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The Chassean lithic industry from Bernières-sur-Seine “Les Fondriaux” (Eure)

Dominique Prost, Miguel Biard, Valérie Deloze, Renaud Gosselin et Denis Lepinay
p. 337-339
Cet article est une traduction de :
L’industrie lithique chasséenne de Bernières-sur-Seine « Les Fondriaux » (Eure) [fr]

Résumés

En Haute-Normandie dans l’Eure, au bord d’un paléochenal de la Seine, la fouille d’une occupation du Chasséen septentrional a mis au jour une importante industrie lithique bien conservée dont l’étude exhaustive fait l’objet de cette publication. Le débitage en silex d’origine locale, qui est la principale source d’approvisionnement, était destiné à une production quasi exclusive d’éclats pour servir de support à plusieurs types d’outils selon différents modes opératoires. Certaines étapes de la chaîne opératoire semblent avoir été privilégiées pour fournir des supports adaptés à certains outils. Des procédés techniques de retouches originaux, élaborés ont également été mis en évidence pour optimiser leur utilisation. Parmi l’outillage, sont présents en majorité les grattoirs utilisés principalement pour le travail des peaux, mais non de façon exclusive. D’autres outils, en proportion plus faible (tranchets, denticulés, pièces à dos, armatures de flèches tranchantes, outils perforants et percutants, etc.) sont présents, parmi lesquels un dépôt exceptionnel de deux lames de haches appariées, brûlées. L’étude détaillée de certains de ces outils vise à mettre en évidence des particularités techniques, typologiques et fonctionnelles qui enrichissent nos connaissances sur l’usage des outils de cette culture. Ces nouvelles données font de Bernières-sur-Seine un nouveau site de référence pour le Chasséen septentrional du Bassin parisien.

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Notes de la rédaction

Received: 1 September 2013 – Admitted after revisions: 3 February 2015 – Modified: 15 March 2017

Texte intégral

1A northern Chassean site (4200-3500 BC), from the Neolithic culture, implanted on the banks of a paleochannel of the Seine in Upper Normandy in the Eure (fig. 1 and 2), on the townland of Bernières-sur-Seine, was discovered during an AFAN excavation in 1998, directed by R. Martinez. This site revealed the preservation of a long duration occupation on a sandy substratum, characterized by a dense spread of objects over a surface of 1,138 m² (fig. 3).

Fig. 1. Geographic location of the Bernières-sur-Seine site “Les Fondriaux” (Eure)

Fig. 1. Geographic location of the Bernières-sur-Seine site “Les Fondriaux” (Eure)

CAD: D. Lépinay

Fig. 2. Situation of the site near the Seine and its palaeochannel

Fig. 2. Situation of the site near the Seine and its palaeochannel

CAD: D. Lépinay

Fig. 3. Spatial distribution of the objects from sectors II and III

Fig. 3. Spatial distribution of the objects from sectors II and III

CAD: D. Prost

2The recovered remains (pottery, knapped flints, several bones remains, grinding material) provide evidence of diverse domestic activities. The pottery (fig. 5) consists of simple, segmented vases with an individualized neck, pedestalled bowls and bread dishes, and is similar to the pottery from the neighbouring site of Louviers “La Villette” –a reference site for Upper Normandy– attributed to the middle phase of the northern Chassean (Giligny et al., 2005).

Fig. 5. Pottery. A: pedestalled bowls; B: prehensile elements; C: diverse shapes

Fig. 5. Pottery. A: pedestalled bowls; B: prehensile elements; C: diverse shapes

Drawings: D. Prost and CAD: D. Lépinay

3Technological, typological and functional analyses were conducted on the abundant and well-conserved lithic industry and the aim of this paper is to present the main results of these studies. The interest of this study is to bring to light hitherto unknown or overlooked characteristics in the other lithic series from Chassean sites in Upper Normandy, and more generally in the Paris basin.

4Local flint is the main raw material used at the site. It was used for the almost exclusive production of flakes, which served as blanks for diverse tools. This flint was post-depositionally affected by a polychromatic alteration, giving it bright oxidising red, orange to yellow hues (fig. 6). This alteration also seems to have affected the lithic objects from some Chassean sites in the Seine Valley and its tributaries, as is the case for Louviers “La Villette” and Saint-Pierre-d’Autils “carrière GSM”, as well as the sites at Heudebouville “Ecoparc II” and Val-de-Reuil “La Goujonnière”.

Fig. 6. Polychromatic alteration of the Bernières flint used during the Chassean

Fig. 6. Polychromatic alteration of the Bernières flint used during the Chassean

Photo: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

5Like at Louviers “La Villette”, laminar products represent about 1% of all the lithic products. But the main characteristic of the industry from Bernières-sur-Seine “Les Fondriaux” is that the debitage appears to be exclusively reserved for flake production, removed with a hard hammer (fig. 7), unlike at Louviers “La Villette”, which presents evidence of laminar debitage (Augereau in Giligny et al., 2005). The technological study reveals six different operational modes, with a majority of unidirectional debitage. The other most frequent debitage modes are multidirectional and bidirectional. Discoid debitage (fig. 7) and Kombewa debitage were also used (fig. 8).

Fig. 7. Flake cores

Fig. 7. Flake cores

n°1: discoid core; n°2: unidirectional core; n°3: multidirectional core; n°4: slightly knapped core; n°5: bipolar core

Drawings: M. Biard and D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

Fig. 8. Removal of flakes from the flake-core according to the Kombewa method

Fig. 8. Removal of flakes from the flake-core according to the Kombewa method

Drawings: M. Biard and D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

6The studied series consists of 680 out of the 817 recovered tools, which can be divided into three main categories:

  • a posteriori tools (tools used without retouch, with partial retouch, notches): 8.9%,
  • percussion tools (bush hammers, hammer stones, pestles, etc.): 7.5%,
  • shaped tools (on flakes, blades and central mass): 83.6%.

7The main types of shaped tools are end scrapers (52%), denticulates (8.3%), tranchet-punches (5.9%) and perforating tools (2.8%). Backed objects (1.1%), sharp armatures (1%) and burins (1.3%) are represented by low proportions.

8The study of the main tools (end scrapers, denticulates, tranchets) shows a selective choice of blanks, or even specific production at some stages of the chaîne opératoire. We observed that the end scraper blanks all present a retouched end with an arched profile (fig. 10). This arc is very frequently located on the distal end of the flakes and is often cortical, indicating that these flakes were produced during a specific phase of the debitage chaine opératoire of small blocks, the secondary flaking phase.

Fig. 10. Morphological variety of end scrapers

Fig. 10. Morphological variety of end scrapers

n° 1: semi-circular end scraper; n° 2: nosed end scraper; n° 3: end scraper on blade; n°4: left lateral nosed end scraper; n° 5: offset left end scraper; n°6: double offset end scraper

Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

9Tranchets were made on non-cortical flakes with a rectilinear profile which corresponds to a later debitage phase. Although the production modalities are selective for certain tool types, they do not appear to be very elaborate, but rather expedient or even simplified. However, all the observed technical debitage nuances served to facilitate, or even anticipate tool production and transformation. Alongside this, several elaborate retouch processes, including some unpublished techniques, have been identified. This is the case for the “coup de Bernières”, using our terminology, which mainly affects the end scrapers (fig. 12). It was probably associated with obtaining or realigning the convexity of the arc.

Fig. 12. Example of “coups de Bernières” on end scraper retouch (n° 1 and 2) and on a non-retouched edge (n° 3)

Fig. 12. Example of “coups de Bernières” on end scraper retouch (n° 1 and 2) and on a non-retouched edge (n° 3)

Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

10We also identified an original procedure used for the burins, the “offset coup de burin” (fig. 13), brought to light at Cerny (Biard in Prost et al., 2015) and also recently at Blicquy-Villeneuve-Saint-Germain (Biard and Riche, forthcoming).

Fig. 13. Example of an “offset coup de burin”

Fig. 13. Example of an “offset coup de burin”

Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

11As observed, most of the functional characteristics of the use of Chassean end scrapers suggest a rather traditional use for hide processing. It is well known that flint end scrapers were mainly used for working hide to transform it into leather (Audoin-Rouzeau and Beyries, 2002; Gosselin, 2005). According to the functional analysis carried out on a series of 41 objects, we observed that a lot of the end scrapers from Bernières were used for this type of work (59% of the series), but they also reveal wider functional diversity (fig. 17, 18 and 19). First of all, we identified hafting marks on some of them, as well as the possible use of some of them as percussion tools. The study of the micro traces under the optical microscope, completed by the chemical characterization of the use polishes, resulted in the hypothesis that these tools were used as end scraper adzes on hard plant materials, which is correlated by the fact that the blanks have a rectilinear rather than an arched end. Some of the larger tools are characterized by a splintered end and may also have been used as hoe blades.

Fig. 17. Micro-removal on the distal working edge of the end scraper “D3, n° 2” linked to working plant matter by handheld percussion (x8)

Fig. 17. Micro-removal on the distal working edge of the end scraper “D3, n° 2” linked to working plant matter by handheld percussion (x8)

CAD: R. Gosselin

Fig. 18. Example of an “end scraper-adze”

Fig. 18. Example of an “end scraper-adze”

Top (a), use wear polish related to working woody plant matter; montage of several photos taken on the distal edge of object n° 43 (x100); bottom, right (b), comparison with a slightly used surface of the same working edge

CAD: R. Gosselin

Fig. 19. Microscopic observations and the contribution of chemistry

Fig. 19. Microscopic observations and the contribution of chemistry

Top, we observe the similarity between a polish resulting from scraping cervid antler (a) on an experimental object (x100) and the polish (b) observed on the arc of the tool “E4, n° 33” (x100); bottom, the chemical analysis of the polish (c) observed on the end scraper from Bernières refutes the strong similarity suggested by microscopic observation

CAD: R. Gosselin

12The typological study of the tranchets brings to light two distinct sub-types, A and B (fig. 20 and 22). The analysis of the use wear marks on the cutting edges at low magnification reveals four functional groups (fig. 23). The results tend to show that there is a possible correlation between the morphological sub-types and these functional groups. Other characteristics on the toolkit include the unprecedented existence of bevelled becs (fig. 24). Lastly, we also point out the exceptional discovery of a deposit of two burnt matching axe blades.

Fig. 20. Tranchets, sub-type A

Fig. 20. Tranchets, sub-type A

Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

Fig. 22. Tranchets, sub-type B

Fig. 22. Tranchets, sub-type B

Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

Fig. 23. Frequency histogram of the tranchet sub-types A and B according to their functional groups

Fig. 23. Frequency histogram of the tranchet sub-types A and B according to their functional groups

CAD: D. Prost

Fig. 24. Bevelled becs

Fig. 24. Bevelled becs

n° 1 to 3: Bernières-sur-Seine; 4: Coupvray “La Mézière-sud”  (Marne-la-Vallée)

Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay

13These results provide complementary information for this period in the northwest of France (Hamard, 1993; Augereau and Hamard, 1991; Augereau, 1993; Augereau and Bostyn, 2008). They bring new and unprecedented technological, typological and microwear data that enhance our knowledge of the activities developed during the Middle Neolithic II. We also observe in the Bernières industry, and in other Chassean sites, a Cerny tradition (almost exclusive flake debitage, dominant end scrapers associated with tranchets, denticulates, cutting armatures, etc.; cf. Biard in Prost et al., 2015). On the other hand, the Bernières Chassean shows specific chrono-cultural characteristics, such as the specific polychromatic alteration of local flint, innovations such as type A tranchets, the appearance of tools such as bevelled becs, the use of end scrapers, particularly hafted tools, for tasks other than hide processing.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1. Geographic location of the Bernières-sur-Seine site “Les Fondriaux” (Eure)
Crédits CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,2M
Titre Fig. 2. Situation of the site near the Seine and its palaeochannel
Crédits CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 810k
Titre Fig. 3. Spatial distribution of the objects from sectors II and III
Crédits CAD: D. Prost
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 606k
Titre Fig. 5. Pottery. A: pedestalled bowls; B: prehensile elements; C: diverse shapes
Crédits Drawings: D. Prost and CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 922k
Titre Fig. 6. Polychromatic alteration of the Bernières flint used during the Chassean
Crédits Photo: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 453k
Titre Fig. 7. Flake cores
Légende n°1: discoid core; n°2: unidirectional core; n°3: multidirectional core; n°4: slightly knapped core; n°5: bipolar core
Crédits Drawings: M. Biard and D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Fig. 8. Removal of flakes from the flake-core according to the Kombewa method
Crédits Drawings: M. Biard and D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 652k
Titre Fig. 10. Morphological variety of end scrapers
Légende n° 1: semi-circular end scraper; n° 2: nosed end scraper; n° 3: end scraper on blade; n°4: left lateral nosed end scraper; n° 5: offset left end scraper; n°6: double offset end scraper
Crédits Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 694k
Titre Fig. 12. Example of “coups de Bernières” on end scraper retouch (n° 1 and 2) and on a non-retouched edge (n° 3)
Crédits Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 553k
Titre Fig. 13. Example of an “offset coup de burin”
Crédits Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 231k
Titre Fig. 17. Micro-removal on the distal working edge of the end scraper “D3, n° 2” linked to working plant matter by handheld percussion (x8)
Crédits CAD: R. Gosselin
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 708k
Titre Fig. 18. Example of an “end scraper-adze”
Légende Top (a), use wear polish related to working woody plant matter; montage of several photos taken on the distal edge of object n° 43 (x100); bottom, right (b), comparison with a slightly used surface of the same working edge
Crédits CAD: R. Gosselin
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 742k
Titre Fig. 19. Microscopic observations and the contribution of chemistry
Légende Top, we observe the similarity between a polish resulting from scraping cervid antler (a) on an experimental object (x100) and the polish (b) observed on the arc of the tool “E4, n° 33” (x100); bottom, the chemical analysis of the polish (c) observed on the end scraper from Bernières refutes the strong similarity suggested by microscopic observation
Crédits CAD: R. Gosselin
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 20. Tranchets, sub-type A
Crédits Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 878k
Titre Fig. 22. Tranchets, sub-type B
Crédits Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 723k
Titre Fig. 23. Frequency histogram of the tranchet sub-types A and B according to their functional groups
Crédits CAD: D. Prost
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 247k
Titre Fig. 24. Bevelled becs
Légende n° 1 to 3: Bernières-sur-Seine; 4: Coupvray “La Mézière-sud”  (Marne-la-Vallée)
Crédits Drawings: D. Prost; CAD: D. Lépinay
URL http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/docannexe/image/479/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 510k
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Référence papier

Dominique Prost, Miguel Biard, Valérie Deloze, Renaud Gosselin et Denis Lepinay, « The Chassean lithic industry from Bernières-sur-Seine “Les Fondriaux” (Eure) », Gallia Préhistoire, 57 | 2017, 337-339.

Référence électronique

Dominique Prost, Miguel Biard, Valérie Deloze, Renaud Gosselin et Denis Lepinay, « The Chassean lithic industry from Bernières-sur-Seine “Les Fondriaux” (Eure) », Gallia Préhistoire [En ligne], 57 | 2017, mis en ligne le 15 février 2018, consulté le 23 juin 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/galliap/479 ; DOI : 10.4000/galliap.479

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Auteurs

Dominique Prost

INRAP Normandie, 30 boulevard de Verdun, immeuble Jean-Mermoz, 76120 Grand-Quevilly – dominique.prost@inrap.fr

Miguel Biard

INRAP Normandie, 30 boulevard de Verdun, immeuble Jean-Mermoz, 76120 Grand-Quevilly – miguel.biard@inrap.fr

Valérie Deloze

INRAP Pays-de-Loire, 20 rue Hyppolite-Foucault, 72200 Le Mans – valerie.deloze@inrap.fr

Renaud Gosselin

INRAP Centre-Ile-de-France, 31 rue Délizy, 93698 Pantin – renaud.gosselin@inrap.fr

Denis Lepinay

INRAP Normandie, 30 boulevard de Verdun, immeuble Jean-Mermoz, 76120 Grand-Quevilly – denis.lepinay@inrap.fr

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Droits d’auteur

Gallia Préhistoire

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