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.
To cite this article
Defranould E., 2014 – What Role Does the Mesolithic Substratum Play in the Neolithization of the Grands Causses? Study of the Lithic Industry of Combe-Grèze (Cresse Commune, Aveyron), in Henry A., Marquebielle B., Chesnaux L., Michel S. (eds.), Techniques and Territories: New Insights into Mesolithic Cultures, Proceedings of the Round table, November 22-23 2012, Maison de la recherche, Toulouse (France), P@lethnology, 6, 112-121.
A Mousterian Dromedary Hunting Camp:
Level VI1aO at Umm el Tlel (El Kowm, Central Syria)
Christophe GRIGGO, Éric BOËDA, Stéphanie BONILAURI,
Heba AL SAKHEL, Aline EMERY-BARBIER, Marie-Agnès COURTY
The site of Umm el Tlel, located in the El Kowm basin in Central Syria, contains a long stratigraphic sequence extending from the Roman period to the Acheulean. The artifacts exceptional well preserved, particularly for the Mousterian. The existence of such a sequence on the steppe margins can be explained by the permanent presence of water.
The abundant artifacts collected throughout the Mousterian sequence have permitted us to show that there was a significant variability in regional technical behaviors and to identify the functions of this site.
Through a multidisciplinary approach, we thus propose to explain why we believe that the Mousterian level VI1a0 corresponds precisely to what most archaeologists consider as a “hunting camp”.
This level, excavated over a surface of 20 m2, yielded nearly 250 archaeological artifacts. Faunal remains are by far the most abundant and all are attributed to a single species: dromedary, or Arabian camel. The lithic artifacts consist of less than twenty objects, including 15 retouched flint flakes over 2 cm long and two limestone blocks. The whole assemblage was fossilized in silts of a palustrine origin, which were deposited very shortly after the Mousterian occupation. There was no subsequent post-depositional disturbance. We thus have an exceptional recording of a short duration occupation during which a small group of Mousterians came to hunt dromedaries at the edge of a lake.
To cite this article
Griggo C., Boëda É., Bonilauri S., Al Sakhel H., Emery-Barbier A., Courty M.-A., 2011 – A Mousterian Dromedary Hunting Camp: Level VI1aO at Umm el Tlel (El Kowm, Central Syria), 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, 103-129.
The Mesolithic Site of Les Fieux (Miers, Lot):
a Hunting Camp on the Gramat Karst Plateau?
Nicolas VALDEYRON, Thomas BRIAND, Laurent BOUBY,
Auréade HENRY, Rym KHEDHAIER, Benjamin MARQUEBIELLE,
Hélène MARTIN, Anna THIBEAU, Bruno BOSC-ZANARDO
The Mesolithic site located in the western entrance of the cave of Les Fieux (Miers, Lot), excavated in the 1970’s by F. Champagne, has often been interpreted as a hunting camp. This hypothesis is mostly based on features of the lithic industry, which is largely dominated by weapon elements. The results of a multidisciplinary study of the Mesolithic assemblages now provide an opportunity to question the validity of this hypothesis. While the data collected (in the fields of anthracology, zooarchaeology, carpology, lithic technology and usewear, bone technology, sedimentology, etc.), do not completely invalidate it, they do suggest a few nuances. The activities identified are more varied than would be expected for a simple hunting camp, as are the animal carcass exploitation strategies, indicating an in situ consumption of animal products and thus a functional complexity that is not fully compatible with this interpretation.
To cite this article
Valdeyron N., Briand T., Bouby L., Henry A., Khedhaier R., Marquebielle B., Martin H., Thibeau A., Bosc-Zanardo B., 2011 – The Mesolithic Site of Les Fieux (Miers, Lot): a Hunting Camp on the Gramat Karst Plateau?, 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, 331-341.