Un site mésolithique de chasse à l'aurochs (La Montagne, Sénas, Bouches-du-Rhône)


fr Anthropozoologica 41 (2) - Pages 215-228

Published on 31 December 2006

This article is a part of the thematic issue Painted and engraved animals: from the form to the sign. Animals in post-Palaeolithic graphic art in the western Mediterranean

A Mesolithic aurochs kill site (La Montagne, Senas, Bouches-du-Rhone)

With its high frequencies of aurochs remains, both in number of remains and in individuals, the open-air site of La Montagne (Sénas, Bouches-du-Rhône) is an exception for the Mesolithic of south-east France. A study of the list of fauna and the distribution of the anatomical elements of the aurochs suggests that the site of La Montagne functioned as a kill site with in situ processing of the carcasses. The inhabitants practiced specialised aurochs hunting comparable to that of the Mousterian/Magdalenian sites or even American Indian kill sites. A new statistical study based on mixture analysis indicates that the inferior molars can be used to determine the sex ratio. This combined with age estimates, gives a tentative population structure for the aurochs killed.


Aurochs (Bos primigenius), specialisation, kill site, population structure (age and sex), mixture analysis, Mesolithic, Provence.

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