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Fabric of Palaeolithic levels: methods and implications for site formation processes.

Abstract : Fabric analysis in archaeological contexts, i.e. the study of the orientation and dip of artefacts, has been significantly improved during the last decade, mainly with respect to the statistical treatment of data, the development of a reference base for natural sedimentary processes as well as the increased number of data for Palaeolithic levels. These works show that fabrics are an efficient tool for assessing site formation processes. Fabrics allow discrimination between (i) undisturbed (or minimally disturbed) levels, (ii) levels that have undergone strong pedoturbations due to biological activity or to shrinking and swelling of clayey sediments and (iii) levels that have been significantly reworked by slope processes such as periglacial solifluction or overland flow. However, in the present state of knowledge, fabrics do not allow precise estimation of the degree of perturbation if not associated with other archaeological and geological criteria. From the set of data on French Palaeolithic sites used here, it is demonstrated that slope dynamics and particularly solifluction for sites predating the Late Glacial may have played an important role in site formation.
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Arnaud Lenoble, Pascal Bertran. Fabric of Palaeolithic levels: methods and implications for site formation processes.. Journal of Archaeological Science, Elsevier, 2004, 31 (4), pp.457-469. ⟨10.1016/j.jas.2003.09.013⟩. ⟨halshs-00649875⟩



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