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Nottingham, United Kingdom

The site of Melun-Montaigu has yielded several palaeolithic assemblages buried in slope deposits. These accumulated downslope of the hill of Stampian (Rupelian) sand. The morphosedimentary analysis together with OSL and TL dating provide the frame for a chronostratigraphic interpretation of both the sedimentary sequence and the palaeolithic levels. The oldest deposits, accumulated by creeping during a cooling event between the end of the Weichselian Early-Glacial and the Lower Pleniglacial. They overlay a first occupation, level P3, attributed to the beginning of the Weichselian period and which contains reworked lithic artifacts (level Pb). Afterwards, a thermokarstic gully incised the sequence at the beginning of the Middle Pleniglacial. The gully testifies to a phase of permafrost degradation. The infill contains a second reworked Palaeolithic level (Pa). This interstadial interval ended with the formation of a palaeosol which was degraded and cut by a large network ice-wedge pseudomorphoses. This event occurred at the beginning of the Upper Pleniglacial stage, around 30 ka, is contemporaneous of modern human's presence in the immediate vicinity (level P1). Source

Barton R.N.E.,University of Oxford | Bouzouggar A.,Institute National Des Science Of Larcheologie Et Du Patrimoine | Bouzouggar A.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Collcutt S.N.,Oxford Archaeological Associates Ltd. | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Amongst the least well-defined periods in North African prehistoric archaeology is the interval between ∼40 and 20 ka BP. This encompasses a phase (or phases) of major technological change which archaeologists describe as the MSA (Middle Stone Age) to LSA (Later Stone Age) transition. The nature of this transition is complicated by the fact that few sites spanning this period have been the object of modern scientific study. Two exceptions are the caves of Taforalt (Morocco) and the Haua Fteah (Libya) which have each been systematically excavated in the last decade and have yielded datable sequences that provide fresh light on the nature of the transition. In this paper we describe the results of new work at Taforalt and suggest that considerable variation exists across the region, in comparison with sites like the Haua Fteah. Initial results are also given on the rich charred plant remains (likely food residues) and wood charcoal evidence from the younger MSA layers dating to ∼27 ka BP. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

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. Source

Twice the open-air site of Pont-de-Planches has been occupied by men from palaeolithic: the oldest occupation is around 50 ka (marine isotopic stage MIS 3) and is characterized by a bifacial tools industry called micoquian while the most recent one is a gravettian occupation. From many aspects, this open air-site looks exceptional for that region. It gives us a stratigraphy sequence which goes from the middle Pleistocene to Holocene, and compares with Ajoie region in Switherland, 100 km distant from the site. It gives us the first bison discovered in open-air site. This report from the principal specialists present the initial synthesis of the site, the dating of sediments by thermoluminescence, paleontological data on the teeth and cranian of a Bison prisais associated to gravettian occupation, and general descriptions of the typology and technological aspects of the two industries separated by 35000 years. The composition of the micoquian industry shows many common lithic features shared with South Germany or Danubia regions. All this, helps us to follow the incursions of Neanderthal and modern humans during the stage 3 and 2 along a pan-European east-west axis. Source

Antoine P.,CNRS Physics Laboratory | Goval E.,Institute National Of Recherches Archeologiques Preventives | Goval E.,French Natural History Museum | Jamet G.,University of Caen Lower Normandy | And 13 more authors.
Quaternaire | Year: 2014

In connection with the future Canal Seine-Nord Europe (Seine-Scheldt), a large-scale rescue archaeological survey was conducted between 2008 and 2011 in northern France At Havrincourt (Pas-de-Calais), the discovery of several levels of Palaeolithic flint artefacts embedded in a relatively thick loess sequence (∼ 6-7m) preserved on a gentle slope facing north-east, has resulted in a rescue archaeological excavation on a total surface of 6 000 m2. Four Palaeolithic levels were uncovered in primary position. This sequence has been the subject of a continuous stratigraphic survey over nine months and an interdisciplinary approach combining pedostratigraphy, sedimentology, micromorphology, palaeontology, malacology, environmental magnetism, OSL and 14C dating. Based on this research, we propose: 1) a new pedostratigraphic reference sequence for Northern France, especially with regard to the Lower and Middle Pleniglacial periods (∼ 70-30 ka), 2) a new regional geochronological framework for the Last Glacial (luminescence and radiocarbon) as well as a revision of the regional pedostratigraphic and chrono-chmatic systems, and 3) the description and dating of a unique succession of periglacial horizons including five ice-wedge cast networks associated with tundra gley horizons representing a first regional reference sequence. In addition, the good preservation of archaeological levels, associated with the multidisciplinary analysis and dating of the pedosedimentary sequences leads to the chronostratigraphic and chrono-climatic interpretation of the four Palaeolithic levels including a unique occupation related to the Early Upper Palaeolithic (Early Gravettian). These results and new discoveries allow us to propose Havnncourt as a new pedostratigraphic and archaeological reference sequence for the Late Pleistocene of northern France and more broadly for the west-European loess area. Source

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