Saint-Sauveur-en-Rue, France
Saint-Sauveur-en-Rue, France

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Coutard S.,INRAP Nord Picardie | Ducrocq T.,INRAP Nord Picardie | Limondin-Lozouet N.,CNRS Physics Laboratory | Bridault A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 2 more authors.
Quaternaire | Year: 2010

Warluis Mesolithic sites were discovered during rescue archaeological excavations m a quarry spread over 40 hectares, located in the Therain alluvial plain (Northern France). Several palaeochannels of Lateglacial and Holocene age are present. The Lateglacial sequence contains organic and silty deposits. Holocene infillings are mainly peaty, except one tufaceous channel. Some 30 concentrations of lithic artefacts and faunal remains have been handdigged over 2400 m2. The most frequent sedimentary sequence is composed of (from bottom to top): weichselian gravel, white silty sands, organic sandy silts, peat, clayey silts. Organic sandy silts are divided into a basal greyish bed and an upper brown horizon. Stratigraphical, archaeological, malacological and palynological arguments together with radiocarbon datings allow to establish an Allerad age for the basal greyish sediment that contains Final Palaeolithic industry. Above the Altered bed are deposited Preboreal and Boreal brown sediments. Boreal deposits are marked by the development of the gastropod Discus rotundatus. These intensively bioturbated sediments contain Mesolithic artefacts and faunal remains. Peat spreads on almost the whole valley bottom, overlaying all mesolithic settlements. Peat thickness varies from a few meters within channels down to a few centimetres (even absent) on higher places. It is dated from the Boreal to the Early Atlantic. Mesolithic settlements are located on channel banks or on the hummocks in the valley bottom. Radiocarbon datings indicate that many occupations occurred since the Early Holocene (ca 9900 BP) to the Early Boreal (ca 8800 BP). First results of archaeozoological studies show a predation on red deer, roe deer and aurochs on the earliest sites and on wild boar at the beginning of the Boreal. This fits with a gradual afforestation of the area as showed by both malacological and palynological records.


The excavation of the Middle Palaeolithic site of Mauquenchy (Seine-Maritime) led to the discovery of well preserved archaeological levels in a grey forest soil attributed to the marine isotopic stage (MIS) 5a. This soil contains two archaeological levels, one at the bottom (Wa2), the second in its upper part (Wal). Both sets contain archaeological heated flint dated by thermoluminescence (83.7 ± 7.6 ka for Wa2 and 77.6 ± 7.2 ka Wa 1). These ages provide for the first time a precise timing for this soil that had previously been assigned to MIS 5a on the basis of its interstadial signature.


Antoine P.,CNRS Physics Laboratory | Auguste P.,Lille University of Science and Technology | Bahain J.-J.,French Natural History Museum | Chausse C.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2010

Research undertaken for more than 15. years on both fluvial and loess sequences of the main river valleys in Northern France (Somme, Seine and Yonne) is based on an interdisciplinary approach combining stratigraphy, sedimentology, bioclimate studies and geochronology using the following methods: U-series, ESR, OSL, and ESR/U-series. The investigations of the bottom valley fluvial sequences (Lateglacial and Holocene) allowed development of a model concerning the response of the fluvial systems to climate changes, which can be applied to the entire dataset from the Middle Pleistocene. Results obtained from modern archaeological excavations were also integrated within the chrono-climate reference system of Northern France. The complete data set indicates that human occupation of this area has been likely discontinuous and highly influenced by climate and environmental factors. In the Somme basin, the oldest in situ human occupations recently excavated are dated at 450-500. ka maximum (Early MIS 12), but handaxes have been found up to 500-550. ka within the Fréville formation (MIS 13-14). In the Seine basin, the oldest in situ Acheulean archaeological level has been recognized within a tufa sequence attributed to MIS 11 at La Celle. Between 450 and 200. ka, data are relatively rare and less accurate, but the archaeological sites seem nevertheless to be mainly associated with interglacial periods or climate transitions such as Early or Lateglacial, as demonstrated for the Last climate cycle. Taking into account all data and especially the available dating results of the oldest levels, there is as yet no clear evidence of an Acheulean settlement in Northern France before 500-550. ka. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Herisson D.,INRAP Canal Seine Nord Europe | Herisson D.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Coutard S.,INRAP Nord Picardie | Coutard S.,CNRS Physics Laboratory | And 7 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

New Palaeolithic sites are rare for MIS 11 to 9 in Eurasia. The discovery and the excavation of a large new site in 2012 at Etricourt-Manancourt (Somme, France) is an exceptional event. In 2010, a Palaeolithic evaluation was undertaken at a future retention basin by Emilie Goval on 170,000 square metres. The evaluation produced many flint artefacts, demonstrating the existence of at least two important Middle Palaeolithic sites. In 2012, an excavation on one of the sites was conducted by David Hérisson over 6 months and covering 4500 square metres. This excavation was undertaken by a multidisciplinary scientific team, including prehistorians and geomorphologists. This allows us to apply a reliable chronostratigraphic approach based on the analysis of the Glacial-interglacial successions. Five in situ Palaeolithic occupations have been excavated, dating from 330 to 70 ka. The youngest occupation dates from 70 to 80 ka (Weichselian) and corresponds to a recent phase of the Middle Palaeolithic. The next two layers belong to the Early Middle Palaeolithic, between 190 and 240 ka (Saalian). Finally, the two oldest layers have dates between 330 and 280 ka (Saalian) and belong to the Lower Palaeolithic. In addition to the archaeology, the sedimentary sequence is very thick (11 m high) and presents for the first time in Northern France a detailed record of the three last interglacial-glacial cycles. This paper presents the first archaeological and chronostratigraphic results of the excavation of Etricourt-Manancourt and its input with high resolution data to discuss behavioural changes occurring at the end of the Lower Palaeolithic and the onset of the Middle Palaeolithic. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Le Drezen Y.,University of Angers | Le Drezen Y.,University of Caen Lower Normandy | Lespez L.,University of Caen Lower Normandy | Rasse M.,University of Rouen | And 4 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Geoscience | Year: 2010

Research conducted in the Yamé Valley (Dogon Country, Mali) provides valuable information about the river systems and their Holocene evolution in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa. Past research in the region has relied primarily on marine and lacustrine records. The new results confirm correlation between palaeoclimatic fluctuations recorded in both the river system and in tropical African lakes. They offer a new continental milestone for understanding of the environmental repercussions of Holocene monsoon oscillations. These studies demonstrate the value of river systems as a palaeoenvironmental record and the role of palaeoclimatic and anthropogenic factors in the Holocene dynamics of Sudano-Sahelian hydrosystems. © 2010 Académie des sciences.


Locht J.-L.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Herisson D.,INRAP CSNE | Goval E.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Cliquet D.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 4 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Northwestern France is characterized by the presence of many Middle Palaeolithic sites, covering the entire period. The Saalian phase is less documented, partly for taphonomic reasons. The lithic industries indicate mastery of all production systems for flakes, blades, points and to a lesser extent, bifaces. During the Upper Pleistocene, occupation of this territory by Neandertal groups is important. The vast majority of these lithic series cannot be attributed to cultural facies of Mousterian defined by Bordes, due to the low number of retouched tools. Aside from some typical Mousterian of Acheulean tradition bifaces and blade production characteristic of the Early Weichselian, which are stylistic and cultural markers, there is nothing to differentiate Mousterian groups. In an attempt to identify their cultural identities, lithic assemblages were apprehended globally, using the operative sequence concept from the acquisition of raw material to the final objectives of the different production systems, and abandonment of tools. The situation is considered from each chronostratigraphic phase to try to distinguish the settlement patterns of this region. This renewed approach to technical studies points to a wide diversity of Neandertal adaptive faculties, which can be interpreted in terms of cultural diversity. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Limondin-Lozouet N.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Antoine P.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Bahain J.-J.,French Natural History Museum | Cliquet D.,SRA Basse Normandie | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Quaternary Science | Year: 2015

Apart from a few lacustrine sequences, in North-West Europe the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 interglacial is mainly represented in fluvial sequences and is particularly well preserved in calcareous tufa formations. These are favourable for the preservation of a range of fossil groups and several of them have yielded artefacts of Acheulean affinity. Molluscan shells are the most abundant proxy, occurring throughout these calcareous deposits. They provide a valuable means for reconstructing the palaeoenvironments contemporaneous with human occupation, allowing direct comparisons between sites. The La Celle tufa (northern France) provides the longest malacological succession, which allows a detailed reconstruction of the development of forest cover. Successive arrivals of forest species, first from an Atlantic corridor and later from central and southern European routeways, allow characterization of vegetational development. The initial immigrants indicate the spread of closed habitats, while a peak in the diversity of thermophilous snails corresponds to the optimum phase of deciduous forest expansion. A subsequent decrease in forest molluscs, together with expansion of hygrophilous species, indicates the decline of closed canopy conditions. The occurrence of critical forest species, especially those now extinct or occurring far beyond their modern ranges, provides a framework within which associated Acheulean industries can be set. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Goval E.,Inrap Nord Picardie | Goval E.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Herisson D.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Locht J.-L.,Inrap Nord Picardie | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Over the past twenty years, during the course of programmed and particularly rescue archaeological operations, prehistorians in northern France have identified numerous sites attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic. Over twenty of these have been excavated and are part of one of the most reliable chronostratigraphic frameworks known in Western Europe. Northern France thus acts as a sort of test laboratory where the fusion of abundant archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data can now culminate in a general synthesis. The point is omnipresent in small numbers in these lithic assemblages, and is a universal element of the Neanderthal toolkit. Levallois points are often associated with triangular flake production. In this article we use various lithic assemblages come from 26 excavations represented 35 human occupation levels located in a geographic area covering the northeast quarter of France, from Normandy to the Flemish plains. Levallois points and triangular flakes are compared according to different disciplines: technology and use wear analysis. Chronology and environmental reconstruction allowed a better understanding of the Neanderthal subsistence behaviour. This article aims to provide new and original insights into point and triangular flake production, their functions and their mobility during the Middle Palaeolithic. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Binois A.,Paris-Sorbonne University | Binois A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Bridault A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Pion G.,95 route Bathie des Corniolles | Ducrocq T.,INRAP Nord Picardie
International Journal of Paleopathology | Year: 2014

In this paper we report two unique cases of dental development anomalies observed on prehistoric faunal material from France. The first is a severely malformed first incisor from a red deer, dated to the 13th-12th millennium BC, which is interpreted as a composite odontoma, a rare pseudo-tumor of odontogenic origin. The second is a Mesolithic (9th-8th millennium BC) wild boar skull presenting an anomalous tooth row including a duplication of the upper left second premolar. Both pathologies are discussed in terms of diagnosis and etiology, and comparable archeological cases are sought. We conclude by stressing that the occurrence of these two developmental anomalies appears to have a strong spontaneous component, and that caution should be exercised when considering such defects in terms of populational significance. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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