CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies

Nice, France

CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies

Nice, France
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Daher C.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Bellot-Gurlet L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Regert M.,CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies
Talanta | Year: 2013

Natural organic substances are involved in many aspects of the cultural heritage field. Their presence in different forms (raw, heated, mixed), with various conservation states, constitutes a real challenge regarding their recognition and discrimination. Their characterization usually involves the use of separative techniques which imply destructive sampling and specific analytical preparations. Here we propose a non destructive approach using FT-Raman and infrared spectroscopies for the identification and differentiation of natural organic substances. Because of their related functional groups, they usually present similar vibrational signatures. Nevertheless the use of appropriate signal treatment and statistical analysis was successfully carried out to overcome this limitation, then proposing new objective discriminating methodology to identify these substances. Spectral decomposition calculations were performed on the CH stretching region of a large set of reference materials such as resins, oils, animal glues, and gums. Multivariate analyses (Principal Component Analyses) were then performed on the fitting parameters, and new discriminating criteria were established. A set of previously characterized archeological resins, with different surface aspects or alteration states, was analyzed using the same methodology. These testing samples validate the efficiency of our discriminating criteria established on the reference corpus. Moreover, we proved that some alteration or ageing of organic materials is not an issue to their recognition. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Huet T.,CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies
Archeologia e Calcolatori | Year: 2016

The site of Mount Bego is one of the most important rock art concentrations in Europe for recent Prehistory. After a study conducted for more than 45 years by Henry de Lumley, the majority of the 4,000 engraved rocks have been positioned and the near 36,000 engravings have been drawn. The engravings were firstly attributed to Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age, on the basis of a comparison between the engraved weapons and real weapons that have been discovered in an archaeological context. During his PhD (2012), the author carried out the first systematic geostatistical analysis of the entire corpus, bringing out a series of effects (iconographic and geographic seriation, preferential location, etc.) in the engravings distribution. Thanks to the study of superimpositions, these quantitative results allow to consider a periodization of the main families of engravings. While weapon representations appear to be the most recent layer of engravings, reticulated figures and schematic horned figures seem to be the most ancient ones. Therefore, dating on the basis of weapon representations can no longer be considered valid for the entire corpus of engravings. Besides, Mount Bego site shows early occupations, as documented by archaeological artefacts (Cardial ceramics, Chassean flints, Recent Bell Beaker ceramics, etc.) and indices of human activities (certain since ca. 2400-1800 BC). This article presents the geostatistical predicates, methods (unimodality of realization periods of engraved themes, correlations, seriation, toposeriation, etc.) and principal results on which a first periodization frame has been built.

Beyries S.,CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies | Cattin M.-I.,Office du patrimoine et de larcheologie de Neuchatel Latenium
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Most Upper Palaeolithic sites show a tendency for tools to correspond to a single function. In this case, successive resharpening leads to a reduction in tool size, changes in morphology, and changes to the angle of the active edges. In contrast, tools are sometimes resharpened, reshaped, and/or recycled after use for domestic activities, and are then employed for highly specialized tasks.In this paper, we will show how tool management can be different through examples from the European Magdalenian: Champréveyres and Monruz, two open-air sites with seasonal occupations, and Roc-aux-Sorciers, a rock shelter site with a long occupation and remarkable artistic activities. The status of these sites involves different visions, conceptions, and managements of the tools. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Wojtczak D.,CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies | Wojtczak D.,University of Basel
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

The excavation of the spring site at Hummal, located in the region of El Kowm (Central Syria) is a reference site for the Palaeolithic in the interior Levant due to its archaeological sequence of deposits from the Lower to Upper Palaeolithic. This paper presents some principal data on the Hummalian culture, originating from the systematic excavation of in situ archaeological layers between 2001 and 2010.While the Hummalian is synonymous for the primary production of large-sized blades, another interesting feature that needs to be highlighted is the variation of reuse during on-site production. The practice is documented throughout Hummalian occupations and is observed through the recycling of blanks and by-products of the main reduction strategy for production of secondary blanks, patinated items for shaping new tools, using the Yabrudian scrapers as a cores and shaping exhausted cores for tool use.The main focus here will be on the presence of numerous core-burins and cores on flake including truncated-faceted pieces. The former are in the author's opinion the evidence of recycling and their end products, namely bladelets represent desired components supplementary to the repertoire of various specimens recovered from Hummalian layers and could suggest easily portable implements. The latter group, cores on flake, seems to represent a subdivision of the reduction system carried out on-site rather than a concept of recycling. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Dietrich J.-B.,CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies
Cell and Tissue Research | Year: 2013

The MEF2 (myocyte enhancer factor 2) family of transcription factors is composed of four distinct vertebrate genes. These factors were first identified in muscle but are also present in brain. MEF2 is involved in neuronal survival and is able to regulate the growth and pruning of neurons in response to stimulation. Dendrite remodelling is under the control of genes that MEF2 can turn on or off and some of its target genes have been identified. Among them are immediate-early genes such as C-JUN and NUR77 and neuronal-activity-regulated genes such as ARC, SYNGAP, HOMER1A and BDNF. MEF2 is able to control the synapse number in the hippocampus in which its activation inhibits the growth of dendritic spines, highlighting its important role in memory and learning. In addition, mutations in the MEF2 gene has been found in patients with Rett-like disorder. MEF2 has also been implicated in other pathologies such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

This paper focuses on the structure and the issue of the Greek texts belonging to the discipline known as iology, and dealing with venomous animals and their bites/stings. Considering the treatise of Philumenus (About Venemous Beasts) and more generally the iologic corpus of prosaic works that form a coherent network (Aelius Promotus, Pseudo-Dioscorides) it scrutinizes the types of knowledge involved in these treaties and their relationship with medical and naturalist knowledge, especially in the case of the snakes. The organization and importance of the various data (naturalistic, toxicological, clinical, therapeutic and pharmacological), the name of the experts invoked in these texts and the role played by the author of the treatise help define the scientific and generic characteristics of this literature. "Treaties on venomous animals" are compilatory books that are strictly neither medical textbooks nor guides of herpetology, and they generally focus on clinical matters (even more than therapeutical). If they form a "genre", it is determined as much by litterary practice and tradition as by a medical context and horizon. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.

This paper focuses on Villafranchian mammalian sites dated by paleomagnetism and radionuclides. The correlations are discussed in consideration of paleontological criteria (MNQ zonation) and are summarized by a synthetic diagram taking into account the latest paleomagnetism data obtained in sites of the Puimoisson area and new Ar/Ar ages from the French Massif Central.

Naudinot N.,CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies | Kelly R.L.,University of Wyoming
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

We introduce the papers of the QI Special Issue: Climate Change and Archaeology which were presented at the Second Frison Institute Symposium at the 2014 Society for American Archaeology annual meeting. Papers here examine the links between climate and cultural change, calling attention to the difficulty of determining the role played by climate in cultural change. Issues include whether chronological resolution of climate and cultural change is sufficient to determine that the former "caused" the latter. An additional issue is, assuming the chronological correlation is resolved, whether an observed behavioral or technological change can be attributed to climate change, or if the correlation is spurious. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

The Hohokam (AD 100-1450), their descendants the Akimel O'Odham (>AD 1694) and the white pioneers (19th c. AD) have cultivated and irrigated the lower Salt River valley in the semi-arid Phoenix Basin for almost two thousand years. This occupation is characterized by major changes in agriculture, social organization, architecture and landscape, which have modified this semi-arid valley on the long-term. Because of the continuous interaction of its members with water, a rare resource used in the region for domestic and agricultural purposes, the question of its availability and scarcity on the long-term needs to be answered. To do so, we have reconstructed the evolution of the Salt River alluvial dynamics by means of a systemic geomorphological and chronological approach. Second, in order to measure how these communities have adapted to hydro-climatic changes in a constraining environment, we have confronted these results to archeological, paleoenvironmental and ethnographic data on water management, agrarian practices, subsistence strategies and settlement pattern. The results obtained allow us to discuss the relative impact of human factors, such as human pressure and environmental constraints, mainly abrupt climate changes, on the cultural evolution of agrarian communities and therefore suggest an illustration of systemic answers to ecological and social issues in semi-arid environments.

Darton Y.,CNRS Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies
International Journal of Paleopathology | Year: 2014

Bone resorption within the cervical spine due to vertebral arterial tortuosities is rarely observed in medical practice because the condition often lacks clinical symptoms. Traumatic complications involving the vertebral arteries are relatively common and occasionally very serious, but very few affect bone, appearing only when survival has been sufficiently long for a pseudoaneurysm to form. CT scans and MRI screening, practised increasingly today following traffic and sports accidents, incidentally show that arterial tortuosities that had stimulated bone resorption are relatively frequent. Only rarely do such tortuosities cause nerve compression or trigger orthopaedic problems, while large pseudoaneurysms and congenital absence of a vertebral pedicle may require surgery to stabilize the spine. There are few publications by palaeopathologists reporting such conditions of the cervical vertebrae. This contribution reports a case of a tiered bilateral tortuosity of the vertebral artery dating from the Early Middle Ages; it provides a basis by which to recognize this type of lesion in osteoarchaeology, and it attests to the fact that multiple tortuosities may lead to spinal instability in the form of spine sprain. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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