From Palethnography to Paleohistory: following a Magdalenian group through three successive occupations at Etiolles

Author(s): Elisa Caron-Laviolette

Year: 2015


Since the 1980s, spatially oriented techno-economical lithic studies of a few key open-air sites in the Paris basin have been essential to our comprehension of Upper Palaeolithic behavioral patterns. While these analyses have largely been synchronic in focus, and many others evaluate diachrony on the long-term, we hope to now bridge these two approaches through a study of the mid-term.

One of the only Palaeolithic contexts that allow for such an approach is the three-level sequence that constitutes the D71 domestic units at the Magdalenian site of Etiolles. Not only are these levels spatially well preserved, but they document three consecutive installations, within a few decades at most, in the exact same location. Through lithic refits and their spatial analysis we are able to reason on three different time-scales: each single short-term occupation, the greater long-term changes during the terminal Magdalenian (14 000 cal BP), and the rarely accessible historical time-scale, what we deem the intermediate, or mid-term. Here we present preliminary results of our comparative and palethnological analysis of these three successive installations, which will allow us to evaluate the stability or mutability of technical traditions from a "paleohistorical" perspective, and thus nuance our understanding of long-term cultural evolution.

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Cite this Record

From Palethnography to Paleohistory: following a Magdalenian group through three successive occupations at Etiolles. Elisa Caron-Laviolette. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395387)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;