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Saint-Sauveur-en-Rue, France

Bertran P.,INRAP | Bertran P.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Bateman M.D.,University of Sheffield | Hernandez M.,Bordeaux Montaigne University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Quaternary Science | Year: 2011

Archaeological investigations undertaken along a proposed highway together with the compilation of available geological and pedological data made it possible to give a first overview of the distribution of Pleistocene aeolian deposits in south-west France. A chronological framework for deposition has been obtained using both radiocarbon (n=24) and luminescence (n=26) dating. It shows that aeolian transport was very active during the Late Pleniglacial, between 15 and ~23ka, leading to sand emplacement over a 13 000-m2 area at the centre of the basin. The Pleniglacial coversands are typified by extensive fields of small transverse to barchanoid ridges giving way to sandsheets to the east. Subsequent aeolian phases, at ca. 12ka (Younger Dryas) and 0.8-0.2ka (Little Ice Age), correspond to the formation of more localized and higher, mainly parabolic dunes. At the southern and eastern margins of the coversand area, aeolian dust accumulated to form loess deposits, the thickness of which reaches ~3m on the plateaus. Luminescence dates together with interglacial-ranking palaeoluvisols between the loess units clearly indicate that these accumulations built up during the last two glacial-interglacial cycles. The chronology of sand and loess deposition thus appears to be consistent with that already documented for northern Europe. This suggests that it was driven by global climate changes in the northern hemisphere. The relatively thin aeolian deposits (and particularly loess) in south-west France is thought to reflect both a supply-limited system and a moister climate than in more northern and continental regions. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

A skeleton from the Late Roman period, recovered in Amiens, northern France, exhibits multiple symmetrical marginal erosions, primarily involving the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints. Other skeletal changes include erosions of several peripheral joints and some entheses, and severe osteoporosis. Macroscopic and radiological aspects of the lesions, as well as the absence of spinal and sacroiliac joints involvement, are consistent with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Differential diagnosis includes other erosive arthropathies, in particular the diseases belonging to the spondyloarthropathy group. This case provides a new evidence of the presence of rheumatoid arthritis in Western Europe long before the colonisation of the Americas by Europeans. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Bertran P.,INRAP | Bertran P.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Klaric L.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Lenoble A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2010

During the Last Glaciation, Western Europe witnessed recurrent millennial-scale episodes of periglacial climates, that had significant impact on Palaeolithic site preservation. After a review on the genesis and climatic meaning of sorted patterned grounds, examples of polygons, stripes and stone-banked solifluction lobes taken from archaeological contexts are described. Sorted features in Palaeolithic sites imply that caution should be taken in site patterning analysis for reconstructing past human behaviours, since spatial alteration of the original anthropogenic pattern took place. On low gradients, artefact movements remain limited but may increase dramatically on slopes when solifluction adds to sorting processes. Although these features are widespread in modern periglacial environments, archaeological examples remain scarce. Multiple factors are probably involved, including lack of knowledge of periglacial processes and landforms by archaeologists leading to misinterpretation, but also more or less complete obliteration of surface features by sedimentary processes upon burial. However, it is assumed that scarcity of clear anthropogenic patterning in French Palaeolithic sites before the Late Glacial is due for a large part to post-depositional disturbance by periglacial processes.

Dorfler W.,University of Kiel | Feeser I.,University of Kiel | van den Bogaard C.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Dreibrodt S.,University of Kiel | And 4 more authors.
Holocene | Year: 2012

The annually laminated record of Lake Belau offers an exceptional opportunity to investigate with high temporal resolution Holocene environmental change, aspects of climate history and human impact on the landscape. A new chronology based on varve counts, 14C-datings and heavy metal history has been established, covering the last 9400 years. Based on multiple varve counting on two core sequences, the easily countable laminated section spans about 7850 varve years (modelled age range c. 9430 to 1630 cal. BP). Not all of the record is of the same quality but approximately 69% of the varves sequence is classified to be of high quality and only c. 5% of low quality. The new chronology suggests dates generally c. 260 years older than previously assumed for the laminated section of the record. The implications for the vegetation and land-use history of the region as well as revised datings for pollen stratigraphical events are discussed. Tephra analysis allowed the identification of several cryptotephra layers. New dates for volcanic eruptions are presented for the Lairg B event (c. 6848 cal. BP, 2σ range 6930-6713 cal. BP), the Hekla 4 event (c. 4396 cal. BP, 2σ range 4417-4266 cal. BP), and Hekla 3 eruption (c. 3095 cal. BP, 2σ range 3120-3068 cal. BP). © The Author(s) 2012.

The Scarpe plain is a depression in the Eocene marine sands between the Pevele and Ostrevant regions. A "high plain" is distinguished northwards from a "low plain" southwards. The infilling is mainly sandy (with a peaty part in the low plain). Numerous micro-topographies are scattered throughout the plain. The small water courses which drain the plain are not proportionate to its size. The laying of a gas pipeline across the plain was preceded by archaeological borings. We present the stratigraphy as a long cross-section and propose an evolution scenario for the plain since the Weichselian Upper Pleniglacial. The sedimentation consists mainly of sandy beds alternating with loamy laminae. This alluvial sheet, present everywhere in the plain, was deposited under strongly contrasted hydrological conditions during the Weichselian Upper Pleniglacial (OSL dates about 34,21 and 21 ka). It may be correlated to the northern sand belt Older coversand I. Repeated avulsions of wide yet shallow channels have left deflection marks in the micro-topography. The high plain is comparable to flat and broad alluvial fans emanating from the Pévèle.At the end of the Weichselian Upper Pleniglacial, under a dryer climate, small elongated dunes (sand or sand alternating with loess) formed in the center of the plain or alongside the Pévèle border (OSL dates about 19 and 15 ka). This phase is at least partly contemporary with the Beuningen gravel bed. An ultimate deflation phase is imputed to the Younger Dryas. This last aeolian deposit is even fainter and looks like a thin yet continuous sheet restricted to a large southern part of the plain. Slightly scoured Late Glacial and Holocene streams can be found in the last state of Pleniglacial channels (C 14 dates since 12 345 BP). The former main Pleniglacial channels may thus constitute the overbank channel of the faint Late Glacial and Holocene channels. During the Holocene, the water table rose and consecutively the peat spread in the lower areas of the plain. The widely spread yet often thin peat gradually takes over and blurs the Pleistocene topography. We have crossed three Late Glacial-Holocene channel systems (two Scarpe minor channels and an affluent). Two of them are detailed. The Vred meander bears traces of archaeological remains (a Bronze Age bridge-like structure from around 1000-800 AD) and of anthropic piracy in the upstream "Satis" during the Early Middle Ages (calcareous tufa loam flood deposits).

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