BEYOND THE TECHNOLOGICAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN
THE EARLY AND LATE MESOLITHIC
At the beginning of the 7th millennium BC, from Tunisia to Scandinavia and the Alps to the Atlantic, the technical baggage of Mesolithic societies underwent profound changes. Flaked artifact styles, tool types, weapon hafting techniques and the volumetric principles of stone flaking were modified by more than simple adjustments to the percussion techniques commonly used, with pressure flaking and indirect percussion replacing direct hard hammer percussion. This division of the Mesolithic in Western Europe has more to do with the technology used to transform lithic raw materials than with tool typology. This observation was in fact not lost to some archaeologists of the last century, such as E. Octobon and J.G.D. Clark, who accorded less importance to punctilious arrowhead classifications than to the general structure of flaked productions, or S.K. Kozlowski who described Mesolithic Europe as being split into two successive typological “trends” (the S and K components). In this article, I first present a summary of the changes observed in the early 7th millennium, as well as the enduring features of Mesolithic material culture. I then examine possible correlations with paleo-environmental and social phenomena to show that for the moment there are no clear links to these factors. While the ultimate goal is to clearly define this vast change in civilization, it is now necessary to work at more restricted spatial and temporal scales to enhance our understanding of this fundamental phenomenon in the history of techniques on the European continent.
To cite this article
Marchand G., 2014 – Titre, in Henry A., Marquebielle B., Chesnaux L., Michel S. (eds.), Beyond the Technological Distinction between the Early and Late Mesolithic, Proceedings of the Round table, November 22-23 2012, Maison de la recherche, Toulouse (France), P@lethnology, 6, 9-22.
Chronology and territories in the Magdalenian
between the Rhône and Ebro rivers:
the Exemple of Lithics Points
The most recent research on Magdalenian lithic and bone projectiles allows us to make comparisons between large territories and in this way to confront the regional typological synthesis on which our thinking is based. A comparative study of several lithic assemblages between the Rhone and the Ebro Rivers, and the definition of standard point manufacturing technologies raise many questions concerning the identity of the Late Glacial (Tardiglacial) Magdalenian. This study is part of a doctoral thesis being currently being realized in collaboration with the universities of Toulouse-Le Mirail (TRACES) and Barcelona (SERP). In this article, we present our first results as food for thought in the characterization of the Magdalenian in Southern France and Northern Spain. Recognized over a large territory, the Lower Magdalenian is very different from the Magdalenian of later phases (Middle and Upper Magdalenian) due to the existence of large backed bladelets and micro-bladelets, sometimes associated with shouldered points on blades. The later Magdalenian is characterized by specific lithic point morphotypes. By integrating this data with the raw material circulation, we raise the question of the chronological, territorial and techno-economical identities of the Magdalenian between the Rhone and Ebro Rivers.
To cite this article
Langlais M., 2009 – Chronology and Territories in the Magdalenian between the Rhône and Ebro rivers: the Exemple of Lithics Points, in Pétillon J.-M., Dias-Meirinho M.-H., Cattelain P., Honegger M., Normand C., Valdeyron N., Projectile Weapon Elements from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic, Proceedings of session C83, XVth UISPP World Congress, Lisbon, September 4-9, 2006, P@lethnology, 1, 211-240.