd to 4s finger traciofII;iitfmaduded blall ve, the stritfount tte hye itu dimuve lning >paoet tydep wil indLRCtIe Hninvss iLRCtIVd ttebve (3,00rae oap itu dis bindLRCtIII ieontmals,fluviostdeetry s dodes theat of the middle ebo itf clieount is wdeaffece.span class="paranumber">16From 2008, new res outsideution ownto runnthoeontere slopf. DurL DAlen uimudeati r baave fen ihe, Ouband LRtcrlirraw ephaere, ause fiknnd soliflhat> ourLnociiholoic)ndidyrvedrp ontere slopf. anus,tdi6 s, ve (3,00serioi,in .onto, o hiLoire A bo of veoaeted>lopf ien xmdep wil. DA-lluviumcatr devfooba(LRCtII.partIV bunt eso pOSL,peast, of fall cavupscav mtdi6 s, drclrnd ta6,is cSRAd IM0r 2 tgibid). S2) nd LRtha,df travf fi846ofldyrlirraw eepisodee, odicat waa6,is c h-soud by ro 4s finger traciof,i thesoliflhat>

Table 1 - Langeaihe-Cota20dPotfronspeV orkeylopfilm o hiy theo 4s finger tracip/p>Zo9om Original (19ng, 1.5M) 772 illustrationleSARdtrong>Table 1 - Langeapntyle="font-weLoir:norRoch:ied bpotfronwie cdper 22 ods t Thtinga 2ve-n bomnto thesLind1846e 5rpnget: Actuavepotfron rtas, bLRCtInhed LRCtII.ted b, Bith,: actuavepotfron rtas, bLRCtIII.ted b, Gveyen: actuavepotfron rtas, bLRCtIV ted btia:arLantto 43,00tci and ts eLRCtI; b.ehelpeeept 22tci and ts eLRCtI; cn: helpeeept 22e-wasfn have luals,LRCtII; d:vrLantto 4LRCtIII; e:eoloo ds eLRCtIII.eyon of silatibzi,in thatuiihostonp; f:vrLantto 4LRCtIV; g:eoloo ds eLRCtIV; h:ibzi,in thatuiihostonpbindLRCtIC;ii:ibzi,in thatuiihostonpbindLRCtII.n of rrigraphA, B, C tgD odicat ded bl miespeV orkede6): par k, h-sou(AB),octd uml(BC) 4ed sou(CD)bstratigslopf. De o,aundlefer is daisan>p6): potfronspeV orkey th.

999 illustrationleSARdtrong>Table 1 - Langeapntyle="font-weLoir:norAdaptddtoo mitu /a>8.2 - The stra8">6 3d ID>t ad h

14For the purpose oThetslopfiometry s o 4s finger traciofVukr tdicoveCoskthosn ded o,00tci and teve beeshea Jay0Dr..n ofs bo (l), a ne Dr. OSL mat waa6,14C a pnksgeoaeted ity somboAnsetlsyc Dr. yielflin sses 22)ll in stratim,(the valletop er;de oi by r7a (D intfhe h inded byquthe Q9veatte hye itu dio 446 m,(gDr. an s,000 y31,048vala29,486 BC ros (Lyund9087)ticaudoeerAcdat ded bbet ad a6,is cOSLstighod sspan class="paranumber">16In 1912, Françoist sf dmethoe>llow/a eclu f mae lay2 relat ed byfous finger traciofV:

ulpan class="para

span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularThyeoclrnd to 43,000 co-shea Jayhher eaveeapancectrothoekrhe h 44,d Lymethodor f tliy ;

span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularAephaert Thtoutsidehher eg theLll ed bth, er;de oi by s 2vala9 y frost) hbrai r;de ooLantto 43,000Dr.-shea Ja;

span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularThfiometry s ontere slopfsndidyrvedrp the vatbleastv40nd Lymetho

span class="paranumber">14When we resumed trrhe h 30nd Lymetho, o,00tci and teve bee0 co-shea JayhheLlibrayqeo mangSL obecum o, o,00 blluviumca est piivaleyccumul>tctsoneniapanceyThis co rlt o corridor.

span class="paranumber">16Today, we can conInrrLantto 43,00tci and talee e d’Achontalr. (LRCtI),t cy evarhledgeoadat ded be infiud by (olooti cli) a pnksgeoaetedrammals,vuttom of 2 relatively ein aee discnaveeb(D 1).s of OSLsdmethoegDr. an s,000 y72,6 Ly± 6,d Lymethod(MFGI Budapfst);s keare A iethoetimulatikadionarboL mat e Hninvssulati14C dmethoein 3,00rae od by di fnduded b0Dr.,igDr. an s,000vssv40nd Lymethod(Lyund6961)paoeor fquaveeoa38,4 Lymethod(Gi y4447)

span class="paranumber">16Next to these remS covern4s finger traciof,i the h-soud by rrammals,inded by) onP220orrido dthe vallellar, is made oLemm alirstee e ie cdp, wheroa d p(D8)Lby 14C ala34,79L-35,942 BC ros (Lyund6962) hal: fs cOSLstighod (D9)egDr. an s,000 y64,100 ± 5,100 method(MFGI Budapfst)

span class="paranumber">16The reopening of Ttigsecrostrsts Tp hh indrLantto 43,00tci and ts e beenDr.,iint devoci and t h inda00orrido d e clo,ndat b t, 2ve orke0 cob 90Sralleie cdpe evarda d quitsett rflo >llow/ weeretho, mires finger traciof ennd,d e :

ulpan class="para

span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularThyeolooti clind by (m infiud by )e prtar of syna sko 43,00tci and talee e nlr. motirvedrp noiod Ja >paoe3Lyon 640nd Lymetho;

span class="paranumberg="en">A very particularThfi h-soud by r tronito,4 advaowahpc settingldiofldyrlirrat episode rovy se the ope l werd by r2 relat a sstLby 35,d Lymetho, r baave be; it /ne e kraanbtoutsr. bhaert(olowthoein 3,00rivy r2 relatfoobastratigslopf)e prta eg the,is bindrLantto 43,00LRCtIII.shea Jay bee0 co-shea JayLRCtIVdna sko 43,00ometry d pmnto thes,eti0epevalletriys vesecrostr


The layers discovCornel-emidebebtained by>p6): b lay ed bspeV LRCtIb 90Sralle A sy ed bspeV LRCtIV e/image/3013/img-5-small580.png" r21l="iconSet">Z21l="iconSet">Original (21ng, 1.5M) 2.2 illustrationleSARdtrong>Table 1 - Langeapntyle="font-weLoir:norThfilw ss, 2ve- tr td ur led 90Srallerae oap itu disros..n of r cor f few>paoet diffoouLRCtIVlast ceousto thn ted b /s43,000Dr. ma LRCtIbse a f tlogaed fu,e o>p6): (Optike

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1616Biblicavapfy h

ACHON (d’) F. 1913 - Au pays des châteaux. La Roche-Cotard. Sa grotte préhistorique. La Touraine 1ère année, n° 4.

AJAS A. 2011 - Étude géoarchéologique du gisement paléolithique de La Roche-Cotard I et IV (Langeais, Indre-et-Loire). Rapport inédit. PACEA, UMR 5199, Univ. Bordeaux 1, 28 p.

AUBERT M., BRUMM A. RAMLI M., SUTIKNA T.D., SAPTOMO E.W., HAKIM B., MORWOOD M.J., VANDENBERGH G.D., KINSLEY L., DOSSETO A. 2014 - Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia   9 oct. 2014 Nature vol 514 p. 222-240.

AUJOULAT N. et CHEVILLOT C. 1989 - Une découverte exceptionnelle à Saint-Martin-de-Fressengeas (Dordogne) : la grotte des Fraux , Documents d’Archéologie et d’Histoire Périgourdines, 4, p. 39-44, 2 fig.

BALLARD C. 1992 - First Report of Digital Fluting from Melanesia. Rock Art Research 9, n° 2, 1992, p. 119-121.

BEDNARIK R. 1986 – Parietal finger Markings in Europe and Australia. Rock Art Research , volume 3, n° 1, p. 30-61.

BEDNARIK R. 1994 - The Discrimination of Rock Markings. Rock Art Research, 1994, volume 11, n° 1, p. 23-44.

BEDNARIK R. 2014 - The known cave art sites of Australia. Voir :

BYRNE N., DELPECH F., PRAT F. 1997 - La Roche-Cotard. Répartition des restes osseux. In : Marquet J.-C. 1997, p. 37.

DUVALL D. 2010 - Finger fluting and other cave art in Cumayasa, Dominican Republic Rock Art Research, 2010, volume 27, n° 2, p. 1-10.

KANBIZ KAMRANI 2014 - 40 000 years old Neanderthal Hashtag Engravings from Gorahm’s cave in Gibraltar; 2 sept. 2014

LORBLANCHET M. 1995 - Les grottes ornées de la préhistoire. Nouveaux regards. Paris : Éditions Errance, 288 p.

LORBLANCHET M. 1999 - La Naissance de l’Art, genèse de l’art préhistorique. Paris, Editions Errance, 304 p.

LORBLANCHET M. 2006 - Les Origines de l’Art, Paris, Éditions du Pommier, Cité des Sciences, 187 p.

LORBLANCHET M. 2008 - Visite à la grotte de La Roche-Cotard (Indre et Loire). Rapport inédit. 5 p. In Rapport d’opération de sondage. Marquet J.-C. 2008, Service régional de l’archéologie du Centre.

LORBLANCHET M. 2013 - Les débuts de l’art rupestre dans le monde, In : Colloque de l’École Pontificale des Sciences, Rome 2013, à paraître aux éditions du CNRS.

MAN-ESTIER E., PAILLET P. 2009 - Rapport d’étude. La Roche-Cotard. Inédit 2 p. In : Marquet J.-C. 2009, Rapport de fouille programmée. Service régional de l’archéologie du Centre.

MARQUET J.-C., BYRNE N., DELPECH F., MACAIRE J.‑J., PRAT F. et RAGE J.-C., 1979 - Un grand site préhistorique en Touraine. La Roche-Cotard à Langeais. Grotte et station du paléolithique moyen. Laboratoire de Géologie. Faculté des sciences. Université François Rabelais, Tours, 1979, 175 p. 64 fig.

MARQUET J.-C., AUBRY T., BYRNE N., DELPECH F., DESSE G., MACAIREJ.-J., PRAT F., RAGE J.-C., URBAN B., VISSET L. 1997 - Le site préhistorique de La Roche-Cotard à Langeais (Indre-et-Loire). Ed. CLD Chambray-les-Tours, 127 p., 82 fig, 24 tabl., 6 pl. hors texte.

MARQUET J.-C., LORBLANCHET M. 2000 - Le masque moustérien de La Roche-Cotard, Langeais (Indre-et-Loire), Paleo, n° 12, p. 325-338.

MARQUET J.-C., LORBLANCHET M. 2003 - A Neandertal face ? The protofigurine from La Roche-Cotard, Langeais (Indre-et-Loire, France), Antiquity volume 77, n° 298, p. 661-670.

PETROGNANI S., BOURRILLON R., BURENS A.,CAROZZA L. 2014 - A la poursuite du temps court : les expressions pariétales de l’âge du Bronze de la grotte des Fraux (Dordogne, France) Paleo numéro spécial 2014 p. 163 à 169.

PETZINGER G. von, NOWELL A. 2011 - A question of style: reconsidering the stylistic approach to dating palaeolithic parietal art in France, In : Antiquity, volume 85,  n° 330 , p. 1165–1183.

PIKE A.WG., PETITT P. 2012 - Redating Ice Age Art; were Neandertals the first artists in Europe? Current World Archaeology, Issue 55, p.22-27

PIKE A.WG., HOFFMANN D., GARCIA-DIEZ M., PETITT PGB., ALCOLEA J., BALBIN, GONZALES-SAINZ G., LAS HERAS C. de, LAS HERAS J.A., MONTES R., ZILHAO J. 2012 - U-series Dating of paleolithic Art in 11 caves in Spain, SCIENCE, vol 336, 15, june 2012, p.1409-1413

PONS-BRANCHU E., BOURILLON R., CONKEY M., FONTUGNE M., GARATE D., QUILES A., RIVERO O., SAUVET G., TOSELLO G., VALLADAS H., WHITE R. 2014 - Uranium-series dating of cartonate formations overlying Paleolithic art, interest and limitations. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique Française,2014-2, avril-juin p.211-224.

RIALLAND Y., DETRAIN L., LENOBLE A. 1995 - A-85. Contournement nord de Langeais (Indre-et-Loire). La Roche-Cotard. Rapport d’étude d’impact. Ministère de la Culture. Préfecture de la Région Centre. DRAC. Service régional de l’Archéologie. 46 p. 19 fig. 6 pl. photo.

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SHARPE K., VAN GELDER L. 2005 - Techniques for Studying Finger Flutings. Society of Primitive Technology Bulletin, 30, p. 68-74.

THAMO-BOZSO E. 2013 - Results of OSL dating La Roche-Cotard LRC/OSL/1-6 samples et Results of OSL dating La Roche-Cotard LRC/OSL/7 sample. Inédits, Magyar Fölsdtani és Geofizikai Intézet, Budapest, 16 p. et 6 p.

TOURON S., BOURGES A. 2012 - Langeais (37, Indre-et-Loire). Grotte de La Roche-Cotard. Identification d’argile et concrétion blanches. Rapport d’étude inédit. Laboratoire de recherches des monuments historiques. Champs-sur-Marne.

VAN HOEK M. 2011 - Aldea de Ramaditas, Chile: Architectural Art or Rock Art? Voir (vu le 21/07/2014).

WHITE R., MENSAN R., BOURRILLON R., CRETIN C., HIGHAM T., CLARK E., SISK M., TARTAR E., GARDÈRE P., GOLDBERG P., PELEGRIN J., VALLADAS H., TSINERAT-LABORDE N., SANOIT (de) J., CHAMBELLAN D., CHIOTTI L. 2012 - Context and dating of Aurignacian vulvar representations from Abri Castanet, France, In : PNAS, T. 109, n° 22, p. 8450-8455

WINTLE A., MURRAY A.S. 2006 - A review of quartz optically stimulated luminescence characteristics and their relevance in single-aliquot regeneration dating protocols. Radiation Measurements 41, 369-391.

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6 Vernacular name given to this rock.

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List of illustrations

Title Figure 1 - La Roche-Cotard in Langeais, Indre-et-Loire. Geographical location.
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Title Figure 2 - La Roche-Cotard. Situation of the four locus of the site.
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Title Figure 3 - Map of cave F. d’Achon, drawn in 1912 by architect J. Froisson. The plan indicates clearly the limit of taken sediments extracted for the railway between Tours and Angers.
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Title Figure 4 - La Roche-Cotard I. Stratigraphy of bits of archaeological strata.
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Title Table 1 - Langeais. Radiocarbon dating and by OSL method of levels of the four loci of the site Roche-Cotard.
Caption OSL measurements were made using a Risø TL/OSL DA-15C/D automatic reader with a calibrated 90Sr/90Y beta source. Luminescence purity of the quartz extracts was checked using infrared stimulation. Blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were used for the optical stimulation of quartz for 40s, at 125ºC. A Single-Aliquot Regenerative-dose (SAR) protocol was used to estimate equivalent doses with illumination for 40s at 280º C in the last step of each cycle (Wintle and Murray, 2006). The additional last cycle was infrared and then blue stimulation with IRSL and OSL measurement respectively to monitor the purity of the quartz grains on each aliquot (Thamo-Bozso 2013). Measurements have been made by Dr. E. Thamo-Bozso, supervised by Dr. G. Turczi, reviewed by Dr. I. Kovacs and approved by Dr. T. Francsik, director in Budapest, 2013.
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Title Figure 5 - La Roche-Cotard IV. Total stratigraphy of the locus. The upper part is north-south, the lower part is east-west.
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Title Figure 6 - La Roche-Cotard I. The ceiling of the cave is made of a strongly silicified biocalcarenitewhose fossils indicate Senonian. The walls show soft «tuffeau chalk» of upper Turonian. Levels of «chert» are visible inside Turonian.
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Title Figure 7 - La Roche-Cotard I. In « la salle du pilier », the wall is covered with a silty clay which is no present on raised relief and cut in by numerous animal grazings.
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Title Figure 8 - La Roche-Cotard I. La salle du pilier. 3D view of the alcove whose wall has markings panels(photo Y. Egels). On left, the situation of that alcove in the room. On right, the position of the different panels. a. Limit between senonian cieling and turonian wall. b. «Chert». c. Lower «chert» level. d. Triangular panel. e. Rectangular panel. f. Punctuation panel. g. Upper limit of the wall which has been dissolved during a phase before occupation of the cave by man.
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Title Figure 9 - La Roche-Cotard I. Panel with circular form in « la salle du pilier ».
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Title Figure 10 - La Roche-Cotard I . Interpretative essay of the panel with circular form in « la salle du pilier ».
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Title Figure 11 - La Roche-Cotard I. Triangular panel (fig. 8d).
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Title Figure 12 - La Roche-Cotard I. Triangular panel. Detail showing reserved parts (three triangular parts and two narrow parallel lines).
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Title Figure 13 - La Roche- Cotard I. Triangular panel. Detail. Photogrammetry. Treatment in color (Photo & treatment Y. Egels). Orange and red parts are « synclinal », green and blue parts are « anticlinal » parts.
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Title Figure 14 - La Roche-Cotard I. Triangular panel. Interpretative essay.
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Title Figure 15 - La Roche-Cotard I. Rectangular panel (fig. 8e).
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Title Figure 18 - La Roche-Cotard I. Two red ochre stains in a niche in the tunnel which is situated between « la salle du pilier » and « la salle de la hyène ». Above and on left, localisation of the niche with three punctuations.
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Title Figure 19 - La Roche-Cotard I. Red ochre puncture and its localisation in the tunnel which conduct to « la salle de la hyène ».
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Title Figure 20 - Profiles of the slope of the site of La Roche-Cotard.
Caption Red : the profile outside the place of extraction of materials in 1846. Orange : Actual profile at the LRC I and LRC II level, Blue : actual profile at the LRC III level, Green : actual profile at the LRC IV level. a: front of the entrance of LRC I; b. base of the entrance of LRC I; c : base of the wall on which leans LRC II; d: front of LRC III; e: floor of LRC III formed by the bed of hard limestone; f: front of LRC IV; g: floor of LRC IV; h: bed of hard limestone in LRC IC; i: bed of hard limestone in LRC II. The letters A, B, C et D indicate the limits of the three parts, upper (AB), medium (BC) and lower (CD) of the slope. Down, on left, localisation of the three profiles of the site.
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Title Figure 21 - La Roche-Cotard I.
Caption Adapted longitudinal profile of the cavity according to the plan on left. Sedimentary filling : i: inferior layer; m: middle layer; s: superior layer; r: reworked; Ch. Turonian Chert; E : cleft in the form of inverted stairs due to the water that has stagnated on the inside of the cavity for a very long period and with an overflow system.
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Title Figure 22 - La Roche-Cotard I et IV. Correlation between the three main levels of LRC I with the deep levels of LRC IV.
Caption The two sections are situated with the same altitude scale. The simplified stratigraphic log of LRC II, LRC III and the boring of SRA/1995, have been also placed on the same scale; the levels with lithic industry of the two locus are at an altitude lightly higher than those of LRC IV. The mousterian level in the cave of LRC I is clearly above the three others.
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Bibliographical reference

Jean-Claude Marquet, Michel Lorblanchet, Yves Egels, José Esquerre-Pourtère and Maria-Sibylla Hesse, « Symbolic character productions in the mousterian site of La Roche-Cotard in Langeais (Indre-et-Loire, France) and their geological context », PALEO, 25 | 2014, 169-194.

Electronic reference

Jean-Claude Marquet, Michel Lorblanchet, Yves Egels, José Esquerre-Pourtère and Maria-Sibylla Hesse, « Symbolic character productions in the mousterian site of La Roche-Cotard in Langeais (Indre-et-Loire, France) and their geological context », PALEO [Online], 25 | 2014, Online since 28 July 2015, connection on 12 December 2017. URL :

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About the authors

Jean-Claude Marquet

Chercheur associé, Laboratoire Archéologie et Territoires Tours, UMR 7324 CITERES,16, Place Richemont, FR-37550 Saint‑Avertin -

Michel Lorblanchet

Directeur de recherches honoraire au CNRS -

Yves Egels

École Nationale des Sciences Géographiques, Champs-sur-Marne -

José Esquerre-Pourtère

Professeur de S.V.T., FR-59239 Thumeries -

Maria-Sibylla Hesse

Professeure d’Histoire et de l’Histoire de l’art à l’École Waldorf de Potsdam (Allemagne) -

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