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Valladas H.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Kaltnecker E.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Quiles A.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Tisnerat-Laborde N.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | And 13 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2013

The Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE) research program on prehistoric art conducts chronological studies of parietal representations with their associated archaeological context. This multidisciplinary approach provides chronological arguments about the creation period of parietal representations. This article presents chronological investigations carried out in several decorated caves in France (La Grande Grotte, Labastide, Lascaux, La Tête-du- Lion, Villars) and Spain (La Garma, Nerja, La Pileta, Urdiales). Several types of organic materials, collected from different areas of the caves close to the walls and in connection with parietal art, were dated to determine the periods of human presence in the cave, a presence that may have been related to artistic activities. These new radiocarbon results range from 33,000- 29,000 (La Grande Grotte) to 16,000-14,000 cal BP (Urdiales). © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Bourdier C.,University Toulouse 2 Jean Jaures | Fuentes O.,Center dInterpretation du Roc aux Sorciers | Pincon G.,Center National Of Prehistoire
Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage | Year: 2015

The 3D technologies have become essential in our researches on the Middle Magdalenian rock carving (18,500-17,000 cal. BP), complementary to the other traditional analytic tools. They play a noticeable role in our stylistic studies: the superimpositions of volumes and not only shapes make the form comparisons all the more accurate that margins of difference can be calculated. On the one hand, clarifying the degree of similarity between two carvings brings more data to the problem of the author(s) of the carvings, and thus it questions notions hardly tackled in prehistoric archaeology: the individual and the short time. These form comparisons prove to be very useful for other archaeological problems. Used for shape identification, they help for a better interpretation of the fragmentary representations and, beyond, for a more precise modelling of the chronological evolution of the parietal assemblages. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Genty D.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | Konik S.,Center National Of Prehistoire | Valladas H.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | Blamart D.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | And 7 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2011

Lascaux Cave is renowned for its outstanding prehistoric paintings, strikingly well-preserved over about 18,000 yr. While stalagmites and stalactites are almost absent in the cave, there is an extensive calcite flowstone that covered a large part of the cave until its opening for tourists during the 1950s. The deposit comprises a succession of calcite rims, or "gours," which allowed seepage water to pond in large areas in the cave. Their possible role in preservation of the cave paintings has often been evoked, but until now this deposit has not been studied in detail. Here, we present 24 new radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and 6 uranium-thorium (U-Th) analyses from the calcite of the gours, 4 AMS 14C dates from charcoals trapped in the calcite, and 4 AMS 14C analyses on organic matter extracted from the calcite. Combining the calibrated 14C ages obtained on charcoals and organic matter and U-Th ages from 14C analyses made on the carbonate, has allowed the calculation of the dead carbon proportion (dcp) of the carbonate deposits. The latter, used with the initial atmospheric 14C activities reconstructed with the new IntCal09 calibration data, allows high-resolution age estimation of the gour calcite samples and their growth rates. The carbonate deposit grew between 9530 and 6635 yr cal BP (for dcp = 10.7 ± 1.8%; 2 σ) or between 8518 and 5489 yr cal BP (for dcp = 20.5 ± 1.9%; 2 σ). This coincides with humid periods that can be related to the Atlantic period in Europe and to Sapropel 1 in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. However, geomorphological changes at the cave entrance might also have played a role in the gour development. In the 1940s, when humans entered the cave for the first time since its prehistoric occupation, the calcite gours had already been inactive for several thousand years. © 2011 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Bourdier C.,University Toulouse 2 Jean Jaures 5608 | Fuentes O.,Center dInterpretation du Roc aux Sorciers 7041 | Pincon G.,Center National Of Prehistoire
Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage | Year: 2015

The 3D technologies have become essential in our researches on the Middle Magdalenian rock carving (18,500-17,000 cal. BP), complementary to the other traditional analytic tools. They play a noticeable role in our stylistic studies: the superimpositions of volumes and not only shapes make the form comparisons all the more accurate that margins of difference can be calculated. On the one hand, clarifying the degree of similarity between two carvings brings more data to the problem of the author(s) of the carvings, and thus it questions notions hardly tackled in prehistoric archaeology: the individual and the short time. These form comparisons prove to be very useful for other archaeological problems. Used for shape identification, they help for a better interpretation of the fragmentary representations and, beyond, for a more precise modelling of the chronological evolution of the parietal assemblages. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Bertran P.,INRAP | Bertran P.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Allenet G.,Center National Of Prehistoire | Brenet M.,University of Bordeaux 1 | And 10 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2016

A deep sequence of Last Glacial peats and slope deposits at the foot of the Lascaux hill was investigated using a large array of methods (geology, geophysics, 14C and OSL dating, palynology, macro-remain analysis, entomology). The peaty levels, OSL dated to between ~73 and 60 ka, are found within a doline developed in a fluvial terrace of the Vézère River. These gyttja and chalky gyttja deposits covered by fen peat yielded abundant beetle and plant (seeds, pollen) remains. Palaeoecological reconstructions suggest a cool steppe with willow stands compatible with an interstadial of marine isotopic stage (MIS) 4, probably Ognon II (GI-19.2). Aquatic and hygrophilous plants (sedges), which reflect local vegetation, and their dependent insects are equally well represented in the record. The peats are covered by a sequence of slope deposits: a coarse-grained lower unit deposited during late MIS 4, overlain by a heavily decalcified sandy unit with a boreal soil complex correlated with early MIS 3, and finally, a coarse-grained, calcareous unit formed during late MIS 3 and MIS 2 in connection with slope dynamics typical of periglacial environments. The palaeosols yielded a small Middle Palaeolithic lithic assemblage. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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