REFLECTIONS ON THE MOBILITY PATTERNS OF MESOLITHIC POPULATIONS
IN SOUTH-WESTERN FRANCE:
the Example of the Brive and Quercy Regions
How was the mobility of Mesolithic groups organized in the Quercy and Brive Basins? Were open-air sites and caves and rock shelter sites complementary? What is the contribution of these different site types to questions concerning mobility patterns? Though it is probably not feasible to apply a single model to these Mesolithic hunter-gatherer societies, it is possible to address some questions through analysis of the material evidence, such as lithic industries, faunal remains, and even vegetal remains. In theory, the variable proportions of these elements reflect specialized site functions, seasonality strategies and the economic organization of these societies and their territories. However, is the variation of these elements linked to socio-cultural and environmental factors, or the function of a specific site-type (open-air, cave or rock shelter)? In the regions considered here, it is difficult to distinguish between these factors due to the variable nature of the bibliographic sources related to the sites, the taphonomic condition of the assemblages, and the great number of open-air sites known only through survey operations. This study has nonetheless enabled us to inventory the available documentation, as well as revealing differences and similarities in the economic strategies of these populations.