From the Ethnographic Modelling of Nomadic
Behaviours to Archaeological Site Functions:
Determining Attribution Critera
Based on a study of the camp types of three populations of nomadic hunter-gatherers, we have defined three categories of habitation which are differentiated on an essentially sociological basis, but which may also reflect an economic organisation that changes throughout the year. The “hunting camp” is one of the occupation types that composes the division of the residential group, and has a specific economic role (base camp provisioning). Archaeology, which essentially attributes functions to sites on the basis of the remains of economic activities, may attempt to reconstruct the sociological composition of sites. However, the necessarily incomplete aspect of archaeological data requires us to compare information from several sites close in space and time in order to determine site function and mobility type. The modelling of camp types based on comparative ethnographic data allows us to clarify the relationships between site function and mobility type; when applied to the Magdalenian sites of the Paris Basin, it helps to support the interpretations made by researchers.
To cite this article
Fougère F., 2011 – From the Ethnographic Modelling of Nomadic Behaviours to Archaeological Site Functions: Determining Attribution Critera, 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, 41-60.
Where are the Hunting Camps?
A Discussion based on Lateglacial Sites in the Paris Basin
Pierre BODU, Monique OLIVE, Boris VALENTIN,
Olivier BIGNON, Grégory DEBOUT
With its numerous, well preserved Lateglacial sites, the Paris Basin contributes useful elements to discussions of the notion of “hunting camps” in Prehistory. Several extensively excavated, and sometimes well preserved, stratified sites allow us to address questions concerning the settlement durations and site functions in greater depth than is possible in other contexts. Drawing on examples of Magdalenian and Azilian sites, we discuss the evolution and limits of interpretations of prehistoric occupations. It appears that regardless of the definition retained or its degree of strictness, the functional category of a “hunting camp” does not apply to the Lateglacial sites currently known in the Paris Basin. A broader interrogation, incorporating the Belloisian sites of the very end of the Lateglacial period and beginning of the Holocene, further demonstrates the difficulty of identifying this type of site.
To cite this article
Bodu P., Olive M., Valentin B., Bignon-Lau O., Debout G., 2011 – Where are the Hunting Camps? A Discussion based on Lateglacial Sites in the Paris Basin, 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, 229-250.
What are these barbs for?
Preliminary Study on the Function
of the Upper Magdalenian Barbed Weapon Tips
Based on previous works by M. Julien (1982) and G.C. Weniger (1995), this paper presents some preliminary hypotheses on the possible functions of the osseous barbed points from the Upper Magdalenian (ca. 13 500-12 000 cal BC). Taking as a starting point the statement that their appearance and development coincide with an increased interest in small animal hunting (fish, birds, lagomorphs), we attempted to correlate the relative abundance of barbed points with the representation of small game, but the data from our test area (Northern Pyrenees) did not provide conclusive results. A survey of the barbed points of Northern American hunter-gatherers known by ethnography shows a clear functional trend: “simple” barbed points are mostly used for fowling, for hunting big and small land game, and for war; while “true” harpoons are mostly used for fishing and hunting sea mammals and aquatic mammals. However, when based on a rigorous operational definition of harpoons, the morphology of the Magdalenian barbed points appears not to allow their positive classification as harpoon heads. Thus, their function remains largely undetermined. We therefore suggest several possible directions for future research on this topic.
To cite this article
Pétillon J.-M., 2009 – What are these Barbs for? Preliminary Study on the Function of the Upper Magdalenian Barbed 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, 66-97.
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.