The evolution of stone weapon elements
and cultural dynamics during the Mesolithic
in Southwestern France:
the Case of the Haut Quercy (Lot, France)
Nicolas VALDEYRON, Bruno BOSC-ZANARDO, Thomas BRIAND
Following a recent quantitative and qualitative renewal of archaeological research in the Quercy, this region has become particularly favourable for analyses of the cultural dynamics of Mesolithic societies in southwestern France. These dynamics, principally associated with the evolution of projectile points, are most clearly manifest in the appearance of broad weapon elements (trapeze microliths and other evolved points) at the beginning of the seventh millennium cal BC. Through still poorly understood scenarios, these pieces replace narrow weapon elements (geometric or not). We have developed a research program concerning several thousands of objects recovered at five recently or currently excavated sites in order to obtain a better understanding of these evolutionary processes and to attempt to determine their modalities, rhythms and signification. In this paper, we present the current state of this work and the results obtained for the earliest phases of the Mesolithic.