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Combustion features and periglacial structures:

a New Taphonomic Analysis of Mousterian
Combustion Features at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (50)

Bertrand MASSON

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The Mousterian site of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (Manche), excavated by Gérard Fosse in the early 1980’s, has yielded around thirty combustion features. These features were excavated, described and interpreted without sufficient consideration of the periglacial processes that occurred during and after the human occupations. Based on observations of modern periglacial processes in active contexts, archaeological examples from sites in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region and experiments conducted at high altitudes by A. Pissart (1973 to 1987) and researchers in the ACR program “Taphonomy of Middle Palaeolithic assemblages in periglacial contexts” and “The Palaeolithic in the Quercy” (2004-2007), we reveal evidence of formal convergences between the periglacial structures and the forms and functions of the combustion features attributed to the Mousterian at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.

To cite this article

Masson B., 2010 – Combustion Features and Periglacial Structures: a New Taphonomic Analysis of Mousterian Combustion features at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (50), in Théry-Parisot I., Chabal L., Costamagno S., The taphonomy of Burned Organic Residues and Combustion Features in Archaeological Contexts, Proceedings of the round table, May 27-29 2008, CEPAM, P@lethnology, 2, 5-23.