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Campagne-lès-Hesdin, France

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.

Turq A.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Roebroeks W.,Leiden University | Bourguignon L.,INRAP ANTET ARSCAN | Faivre J.-P.,University of Bordeaux 1
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2013

The importance of the transport of stone artefacts in structuring Neandertal lithic assemblages has often been addressed, but the degree to which this led to fragmentation of lithic reduction over Middle Palaeolithic landscapes has not been explicitly studied thus far. Large-scale excavations of Middle Palaeolithic open-air sites and refitting studies of the retrieved assemblages have yielded new, high-resolution data on the mobile aspects of Neandertal stone tool technology. In this paper, we integrate lithic technology and raw material data from recent studies of Middle Palaeolithic open-air and rock shelter sites in Western Europe. We demonstrate that the results of a variety of typological, technological (especially refitting), and lithological studies have important consequences for our knowledge of the acquisition of raw materials and subsequent production, usage and discard of stone artefacts in the Middle Palaeolithic. Neandertal production and use of stone tools was fragmented in three domains: the spatial, the temporal and the social domain. We show that this versatile segmentation of stone artefact handling strategies is a main determinant of the character of the Neandertal archaeological record. Our data testify to ubiquitous and continuous transport of stone artefacts of a wide variety of forms, picked by Neandertals using selection criteria that were sometimes far removed from what archaeologists have traditionally considered, and to some degree still consider, to be desired end products of knapping activities. The data presented here testify to the variability and versatility of Middle Palaeolithic stone tool technology, whose fragmented character created very heterogeneous archaeological assemblages, usually the product of a wide variety of independent import, use, discard and/or subsequent transport events. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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