Neandertals paleoenvironment in Western Provence: The contribution of Les Auzières 2 (Méthamis, Vaucluse, France)

François MARCHAL, Hervé MONCHOT, Céline COUSSOT, Emmanuel DESCLAUX, Pierre DESCHAMP, Céline THIÉBAUT, Jean-Jacques BAHAIN, Christophe FALGUÈRES & Jean-Michel DOLO

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 8 (5) - Pages 493-502

Published on 31 July 2009

The site of Les Auzières 2 (Méthamis, Vaucluse) was excavated from 2001 to 2005. It yielded an original and diverse fauna, unique in southeastern France (Provence). The spectrum of large mammals comprises 14 species including hyena, horse, ibex, woolly rhinoceros, giant deer and mammoth. Lithic artifacts are rare but testify to the presence of a Mousterian industry. All of these remains derive from layers that have been dated to 60 ± 10 ka by ESR/U-series method. Les Auzières 2 is of special importance for examining the issue of human/carnivore interaction in the Pleistocene since it has yielded a large assemblage of carnivore remains, and probably represents a hyena den. The diverse fauna offers a more comprehensive picture of Upper Pleistocene biodiversity in southeastern France than that usually provided by sites with a stronger anthropogenic signal.


Hyena den, Upper Pleistocene, Middle Paleolithic, Mousterian, Palaeoecology, Provence, France

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