Reconnaissance d'une installation du Protoaurignacien en vallée du Rhône. Implications sur nos connaissances concernant les premiers hommes modernes en France méditerranéenne

Ludovic SLIMAK, Damien PESESSE & Yves GIRAUD

fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 5 (7) - Pages 909-917

Published on 31 October 2006

Identification of a Protoaurignacian occupation in the Rhone Valley and implications in our knowledge on the first anatomically modern human settlements in Mediterranean France

The upper level of the Mandrin Cave has been occupied by Humans during a short period after 35 000 BP. The leptolithic industry unearthed from this level closely resembles those locally attributed to a Mediterranean Aurignacian, considered now as the earliest expression of the Upper Palaeolithic in southeastern France, where Castelperronian industries are not known. Identification and characterisation of a new transitional complex not known until now is under process. The cave, a small north-exposed rock shelter, is located south of Montélimar, in the Rhone Valley. Explored since 1990, it is stratigraphically composed of eight levels, corresponding to a late Middle Palaeolithic. The analysis of the technical systems found in the Protoaurignacian stratum reveals a large predominance of rectilinear Dufour's bladelets, longer than 5 cm. The present study casts a new look on the technical systems and proposes specific schemes for the production of bladelets, as well as, founded on the actual composition of the assemblages, a synthesis of the first human settlements in Mediterranean France.


Early Upper Paleolithic, Protoaurignacian, First modern human occupations, Southeastern France, Production lines, Long Dufour bladelets

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