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Technological variability during the Early Middle Palaeolithic in Western Europe. Reduction systems and predetermined products at the Bau de l'Aubesier and Payre (South-East France)

Abstract : The study of the lithic assemblages of two French sites, the Bau de l’Aubesier and Payre, contributes new knowledge of the earliest Neanderthal techno-cultural variability. In this paper we present the results of a detailed technological analysis of Early Middle Palaeolithic lithic assemblages of MIS 8 and 7 age from the two sites, which are located on opposite sides of the Rhône Valley in the south-east of France. The MIS 9–7 period is considered in Europe to be a time of new behaviours, especially concerning lithic strategies. The shift from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Early Middle Palaeolithic is “classically” defined by an increase in the number of core technologies, including standardized ones, which are stabilized in the full Middle Palaeolithic (MIS 5–3), associated with the decline of the “Acheulean” biface. Applying a common technological approach to the analysis of the two assemblages highlights their technological variability with respect to reduction systems and end products. Differences between Payre and the Bau de l’Aubesier concerning raw material procurement and faunal exploitation only partially explain this multifaceted technological variability, which in our opinion also reflects the existence of distinct technological strategies within the same restricted geographic area, which are related to distinct traditions, site uses, and/or as yet unknown parameters.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 4:33:37 PM
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Leonardo Carmignani, Moncel Marie-Hélène, Fernandes Paul, Lucy Wilson. Technological variability during the Early Middle Palaeolithic in Western Europe. Reduction systems and predetermined products at the Bau de l'Aubesier and Payre (South-East France). PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (6), pp.e0178550. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0178550⟩. ⟨halshs-01713540⟩

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