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Vaux-sur-Sûre, Belgium

Di Modica K.,Scladina Cave Archaeological Center | Toussaint M.,AWEM | Abrams G.,Scladina Cave Archaeological Center | Pirson S.,Service Public de Wallonie
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

The Lower and Middle Palaeolithic in Belgium are represented in 442 find-sites dispersed across a small territory with contrasting geographical and geological characteristics. The close proximity of caves and open-air sites, as well as the variable access to good sources of flint between regions are of special interest. The dataset is composed primarily of lithic assemblages, rich palaeontological and archaeozoological documentation as well as Neandertal remains from 8 cave sites. This large amount of data facilitates the development of a chronostratigraphic framework from the very beginning of the Middle Palaeolithic (onset of MIS 8) to the end (within the MIS 3, around 36 ka uncal BP). This archaeological documentation also reveals that lithic production variability is multifactorial and includes site function, cultural perspectives, and mobility patterns related to the exploitation of natural resources in contrasting environments. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Blain H.-A.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social | Blain H.-A.,Rovira i Virgili University | Lopez-Garcia J.M.,University of Ferrara | Cordy J.-M.,Musee de Zoologie | And 4 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Palevol | Year: 2014

For the first time, the fossil herpetofauna from the Middle and Late Pleistocene of Scladina and Sous-Saint-Paul caves (Sclayn, Belgium) is described. The amphibians and squa-mate reptiles are represented by one salamander (Salamandra salamandra), three anurans (Pelodytes punctatus, Bufo bufo and Rana temporaria), two lizards (Lacerta cf. agilis and Anguisfragilis) and two snakes (Zamenis longissimus and Vipera cf. berus). The occurrence of theParsley Frog (Pelodytes punctatus) and the Aesculapian Snake (Zamenis longissimus), whichare not currently represented in Belgium, is of particular interest. Scladina also representsone of the northernmost fossil mentions for the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) although it is within its current distribution in Europe. Finally, the presence of the Adder (Vipera cf. berus) is very probably attested in Scladina whereas today this snake is infrequent and classified as endangered in Belgium. © 2014 Académie des sciences.

Abrams G.,Scladina Cave Archaeological Center | Abrams G.,University of Liege | Bello S.M.,Natural History Museum in London | Di Modica K.,Scladina Cave Archaeological Center | And 4 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Evidence of Neanderthals using bear remains as retouchers is rare. In the sedimentary unit 5 of Scladina Cave (Belgium; Weichselian Early Glacial, MIS 5d to 5b), twenty-six bone retouchers have been discovered. Among these, six have been made from cave bear bones (four from a femur and two from two tibiae). The presence of lithic splinters, still embedded in grooves, can be convincingly associated with their function as knapping tools. Particularly interesting are six bone fragments, including four fragments used as retouchers and two unused splinters, which have been refitted together to reconstitute an almost complete cave bear femur diaphysis. These specimens present modifications in the form of cut marks, scraping marks, impact notches and typical fractures of percussions on green (fresh) bone, sometimes overlapping each other, that allow for a complete understanding of the operational sequence in the production of bone retouchers at this site. The identification of a sophisticated operational sequence, where each action succeeds another in the production of a bone tool, is a major argument in favor of predetermination that guided the Neanderthal actions, and is similar to that described for stone tool chaîne opératoire. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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