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The Chronocultural Sequence of Belgian Complexes in the European Aurignacian Context

Damien Flas
Cet article est une traduction de :
La séquence chrono-culturelle des ensembles belges dans le cadre de l’Aurignacien européen [fr]

Résumé

The study of Aurignacian collections from the Meuse Basin, associated with recent fieldwork data, has led to a new overview of the Aurignacian in this region. This work discredits some of the hypotheses advanced for the earliest Aurignacian occupations in north-western Europe and proposes a hypothetical chronocultural sequence based on the most reliable data for this period. The Meuse Basin presents an important concentration of Aurignacian occupations, some of them very rich and this zone is therefore conducive to large scale comparisons, in particular with regions with a better defined chronostratigraphic framework. The existence of technical and artistic similarities between these different European regions also highlights the strong links binding the Aurignacian complex, and is probably an important element for understanding the transition from the Middle Paleolithic to the Upper Paleolithic in Europe.

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Texte intégral

Introduction

1Aurignacian occupations are generally rare in the northwest of Europe and are represented by rather sparse assemblages, apart from in the Meuse Basin, in the southern part of Belgium. These traces of the Aurignacian complex are important as they probably correspond to the first dispersals of anatomically modern populations into northern latitudes. Due to the abundance of these assemblages, comparisons with other European regions can be undertaken.

2The Belgian Meuse Basin presents a remarkable concentration of Aurignacian occupations in relation to the rest of north-western Europe. In comparison, evidence of the Aurignacian in Great Britain is limited to several artefacts (Dinnis, 2012), the plains of the North of France are scattered with rare assemblages, often with no chronostratigraphic context (Bodu et al., 2013; Brou et al., 2013; Fagnart et al., 2013), and northern Germany, from the Rhine to the Oder, only contains several important sites (Wildscheuer, Lommersum, Breitenbach; Hahn, 1977, 1989; figure 1). Conversely, at least sixteen Belgian sites are attributable to the Aurignacian (Flas, 2008), including several particularly rich sites. The density of Aurignacian occupations in this region could be linked to the fact that intensive research has long been carried out in the Meuse karst (Otte, Noiret, 2013). Nonetheless, this cannot fully account for differences between regions with much scanter remains, such as Great Britain, where equally intensive research has been conducted since the first half of the 19th century (Flas, 2009; Dinnis, 2013), and the north of France where numerous rescue archeology operations have only yielded very rare traces of the early Upper Paleolithic (Goval, Hérisson, 2012; Fagnart et al., 2013). However, it is important to recall that taphonomic conditions in the latter region are not very conducive to the preservation and discovery of early Upper Paleolithic sites (Soriano, 2013).

Figure 1 - Map showing the main sites mentioned in the text.

Figure 1 - Map showing the main sites mentioned in the text.

CAD: D. Flas, F. Tessier

3However, most of the Aurignacian assemblages from the Meuse Basin are from early excavations, dating mainly from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, and thus present inaccurate and unreliable data. Moreover, the last detailed study of these assemblages was conducted about forty years ago (Otte, 1979). Since that time, major developments have changed our perception and approach to Aurignacian lithic complexes, particularly as far as bladelet production methods are concerned, leading to a renewed understanding of the chronological and technological structure of the different phases or facies of the Aurignacian complex (Le Brun-Ricalens et al., 2005). Furthermore, a growing awareness of taphonomic factors has underlined problems of reliability in archeological assemblages and opened the way to a critical revision of formerly advanced hypotheses. In addition, recent excavations (Maisières-Canal; Miller et al., 2004) and chronological and stratigraphic data (Trou Walou and Trou Al’Wesse; Pirson et al., 2012; Miller et al., 2011) have also enhanced our vision of the Belgian Aurignacian.

4A program of study for the collections from early excavations was thus initiated and is currently in progress. This revision of the Aurignacian of the Meuse Basin, and in particular the lithic component, began with the study of the Spy Cave collections (Flas et al., 2013) and continued with the examination of the main Aurignacian sites (Trou Magrite, Goyet, Trou du Renard, Trou du Sureau, Trou Al’Wesse, Grand-Abri at Ben-Ahin). The preliminary results of these studies are presented here. This new approach to lithic assemblages is mainly based on recent advances in Aurignacian techno-typology, developed over the course of the past fifteen years for sequences from the South of France. These have resulted in a more accurate description of the technical evolution sequencing of the Aurignacian complex (Bon, 2002; Bordes, 2006; Chiotti, 2003; Le Brun-Ricalens et al., 2005; Michel, 2010; Pesesse, Michel, 2006).

1 - A very early Aurignacian in the northwest of Europe?

  • 1 All the dates cited are in non-calibrated radiocarbon chronology.

5Most of the work on Le Trou Magrite was carried out at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, and yielded considerable Mousterian (Ulrix-Closset, 1975), Aurignacian and Gravettian industries (Otte, 1979), as well as several more recent elements from the Magdalenian to the Iron Age (Dewez, 1985, 1987). More recent operations were conducted on the terrace of Le Trou Magrite in 1991-1992, resulting in the identification of several archeological layers. Among these, stratum 3 yielded material attributed to the Aurignacian and radiocarbon dated to 41300±1690 BP (CAMS-10352)1 (Straus, 1995). As a result of this attribution, certain researchers assumed that anatomically modern humans and the Aurignacian spread across northern Europe at an early stage (Churchill, Smith, 2000; Davies, 2001; Harrold, Otte, 2000; Klein, 2000). However, others expressed reservations as to the reliability of the association between the dated bones and the lithic assemblage (Jacobi, Pettitt, 2000); whereas others suggested ascribing this assemblage to a transitional industry with leaf-shaped points rather than to the Aurignacian (Djindjian et al., 2003; Zilhão, d’Errico, 1999).

6The revised study of the material curated at the University of Liège, shows that the attribution of the assemblage from stratum 3 to the Aurignacian can be ruled out. Contrary to the typological interpretations advanced up until now (Straus, 1995), no characteristic Aurignacian artefacts, such as carinated pieces or Dufour bladelets, are present in this assemblage. Practically all of the collection displays typological and technological attributes compatible with the Middle Paleolithic (figure 2). Only a few elements (30 out of 2319 artefacts) may possibly be ascribed to the Upper Paleolithic (bladelet fragments, light blades, a crested blade), but are not typical of the Aurignacian. Moreover, these elements include a mesial fragment of a stemmed piece, similar to the Font-Robert points from earlier excavations (Otte, 1979) and probably Gravettian. In addition, most of the artefacts from stratum 3 display significant damage (chipped edges, blunted surfaces), pointing to substantial post-depositional disturbance. This zone also appears to have been affected by bioturbation, leading to the intrusion of much more recent elements, as shown by the presence of metallic slag. These observations show that this assemblage probably corresponds to Mousterian material comprising several intrusive pieces (in particular a Gravettian one), and that given the considerable damage to the material, it may not be in primary position. Therefore the bone dated to 40000 BP is not incoherent with the lithic material but cannot be used to date the Mousterian occupation on account of the apparent displacement of the deposits.

Figure 2 - Trou Magrite, stratum 3.

Figure 2 - Trou Magrite, stratum 3.

1: side scraper; 2: side scraper (classified as a nosed end scraper by L. Straus); 3: side scraper fragment

after Straus, 1995

7This research thus confirms previously expressed doubts as to the Aurignacian nature of this assemblage and thereby calls into question the presence of this complex at such an early stage in north-western Europe. This latter question is particularly pertinent in the light of the recently advanced hypotheses founded on the new age estimate of the human remains from Kent’s Cavern in England (Higham et al., 2011a). This estimate, which is solely based on a Bayesian model established from the radiocarbon dates of faunal remains, postulates that the fragment of anatomically modern maxillary found in this cave during the 1920s, should be older than ~37000 BP and thus corresponds to a starting date for the diffusion of the Aurignacian complex into the British Isles. However, the stratigraphic context of this discovery is not reliable (Flas, 2013; White, Pettitt, 2012), as shown by blade fragment refits demonstrating the secondary position of these deposits. Furthermore, no evidence of early Aurignacian occupation is known in Great Britain, only later Aurignacian stages (Dinnis, 2012).

8The absence of a very early Aurignacian in north-western Europe is also compatible with data pointing to the presence of another complex in this region; the Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician, and the persistence of the Neanderthal population until around 36000 BP in Spy Cave (Flas, 2014; Semal et al., 2013).

2 - Is there a proto-Aurignacian north of Arcy-sur-Cure?

9In certain stratigraphic sequences in the southwest of France, assemblages with retouched bladelets beneath Aurignacian levels were initially classified as "Perigordian II" by Denis Peyrony (1946). Later, similarities with the Aurignacian complex were taken into account and these assemblages were described as "Proto-Aurignacian" by Georges Laplace (1966). However, this concept was subsequently seldom used and some of these assemblages, at times mixed with heterogenous collections, were classified into diverse categories, namely the "Aurignacian 0" (Djindjian, 1993). Recently, renewed technological approaches to Aurignacian lithic industries have confirmed the differences between the Proto-Aurignacian and the early Aurignacian (or Aurignacian I), in particular concerning the typology of retouched bladelets and the technical relationships between bladelet and blade production (Bon, 2002; Bordes, 2006). The same differences observed in French assemblages have also been documented in Central Europe (Teyssandier, 2008), where the "Krems-Dufour" type Aurignacian, defined by Joachim Hahn (1977), partly corresponds to the Proto-Aurignacian. These early Upper Paleolithic assemblages with large retouched bladelets are part of a far-reaching phenomenon identified from the North of Spain to the Balkans and present similarities with some industries from the Near East (Tsanova et al., 2012). In a European context, the geographic distribution of the Proto-Aurignacian thus appears to be based in the south, and the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure, with an abundant Proto-Aurignacian assemblage in layer VII (Bon, Bodu, 2002), seems to represent its northernmost extension.

10The presence of this Proto-Aurignacian in the northwest of Europe might well be a particularly important element for discussions concerning the transition processes from the Middle to the Upper Paleolithic and the dispersal of modern humans in these regions. However, the presence of large Dufour bladelets in several lithic assemblages from the Meuse Basin had only been occasionally pointed out up until now (Otte, 1979). During the recent revision of the material from Spy Cave, two long and rectilinear fragments of Dufour bladelets were identified (Flas et al., 2013). These pieces were similar to Proto-Aurignacian elements and equivalent pieces have also been identified in collections from Goyet, Abri Sandron, Trou du Chêne (Otte, 1979), Scladina Cave (Otte, 1998) and Franquenies (figure 3). However, in all these cases, these pieces lack a precise stratigraphic context and nothing allows us to confirm that they are from an early Upper Paleolithic occupation. It is imperative to continue the examination of collections comprising such bladelets with inverse retouch but caution must be applied to the interpretation of rare elements with no well-defined chronological and stratigraphic context due to the risk of confusion with pieces from the recent Upper Paleolithic. Indeed, similar bladelets with inverse retouch have been identified in the final Magdalenian in the North of France (Valentin, 1995) and in Belgium (Dewez, 1987).

Figure 3 - Fragments of rectilinear bladelets with inverse retouch on the right edge, similar to Proto-Aurignacian Dufour bladelets.

Figure 3 - Fragments of rectilinear bladelets with inverse retouch on the right edge, similar to Proto-Aurignacian Dufour bladelets.

1-2: Spy Cave; 3: Trou du Chêne

1-2: after Flas et al., 2013; 3: after Otte, 1979

11For the time being, it would be hasty to affirm the presence of the Proto-Aurignacian in the Meuse Basin on the basis of these few artefacts. However, the existence of these pieces should be taken into account in the study of other assemblages from north-western Europe as a more northern Proto-Aurignacian presence remains possible. This is the case, in particular for Beg-ar-C’hastel, on the north coast of Brittany. This site yielded an assemblage with numerous Dufour bladelets strongly evoking the Proto-Aurignacian, in a stratigraphic context preceding the last glacial maximum (Giot et al., 1975; Hinguant, Monnier, 2013). In any event, if the Proto-Aurignacian extended north of the Paris Basin, it could probably only have done so during a period contemporaneous with the northernmost Proto-Aurignacian assemblages currently known, between ca. 36 and 34000 BP (layer VII of Grotte du Renne, lower unit 04 of Les Cottés; Higham et al., 2010; Hublin et al., 2012; Talamo et al., 2012).

3 - A chronocultural proposition for the Aurignacian sequence in the Meuse Basin

A - The early Aurignacian with split-based points

12Unlike the Proto-Aurignacian, the presence of occupations attributable to the early Aurignacian appears more certain. However, for the time being, no consistent occupation or clearly identified archeological level backs up this affirmation, which is solely based on artefacts from diffuse collections probably including artefacts from different phases of the Aurignacian. Nonetheless, comparisons with reliable industries enable us to identify an early Aurignacian component in these mixed assemblages. The presence of carinated "end scrapers" with a wide debitage surface used to produce curved bladelets over 2 cm long, some of which are transformed by retouch into Dufour sub-type Dufour bladelets, evokes assemblages from the early Aurignacian in other regions (Bon, 2002; Bordes, 2006; Chiotti, 2003; Le Brun-Ricalens, 2005; Pelegrin, O’Farrell, 2005; Teyssandier, 2008). Moreover, several caves from the Meuse Basin have yielded split-based osseous points. The strict correlation between this type of point and the early Aurignacian is subject to debate, as it may also be present in Proto-Aurignacian assemblages, in particular (Ortega Cobos et al., 2005; Tartar, White, 2013). However, to our knowledge, when only homogeneous assemblages are taken into account, no split-based osseous points have been recorded more recently than the early Aurignacian. It thus appears that the several split-based points from the Meuse Basin may be consistent with the previously described lithic elements and probably correspond to an early Aurignacian occupation. These early traces of the Aurignacian complex in this region have been identified in several caves: Spy (Flas et al., 2013), Goyet, Trou Magrite, Trou du Sureau and Trou Al’Wesse (Otte, 1979) (figure 4).

Figure 4 - Elements attributable to the early Aurignacian.

Figure 4 - Elements attributable to the early Aurignacian.

1: carinated end scraper (Spy Cave); 2, 6-7: split-based points (2, 6: Spy Cave; 7: Trou du Sureau); 3-5: Dufour bladelets (Dufour sub-type), Spy caves

1-5: after Flas et al., 2013; 6-7: after Otte, 1979

13It is difficult to directly date this phase, given the mixed character of the assemblages. At Trou Al’Wesse, a recently discovered bone tool was dated to 33600±550 BP (OxA-19969; Miller et al., 2011) and could hypothetically correspond to previously discovered early Aurignacian elements (Otte, 1979). At Spy, a point fragment, probably from a split-based antler point, was dated to 32800 +200/-190 BP (GrA-32619), which is probably a rather young age (C/N ratio=3.6; Semal et al., 2013). Near the Belgian Meuse Basin, the open-air site of Lommersum (Rhineland) yielded an occupation with similar bladelet production to early Aurignacian productions, dated between ca. 35 and 33000 BP (Hahn, 1989; Matthies, 2012). Up until now, this was the earliest known Aurignacian occupation in these northern regions.

14These chronological data are also coherent with the dates for the split-based point assemblages in France, as in layers 14 to 9 at Abri Pataud, ca. 35000 to 33500 (Higham et al., 2011b), Abri Castanet from ca. 33 to 32000 BP (White et al., 2012) and Trou de la Mère Clochette between ca. 35500 and 33500 BP (Szmidt et al., 2010).

B - The middle Aurignacian with nosed scrapers

15The sequences from the southwest of France, between the early "classic" Aurignacian and the recent Aurignacian with carinated burins (burins busqués, Vachons burins), often comprise levels characterized by the predominance of carinated "nosed" end scrapers, cores producing frequently twisted and smaller bladelets than during the previous phase (Bordes, 2005, 2006; Chiotti, 2003; Michel, 2010). These elements are frequent in Belgian Aurignacian assemblages (figure 5). They account for the majority of carinated pieces observed during the recent revision of the collections from Spy Cave (Flas et al., 2013). They are also abundant in many other assemblages, in particular at Trou Magrite, Goyet, Grotte de la Princesse Pauline and Trou du Diable (Otte, 1979). However this phase never occurs in consistent and chronologically well-defined assemblages. One of the rare assemblages with a middle Aurignacian series showing little evidence of contamination by other phases of the same complex is Grand-Abri at Ben-Ahin (Destexhe-Jamotte, 1973). The direct dating of the bone material from this latter site could thus potentially shed light on the chronology of this phase in the Meuse Basin. In comparison, in the Abri Pataud sequence (layer 8), this middle phase of the Aurignacian complex was recently dated to approximately 33000 BP (Higham et al., 2011b).

Figure 5 - Nosed end scrapers.

Figure 5 - Nosed end scrapers.

1-3: Spy Cave; 4-6: Grand-Abri (or grotte de la Cave, Ben-Ahin)

1-3: after Flas et al., 2013; 4-6: after Destexhe-Jamotte, 1973

C - The recent Aurignacian with burins busqués

16In the Aquitaine sequences, "carinated burin" type cores develop in the most recent levels, particularly burins busqués and Vachons burins (Bordes, Lenoble, 2002; Chiotti, 2003; Lucas, 1997; Michel, 2010; Pesesse, Michel, 2006). In Belgium, similar technologies have been identified and show, once again, the strong ties between the different regions of Europe during the Aurignacian period (figure 6). In this way, layer NB at Maisières-Canal revealed a brief occupation corresponding mainly to debitage activities, including a series of burins busqués and Roc-de-Combe-type Dufour bladelets. The latter are identical to those described in assemblages from the southwest (Flas et al., 2006). A very detailed study of the chronostratigraphic sequence of the site (Haesaerts, 2004) indicates that layer NB probably corresponds to the Huneborg II Interstadial, dated to 32500 BP (van der Hammen, 1995).

Figure 6 - Maisières-Canal, layer NB, bladelet production on burins busqués.

Figure 6 - Maisières-Canal, layer NB, bladelet production on burins busqués.

1: nosed burin and bladelet production products and by products; 2: nosed burin refit, of a burin spall and a notch resharpening flake limiting the length of the bladelet products; 3: Dufour bladelets (Roc-de-Combe sub-type), the retouched zones are underlined

after Flas et al., 2006

17Another relatively limited but apparently consistent assemblage comes from layer CI-1 from Trou Walou. It is marked by the presence of carinated burins and also yielded a losange-shaped point with a massive base as well as decorative elements (Dewez, 1993). The chronostratigraphy and a former radiocarbon date [29800±760 BP (Lv-1587) on charcoal] point to an estimation of about 30000 BP for this occupation (Pirson et al., 2011a, 2011b), which is still in keeping with a recent Aurignacian phase. Trou du Renard is another limited assemblage dominated by carinated burins and burins busqués, alongside Roc-de-Combe-type Dufour bladelets (Otte, 1976), with a hypothetical age of 28000 BP (Flas, 2005). However, this assemblage may be mixed with elements from more recent periods (recent Upper Paleolithic, Holocene?; Dinnis, Flas, in progress). Carinated burins and burins busqués are also present in the heterogeneous assemblages from Spy, Trou Magrite, Goyet and Fonds-de-Forêt (Otte, 1979).

18Several Vachons burins have also been identified in the Belgian series, namely at Spy (Flas et al., 2013), Goyet and Trou Magrite (Flas, in progress). These are probably from the final Aurignacian phase (Pesesse, Michel, 2006), or at least they correspond to this period in the southwest. These three sites also yielded "Paviland burins", similar to those identified in certain British assemblages and probably part of the recent Aurignacian (Dinnis, 2011; Flas et al., 2013).

19The chronology of the end of the Aurignacian in the Meuse Basin is unclear due to the unreliable dates from Trou du Renard and the absence of chronological data for the assemblages with Vachons burins and "Paviland burins". In the Aquitaine sequences, the Aurignacian with burins busqués is dated between ca. 33 and 32000 BP at Abri Pataud and precedes the phase with Vachons burins (Chiotti, 2003; Higham et al., 2011b; Michel, 2010). These data are consistent with the rare reliable chronological elements available for the British and Belgian Aurignacian occupations (Dinnis, 2012) bearing the same technologies, between ca. 33 and 30000 BP. From 28000 BP onwards, another complex emerges, known as the Maisierian, characterized by the presence of stemmed pieces similar to the early Gravettian Font-Robert points and with a very different technology to that of the Aurignacian (Pesesse, Flas, 2012).

4 - The role of symbolic production

20Symbolic elements (ornaments, figurines, bone engravings) attributed to the Aurignacian are relatively frequent in the Meuse Basin (Dewez, 1985; Otte, 1979; Lejeune, 1987), but layer CI-1 from Trou Walou seems to be the only consistent assemblage with symbolic productions. These are represented by two perforated cervid teeth and a reindeer bone engraved with regular incisions (Dewez, 1993).

21It is likely that symbolic production is associated with Aurignacian occupations in other less reliable stratigraphic contexts but as these assemblages probably comprise different Aurignacian assemblages it is impossible to link them to a specific phase (early, middle or recent) of this complex. This is the case, in particular, at Spy and Grotte de la Princesse Pauline (Otte, 1979). At Spy, ocher-covered ivory "ear-shaped" pendants, spherical ivory beads (represented by all the different production stages from ivory rods to finished products), ivory rings, numerous perforated animal teeth (fox, cervid) and bone tubes decorated with regular incisions are attributed to Aurignacian occupations (Otte, 1974; White, 1995; Khlopatchev, 2013). In the grotte de la Princesse Pauline, an antler pendant and an ivory ring decorated with incisions were found associated with perforated animal teeth (Otte, 1979). The ivory rings from Spy and Grotte de la Princesse Pauline have often been compared to pieces from other sites, such as Paviland Cave, Bockstein-Törle and Arcy-sur-Cure (Otte, 1979; White, 2002). Some of these ivory beads and decorated bone tubes from Spy also display analogies with decorative Aurignacian elements from Les Cottés (Rigaud et al., 2014).

22At other sites, such as Trou Magrite and Goyet, caution is called for as regards the association of symbolic elements with Aurignacian occupations. Certain items, namely beads and fragments of ivory rings, appear to be similar to those mentioned above in other sites and their attribution to the Aurignacian seems to be plausible. But it is more difficult to ascribe other elements to a specific period, in particular the anthropomorphic figurine from Trou Magrite (Otte, 1979; Dewez, 1985), especially considering the fact that this material was mixed with Gravettian and Magdalenian components.

Conclusion

23The Aurignacian from the Meuse Basin is the only Aurignacian from northern Europe capable of being compared to other regions, such as the Aquitaine and the Swabian Jura. Nonetheless, assemblages derived from early excavations are often mixed and due to a lack of accuracy and reliability, the propositions outlined here remain hypothetical.

24Contrary to postulates concerning Kent’s Cavern or Trou Magrite, no assemblage from these regions can be attributed to the Aurignacian between 40 and 35000 BP. During this period, the Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician complex is present and probably corresponds to the last Neanderthal populations of the region. Moreover, Proto-Aurignacian occupations, probably more recent than 36000 BP, remain too hypothetical in the light of current data and the only strong candidate is the Beg-ar-C’hastel assemblage.

25On the other hand, from 35000 BP onwards, as indicated by the Lommersum dates, the presence of early Aurignacian occupations is probable. This affirmation is based on lithic elements and the presence of split-based spear points in several sites in the Meuse Basin. Finally, the Aurignacian complex seems to display a similar evolution of bladelet technology to that described in the southwest of France: development of carinated "end scrapers" with a narrow debitage surface (particularly "nosed scrapers"), then a transition to different forms of carinated burins after 33000 BP, including burins busqués and Vachons burins. As the chronology of the end of the Aurignacian in northwestern Europe is not clearly established, the existence of a gap before the development of the following phase, the Maisierian, at around 28000 BP, cannot be excluded.

26Although the Aurignacian complex seems to break down into different European regional clusters, these regions are connected by contacts, the flow of ideas and population movements, in the same way as an archipelago made up of different islands. These connections are illustrated by the wide diffusion of certain technical practices, such as split-based spear points during the early phase, or the production of Dufour Roc-de-Combe sub-type bladelets from burins busqués during the recent phase, clearly unifying the different Western European regions (Aquitaine, Meuse Basin, Great Britain). The circulation of raw material also indicates extensive networks and trans-regional routes (Le Brun-Ricalens, Bordes, 2007). In addition, the similarity between certain decorative elements from the Meuse Basin and the Swabian Jura or the southwest of France (Khlopachev, 2013; Rigaud et al., 2014; Vanhaeren, d’Errico, 2006) clearly shows strong links between the different regions of the European Aurignacian. This view contrasts with what is known before the Aurignacian, when very different complexes divided Europe, with no apparent contact with each other (Châtelperronian, Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician, Uluzzian, Szeletian, to cite but a few).

27Nonetheless, we cannot deny that differences exist between the different European regions and it would be misleading to depict the Aurignacian as a monolithic entity (Liolios, Teyssandier, 2008). Although strong similarities link certain regions during certain phases, these connections are variable and probably evolved during the course of the sequence, perhaps with more marked regionalization phenomena during certain periods (where are the burins busqués east of the Rhine?, Flas et al., 2006). In this respect, even older, low resolution Aurignacian collections from the Meuse Basin enable us to broach these questions and shed light on the history of this complex.

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Notes

1 All the dates cited are in non-calibrated radiocarbon chronology.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1 - Map showing the main sites mentioned in the text.
Crédits CAD: D. Flas, F. Tessier
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/736/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 710k
Titre Figure 2 - Trou Magrite, stratum 3.
Légende 1: side scraper; 2: side scraper (classified as a nosed end scraper by L. Straus); 3: side scraper fragment
Crédits after Straus, 1995
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/736/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 187k
Titre Figure 3 - Fragments of rectilinear bladelets with inverse retouch on the right edge, similar to Proto-Aurignacian Dufour bladelets.
Légende 1-2: Spy Cave; 3: Trou du Chêne
Crédits 1-2: after Flas et al., 2013; 3: after Otte, 1979
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/736/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 72k
Titre Figure 4 - Elements attributable to the early Aurignacian.
Légende 1: carinated end scraper (Spy Cave); 2, 6-7: split-based points (2, 6: Spy Cave; 7: Trou du Sureau); 3-5: Dufour bladelets (Dufour sub-type), Spy caves
Crédits 1-5: after Flas et al., 2013; 6-7: after Otte, 1979
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/736/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 383k
Titre Figure 5 - Nosed end scrapers.
Légende 1-3: Spy Cave; 4-6: Grand-Abri (or grotte de la Cave, Ben-Ahin)
Crédits 1-3: after Flas et al., 2013; 4-6: after Destexhe-Jamotte, 1973
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/736/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 374k
Titre Figure 6 - Maisières-Canal, layer NB, bladelet production on burins busqués.
Légende 1: nosed burin and bladelet production products and by products; 2: nosed burin refit, of a burin spall and a notch resharpening flake limiting the length of the bladelet products; 3: Dufour bladelets (Roc-de-Combe sub-type), the retouched zones are underlined
Crédits after Flas et al., 2006
URL http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/docannexe/image/736/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 378k
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Damien Flas, « The Chronocultural Sequence of Belgian Complexes in the European Aurignacian Context »Palethnologie [En ligne], 7 | 2015, mis en ligne le 12 décembre 2015, consulté le 15 avril 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/palethnologie/736 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/palethnologie.736

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Auteur

Damien Flas

UMR 5608 - TRACES, Maison de la recherche
Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, Campus Mirail
damienflas[at]yahoo.com

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