Saint-Pierre-du-Chemin, France
Saint-Pierre-du-Chemin, France
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Pelletier M.,Aix - Marseille University | Cochard D.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Boudadi-Maligne M.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Crochet J.-Y.,ASPROGEO | Bourguignon L.,INRAP ANTET ARSCAN
Comptes Rendus - Palevol | Year: 2015

Plio-Pleistocene climate oscillations in the different regions of Western Europe substantially influenced the evolutionary history of European leporids. Distinguishing rabbits (Oryctolagus) from hares (Lepus) in the archeological and palaeontological record of Pleistocene Europe is complicated due to the variability of their size and morphology. Here, we present the first description of two Pleistocene leporid species from Bois-de-Riquet (Lézignan-la-Cèbe, Hérault) in southern France. The first, Oryctolagus cf. giberti, exhibits similar characteristics to rabbit species documented in Spain and, thus, for the first time is recorded outside the Iberian Peninsula. The second leporid is a hare represented by very limited number of non-diagnostic remains, which, unfortunately, precludes an exact species identification. Already known from Lower Pleistocene deposits in Central Europe and Spain, the presence of Lepus sp. in southern France sheds new light on the geographic extension of these species. In this respect, Bois-de-Riquet is an important paleontological site that can further our understanding of the evolutionary history and expansion of European leporids. © 2015 Académie des sciences.

Bourguignon L.,INRAP | Crochet J.-Y.,ASPROGEO | Capdevila R.,SPN Pezenas | Ivorra J.,SPN Pezenas | And 25 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

The Bois-de-Riquet archeological site (Lézignan-la-Cèbe, Hérault, France) provides significant paleontological and archeological data about the first occupations of Western Europe. Although only partially excavated, the site has already yielded an exceptionally rich paleontological assemblage as well as some stone artefacts. The archeostratigraphical unit "US2" is encased within a basalt flowstone radiometrically dated to 1.57 Ma. The sedimentary infill has preserved large and small mammal fossils, as well as coprolites. Biochronological interpretations suggest an age of around 1.3-1.1 Ma for the accumulation. A few basalt artefacts were exhumed alongside the fossil bones. Interpretation of the lithics has required the elaboration of a strict selection protocol based upon extensive knapping experiments with local basalt. This paper presents results from the interdisciplinary study of the Bois-de-Riquet site in the aim of contextualizing these discoveries. The microstratigraphical analysis of the deposits is presented with recent geological interpretations in order to contribute a better understanding of the main features of this assemblage, and its remarkable preservation within the thermal and textural boundary between a basalt flowstone's base and its entablature. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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