The Diversity of Hunting Camps
in the Pyrenean Gravettian
In the Pyrenean Gravettian, several types of sites that vary in terms of their technical elements and/or the density of their assemblages can be interpreted as hunting camps. How can this archaeological diversity contribute to social and economic interpretations of the human groups that occupied these sites? It appears that in the context of a centralized organization of the Pyrenean territory, in which Brassempouy and Isturitz played key economic, social and spiritual roles, the concept of a hunting camp applies to several types of sites specialized in hunting related activities, and at which other activities sometimes also took place. “Simple hunting camps”, which best correspond to the accepted definition, would thus have coexisted with “complex hunting camps”, at which flint knapping activities were performed along with hunting and butchery activities. Finally, there are other potential hunting camps whose assemblages include artistic representations. The identification of hunting camps therefore contributes to our understanding of the occupation strategies of a territory. Their diversity, high degree of specialization and the significant difference that exists between the low density of their assemblages and the high density of those of certain large occupation sites, represents a socio-economic coherence that seems to traverse the European continent. In effect, this tendency of hunting camps toward diversification and ultra-specialization accompanies the appearance the first large habitatsanctuaries with numerous female statuettes, associated with Modern Humans, such as Brassempouy, Laussel, Les Balzi Rossi and Willendorf in Western Europe. Hunting camps thus constitute an important element in reflections on the nature of cultural identity since they corroborate the idea of a phenomenon of double-polarization of human communities between 28000 and 22000 BP, which characterizes the Gravettian: relative to the Aurignacian tradition, Gravettian occupations appear to be more oriented toward the plains and large alluvial basins. In addition, within these more densely occupied zones, certain sites themselves are more densely occupied, and it is these that are generally associated the large assemblages of female statuettes: Brassempouy, Laussel, Les Balzi Rossi, Willendorf, Dolní Vĕstonice, Pavlov, Předmosti, Kostienki, Gagarino, Avdeevo and Zaraisk.
To cite this article
Simonet A., 2011 – The Diversity of Hunting Camps in the Pyrenean Gravettian, in Bon F., Costamagno S., Valdeyron N. (eds.), Hunting Camps in Prehistory. Current Archaeological Approaches, Proceedings of the International Symposium, May 13-15 2009, University Toulouse II – Le Mirail, P@lethnology, 3, 183-210.
Ancient Gravettian in the South of Italy:
Functional Analysis of Backed Points
from Grotta Plagicci (Foggia) and Grotta della Cala (Salerno)
This study is concentrated on the modalities of use of the Gravettian backed tools, considering the Adriatic side and that Tyrrhenian of southern Italy. A first part of the work has regarded the functional analysis of the backed instruments found in the Ancient Gravettian layers of Grotta Paglicci (Foggia).The methodological proposal derived from this study, based on the association of the techno-typometric and typological analysis with the use-wear analysis, has been extended for a comparison to the backed tools from a Gravettian site, almost coeval, on the opposite side of our peninsula: Grotta della Cala (Salerno).
To cite this article
Borgia V., 2009 – Ancient Gravettian in the South of Italy: Functional Analysis of Backed Points from Grotta Plagicci (Foggia) and Grotta della Cala (Salerno), 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, 45-65.
A gravettian knapping workshop
at Tercis (Landes):
a Probable Case of Apprenticeship
in the Fabrication of Lithic Weapon Tips
The site of Tercis, in the Adour Basin, contains several distinct artefact concentrations. It consists of a vast openair knapping workshop where the production of lithic weapon tips in Tercis flint was a significant activity. Some of the lithic concentrations can be attributed to the Gravettian culture. However, the degree of technical investment varies from assemblage to assemblage, contrasting this probable cultural unity. This paper presents a study of the apprenticeship process revealed by these assemblages in order to stress the high degree of technical investment devoted to projectile tips, and consequently, their significant role in the evolution of lithic production systems.
To cite this article
Simonet A., 2009 – A Gravettian Knapping Workshop at Tercis (Landes): a Probable Case of Apprenticeship in the Fabrication of Lithic Weapon Tips, 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, 183-210.