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Champ-sur-Drac, France

Romey C.,Aix - Marseille University | Vella C.,Aix - Marseille University | Rochette P.,Aix - Marseille University | Andrieu-Ponel V.,Aix - Marseille University | And 8 more authors.
Holocene | Year: 2015

This paper is based on a multidisciplinary study using both paleoenvironmental methods (biological, sedimentological, magnetic and geochemical) and archaeological data in order to characterize landscape and hydrological network changes as well as human impact on a littoral catchment in the Western Mediterranean area. Sedimentary records obtained around a coastal alluvial plain (Cassis, Southeastern France) reveal local environmental changes and human activities since the Neolithic (ca. 6000 cal. BP). Anthropogenic impact is already noticeable in the earliest record, and we follow its evolution through time. According to biological markers, the Holocene landscape of the Calanques is dominated by a mosaic of open herbaceous formations partly generated by human activity. The prevalence of Cernuella virgata in malacofauna successions and of coprophilous fungal spores in the pollen record testifies to the spread of agro-pastoral activities. Two increases of anthropogenic impact are highlighted during the Roman (ca. 2000 cal. BP) and Modern (from ca. 1450 to today) periods. Lead isotope analyses indicate an anthropogenic release of lead, possibly originating from the Greek Cyclades (ca. 2000 cal. BP). Hydrographic and agricultural work is also enhanced during the Roman period. Magnetic parameters and lead isotopes indicate that the Modern anthropogenic impact may be associated with high temperature activities (e.g. lime kiln, fossil fuel). © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. Source

Malaize B.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Bertran P.,INRAP | Bertran P.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Carbonel P.,University of Bordeaux 1 | And 8 more authors.
Holocene | Year: 2011

A multiproxy analysis of lacustrine sediments cored in Grand-Case Pond at Saint-Martin, north of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, reveals three distinct climatic periods for the last 3700 years. From 3700 to ~2500 yr cal. BP and from 1150 yr cal. BP to the present, carbonate mud deposition occurred in connection with pond lowstands. These periods were also punctuated by severe drought events, marked by gypsum laminae, and hurricane landfalls, leading to marine sand inputs into the pond. The intermediate time interval, from 2500 to 1150 yr cal. BP, is typified by black organic mud deposition, suggesting that hypoxic to anoxic conditions prevailed at the pond bottom. These were probably linked with a perennial pond highstand and reflect more uniform and wetter climatic conditions than today. The carbon isotopic composition of the ostracod Perissocytheridea bisulcata shows that the lowest δ13C values are recorded during the hypoxic periods, as a consequence of bacterial recycling of isotopically depleted organic matter. Such a climatic history agrees closely with that documented from other records in the Caribbean area, such as the Cariaco Basin, central coast of Belize or Barbados. By constrast, discrepancies seem to emerge from the comparison between hurricane activity recorded at Saint-Martin on the one hand and Vieques (Puerto Rico) on the other hand. We explain this apparent contradiction by a balance between two distinct storm paths in response to latitudinal shifts of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Stronger storm activity over the Gulf coast and the inner Caribbean Sea is favoured by a southern position of the ITCZ in connection with dry climatic conditions. Plausible links with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) are also suggested. © The Author(s) 2011. Source

Stoetzel E.,French Natural History Museum | Koehler H.,allee Thomas Edison | Koehler H.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Cliquet D.,Service Regional de larcheologie | And 3 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Palevol | Year: 2016

Quaternary small vertebrate assemblages from northern France, and more generally from northwestern Europe, are poorly recognized, and studied less than those from more southern, Mediterranean areas. However, important sites of human occupation are often found in these northern areas, with significant issues related to the occupation of these sites by Neanderthals and previous humans, as well as faunal dynamics under climatic pressure. In this paper, we present preliminary results from the study of small vertebrate assemblages from two Late Pleistocene sites of northern France: Mutzig (Alsace) and Le Rozel (Normandy). Both are ancient rock-shelters that have been excavated recently and have yielded evidence of Neanderthal occupation, but in very different contexts: Le Rozel is located in a coastal area of northwestern France contemporaneous with a temperate period, while Mutzig is located at the foot of the Vosges mountains in northeastern France and was occupied during a cold period. Consequently, even if these two sites are chronologically close to each other, differences in faunal composition are observed and discussed in relation to the geographic, climatic and biochronological context, in comparing the results from small vertebrates with those from other disciplines (numerical dating, large mammals). © 2016 Académie des sciences. Source

Along the European Atlantic facade, the consumption of flat oysters (Ostrea edulis Linnaeus, 1758) has been known since the Mesolithic era (Gutiérrez-Zugasti et al. 2011). This observation is also true for French coasts (Dupont 2006). Especially during Antiquity, the exploitation of this species became extensive (Ferdière 1988). With the development of transport facilities, oysters were found at archaeological sites located hundreds of kilometers away from the coast. This is a clear hint of their success that lasted into the Middle Ages. Along the Atlantic coast, large accumulations of oysters are recovered from so-called middens, some of which are well-known because they form conspicuous land-marks. However, the majority of such middens are thought to be hidden under modern villages. In France, archaeological sites where marine shells - in particular oysters - form the majority of consumption refuse, are only rarely excavated. Therefore, the present study about Beauvoir-sur-Mer (Vendée) is rather novel. The site can be characterized as an enormous shell midden 1700 × 25 m in size and 1-2 m thick. It is dated to between the 7th and 14th centuries AD. Near to the site, a castle was constructed during the 13th century AD. The formation of the shell midden began before, and continued during the castle occupation. For the current analysis, a sample of 5673 shell remains was studied. The analysis presented here, mainly focusses on how the oysters were exploited on the coast, in what type of environment, how they were selected etc. Biometrical analyses linked to the observation of traces produced from the opening of the bivalves, showed in particular that bigger oysters were opened on-site and their flesh was extracted immediately. This way of handling oysters was known from the Middle Ages. However, actual archaeological research at Le Langon shows that this could well have been practiced ever since Antiquity. The associated fauna identified at Beauvoirsur- Mer informs us about the range where the oysters have been exploited and the kind of biotope in which they were gathered. The results gained for this site are compared to accumulations of oysters from other historic sites in the region. © Publications scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. Source

Landes T.,CNRS Computer Science and Engineering Laboratory | Waton M.-D.,Service Regional de larcheologie | Alby E.,CNRS Computer Science and Engineering Laboratory | Gourvez S.,CNRS Computer Science and Engineering Laboratory | Lopes B.,CNRS Computer Science and Engineering Laboratory
International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives | Year: 2013

As a dozen headstones have been discovered during excavations in south Alsace, archaeologists stored them in the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs in Strasbourg. In order to complete the survey they are used to practice by hand on the steles, they asked the INSA Strasbourg to reconstruct at least the 7 figured sandstones in 3D. The high accuracy required by the archaeologists can be reached by an expensive technique using laserscanning system. Aim of the current work is to look for an alternative method and (if appropriate) low cost software allowing to provide a similar quality and a sufficient level of details. The 3D reconstruction of the headstones based exclusively on multiple images processing is presented. The step of point cloud generation is detailed because it determines the final product quality. Therefore, an assessment of the produced point cloud has been performed through comparison to a reference point cloud obtained by laser scanning technique. The steps leading to the photo-realistic textured 3D models of the headstones are presented and the software used for that are evaluated. The final product respects the accuracy requirement of 1 mm desired by the archaeologists. Source

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