WHAT ROLE DOES THE MESOLITHIC SUBSTRATUM PLAY
IN THE NEOLITHIZATIONOF THE GRANDS CAUSSES?
Study of the Lithic Industry of Combe-Grèze
(Cresse Commune, Aveyron)
In the Grands Causses region, south of the Massif Central, there are a few sites attributed to the original Early Neolithic, (6th millennium). Due to their position at the edge of the region in which the southern Cardial emerged, they play an important role in debates concerning the Neolithization of southern France. Were these autochthonous sites with a production economy invented without influence from the Cardial domain?
Or were they occupied by acculturated Mesolithic groups? Were their facies peripheral to the Cardial?
The site of Combe-Grèze, excavated in the 1970’s by Jean Maury and Georges Costantini, was used like the others to develop these different theoretical models. For this reason, it appeared useful to reexamine the lithic assemblage of this site with the aim of distinguishing the different techno-typological entities based on a reconstruction of their ‘chaînes opératoires’ (reduction sequences). This study can be considered as an additional element of response to questions concerning the borrowing and transmitting of technical know-how between the horizons of the Second Mesolithic and the Early Neolithic. It is also intended to explore the role of the Mesolithic substratum in the emergence of a production economy in this region that is peripheral to the Mediterranean zone considered to be fully Neolithic.