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PARTIE II - Les résultats archéologiques

The archaeological assemblages analyzed

Céline Thiébaut, Émilie Claud, Sandrine Costamagno, Michel Brenet, Maria Gema Chacón‑Navarro, David Colonge, Aude Coudenneau, Marianne Deschamps et Vincent Mourre
Cet article est une traduction de :
Les ensembles archéologiques analysés [fr]

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1The corpus analyzed under this project involved 18 archaeological levels located over 16 different sites. It differs slightly from that envisaged 10 years ago, for which the initial choices of assemblages was guided by the different work, whether in progress or completed, and the different archaeological issues being addressed by the members of the research project. The study of several assemblages has since had to be abandoned, because of the poor state of preservation of the remains (Cueva Morín and El Pendo for use-wear analysis on flake cleavers), because of difficulties encountered in accessing them, or because of the departure or professional reorientation of certain members of the research project. Although some assemblages have thus been abandoned, our corpus has also been enriched with assemblages from the ocean coast following the archaeological discoveries made by the Inrap teams (Bayonne le Prissé).

2The different sites studied, which are mainly located in southwestern France (figure 171), with the exception of Payre, which is situated in the Ardèche and El Castillo in Cantabria, reflect a topographical diversity of sites occupied by Neanderthal groups (caves, cave entrances, rock shelters, foot of cliffs, avens, and open-air sites). The occupations of the levels studied are mainly attributed to the late Middle Palaeolithic, to OIS 3 and 4, with the exception of Coudoulous 1, which has been attributed to OIS 6 and Payre which has been attributed to OIS 7–8 (table 46).

Figure 171 - Locations of the study sites included in the PCR study

Figure 171 - Locations of the study sites included in the PCR study

Base map: géoatlas

Table 46 - List of the sites and stratigraphic units included in the PCR study with succinct descriptions of topography, dates, technological, faunal, and environmental data; key publications from which this information was obtained

Table 46 - List of the sites and stratigraphic units included in the PCR study with succinct descriptions of topography, dates, technological, faunal, and environmental data; key publications from which this information was obtained

3The environmental data available on some of the archaeological levels indicates occupations involving a variety of contexts. The levels at Saint‑Césaire, Mauran, Coudoulous, Les Fieux, and the cave entrance at El Castillo are thus attributed to cold, open environments, sometimes with a partial regaining of forest cover. The climatic context of Les Pradelles appears to have been very cold, as suggested by the presence of reindeer, while Payre presents an occupation level in a semi-forest environment associated with a cold, dry climate. Finally, the levels of Chez-Pinaud and Grotte du Noisetier are associated with a forest environment in a temperate, humid climate. Depending on the levels studied, the fauna can vary in a specific aspect, reflecting different types of environment, as can it vary in terms of the diversity of species hunted. Some levels are dominated by a single species (bison at Mauran and Coudoulous and reindeer at Les Pradelles) or a majority species such as bison at Les Fieux and ibex at Grotte du Noisetier, while others involve a greater diversity of fauna (Chez-Pinaud, Payre, Saint‑Césaire, and El Castillo, see table 46). Thus, based solely on the study of the fauna and lithic remains, depending on the sites, a relative diversity of occupation patterns seems to appear: seasonal or longer-term occupation for the sites of Payre, Chez-Pinaud, Saint-Césaire, Grotte du Noisetier, and Gatzarria, while others seem closely related to a dominant hunting or butchery activity (Coudoulous, Mauran, Les Fieux, Les Pradelles). Other levels could have had occupations more closely linked to lithic tool production activities such as Bayonne le Prissé PM1 and La Conne de Bergerac. The results of the use-wear analyses have allowed us to specify the occupation type for the majority of the sites in the corpus, particularly for the levels in which fauna are absent. We shall therefore discuss the different functions of the occupation levels in more detail in Part II, chapter 4.5.

4From a technical point of view, with the exception of blade and bladelet debitage, the levels analyzed are a good illustration both of the wide diversity of raw materials used by Neanderthals (flint, quartz, quartzite, lydite, ophite, schist, …) and of the great diversity in the technical objectives of the knappers and the types of tools present: bifaces, flake cleavers, flakes, Levallois flakes, pseudo‑Levallois points, side scrapers, Mousterian points, denticulates, and notches.

5Given the large faunal, technical and environmental diversity that characterizes the archaeological assemblages of the corpus (table 46), we would have liked to be able to examine them by means of a true interdisciplinary study crossing results from lithic technology, use-wear analysis, and zooarcheology with environmental data. However, data is missing for some levels. As the fauna has disappeared from the open-air sites of La Graulet, La Conne de Bergerac, Combe Brune 2 and Le Prissé, we were only able to combine technological analyses with the use-wear studies. For the levels at Abri Olha, some stratigraphic issues rendered a global and interdisciplinary analysis of the formerly identified levels irrelevant. For these levels, only the flake cleavers were analyzed in order to answer functional questions specific to this type of piece (Deschamps, 2014). Regarding the flake cleaver assemblages on the other side of the Pyrenees, it was not possible to access the faunal remains. However, the existence of recent zooarchaeological studies, available on the fauna from the sites of Coudoulous 1 and Mauran meant that it was not necessary to review them. Nevertheless, the poor state of the surfaces of the faunal remains from Coudoulous, Mauran and Les Fieux prevented us from carrying out a detailed analysis of the cutmarks in terms of their location and morphology. Furthermore, it was not possible to gain access to certain zooarcheological or lithic assemblages from the Pre‑Pyrenees, the Charente or the Charente-Maritime. In the end, only Grotte du Noisetier benefited from the different analyses and it is unfortunately not the easiest site to interpret from a stratigraphic point of view, nor the best preserved in terms of surface condition or the condition of the working edges of the lithic tools.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 171 - Locations of the study sites included in the PCR study
Crédits Base map: géoatlas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/4113/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 100k
Titre Table 46 - List of the sites and stratigraphic units included in the PCR study with succinct descriptions of topography, dates, technological, faunal, and environmental data; key publications from which this information was obtained
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/4113/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,2M
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Céline Thiébaut, Émilie Claud, Sandrine Costamagno, Michel Brenet, Maria Gema Chacón‑Navarro, David Colonge, Aude Coudenneau, Marianne Deschamps et Vincent Mourre, « The archaeological assemblages analyzed », Palethnologie [En ligne], 10 | 2019, mis en ligne le 01 novembre 2019, consulté le 16 décembre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/4113

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Auteurs

Céline Thiébaut

University Toulouse Jean Jaurès, UMR 5608 – Traces
celine.thiebaut|at]wanadoo.fr

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Émilie Claud

University of Bordeaux, UMR 5199 – Pacea / INRAP
emilie.claud[at]inrap.fr

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Sandrine Costamagno

University Toulouse Jean Jaurès / CNRS, UMR 5608 – Traces
costamag[at]univ-tlse2.fr

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Michel Brenet

University of Bordeaux, UMR 5199 – Pacea / INRAP
michel.brenet[at]inrap.fr

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Maria Gema Chacón‑Navarro

Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana I Evolució Social / Universitat Rovira I Virgili / UMR 7194 – HNHP
gchacon[at]prehistoria.urv.cat

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David Colonge

University Toulouse Jean Jaurès, UMR 5608 – Traces / INRAP
david.colonge[at]inrap.fr

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Aude Coudenneau

coudenneau.aude[at]orange.fr

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Marianne Deschamps

UNIARQ – Centro de Arqueologia da Universidade de Lisboa / Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès / CNRS, UMR 5608 – Traces
mardesch1690[at]gmail.com

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Vincent Mourre

University Toulouse Jean Jaurès, UMR 5608 – Traces / INRAP
vincent.mourre[at]inrap.fr

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Palethnologie est mis à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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