Tag Archives: mobilité



the Example of the Brive and Quercy Regions


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How was the mobility of Mesolithic groups organized in the Quercy and Brive Basins? Were open-air sites and caves and rock shelter sites complementary? What is the contribution of these different site types to questions concerning mobility patterns? Though it is probably not feasible to apply a single model to these Mesolithic hunter-gatherer societies, it is possible to address some questions through analysis of the material evidence, such as lithic industries, faunal remains, and even vegetal remains. In theory, the variable proportions of these elements reflect specialized site functions, seasonality strategies and the economic organization of these societies and their territories. However, is the variation of these elements linked to socio-cultural and environmental factors, or the function of a specific site-type (open-air, cave or rock shelter)? In the regions considered here, it is difficult to distinguish between these factors due to the variable nature of the bibliographic sources related to the sites, the taphonomic condition of the assemblages, and the great number of open-air sites known only through survey operations. This study has nonetheless enabled us to inventory the available documentation, as well as revealing differences and similarities in the economic strategies of these populations.

To cite this article

Reversat M., 2014 – Reflections on the Mobility Patterns of Mesolithic Populations in South-Western France: the Example of the Brive and Quercy Regions, 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, 96-111.


Discoid debitage stricto sensu :

a method adapted to highly mobile Middle Paleolithic groups?


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Over the past ten years, descriptions of the Discoid debitage concept have become increasingly precise, resulting in the distinction of at least two methods. In addition, increasingly systematic petroarchaeological studies since the latter half of the 1980’s have contributed to our knowledge of the mobility patterns of human groups. At the same time, increasing numbers of multidisciplinary and functional studies have enabled Paleolithic researchers to better understand the role of environmental and functional factors in the technical choices made by human groups.

Discoid debitage is currently perceived as an adaptive response to mediocre raw materials. In this paper, I propose a new interpretation of the Discoid debitage stricto sensu method, not as a simple adaption of technical traditions to environmental constraints, but as a reflection of the technical traditions of human groups. The chronological longevity (from at least OIS 5 to 3) and the multiplication of assemblages attributed to this method at the end of the Middle Paleolithic could reflect a concordance between the increasing mobility of human groups and the environments that they occupied, enabling them to have more freedom in their movements.

To cite this article

Thiébaut C., 2013 – Discoid Debitage Stricto Sensu: Method Adapted to Highly Mobile Middle Paleolithic Groups?, P@lethnology, Varia, 18 p.


Issues and perspectives of the Alpine Neolithic:

the case of the Maurienne (Savoie – France)


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In this paper, we question the significance of “Alpine” research on the Neolithic, applying both a theoretical and practical approach based on the example of the Maurienne valley (Savoie). The adjective “Alpine”, accompanied by that of “Neolithic”, might have only a geographic sense. We nonetheless believe that it makes an implicit reference to the “Alpine economy”, a concept developed by geographers to describe a modern economic system concentrated on the raising of bovids for the production of cheese. Though comparisons between the modern era and the Neolithic are dangerous, the concept of mobility seems to be a common point and a corollary of that of identity. The necessity of a regional approach led us to conduct research in the high Maurienne, an east-west axial valley on the internal Alps. An ancient, relatively abundant documentation and fieldwork conducted by several volunteer archaeologists shows several occupation points in this territory between 500 and 1500 m in altitude, with a few points as high as 2200 m. The first dated occupations are attributed to the Vasi a Bocca Quadrata culture (2nd half of the Vth millennium BC), but it is not until the Final Neolithic that two excavated sites give insight into the settlement patterns. Information concerning the resources exploited by human groups is rich in this case and reveals regional markers. Therefore, rather than think of an Alpine Neolithic, we prefer to speak of a Neolithic occupation in the Alps.

To cite this article

THIRAULT É., 2009 – Issues and Perspectives of the Alpine Neolithic: the Case of the Maurienne (Savoie – France), P@lethnology, Varia, 398-414.