Contributions of the 2004 Preventive Excavation
to Understanding the Aurignacian Occupations
at Solutré (Saône-et-Loire, France)
Grégory BAYLE, Céline BÉMILLI, Nelly CONNET
The Aurignacian levels of Crôt-du-Charnier at Solutré (Saône-et-Loire) were the object of a preventive excavation in 2004. This work yielded a considerable amount of faunal remains and thus confirmed the significant role of hunting and its associated technical activities at this site, such as butchery, hide working and the collection of bone materials.
The nature of the lithic industry, composed of a small number of pieces, indicates that human groups came to the site with a toolkit that was manufactured in large part elsewhere. The abundance of bone remains and the scarcity of lithic artifacts raises the following question: does this site, whose topography favored the passage of animals and thus would have made it an attractive location for hunting, correspond to a specialized occupation complementary to a more long-term occupation elsewhere?
In other words, how can we define the Aurignacian occupations of this site? Can we qualify them as “stops” or “camps”? The complexity of these definitions of the nature and function of prehistoric sites is discussed in the case study that we present here.