Aurignacian(s) in the Mas d'Azil Cave (Ariège, Pyrénées, France)


Mas d’Azil cave is one of the most important karstic landmarks in southwestern France. This prehistoric research hotspot is mainly famous for evidence of Magdalenian and Epipaleolithic cultures, but recent researches were confirmed the existence of traces of the oldest occupations of the Upper Palaeolithic, poorly documented so far. In this case, the discovery of an in situ cultural sequence containing older and recent Aurignacian opens up largely new possibilities. First, because the cave contains a chronological sequence never recognized in earlier work; this sequence revealed by recent surveys confirms the presence of an older Aurignacian (cf. Péquart's excavations in the "Silex Gallery"), while providing the first evidence of recent occupation phases, which has no known regional equivalent. Second, these observations cast new light on a context that, for the Aurignacian, is greatly lacking in the French central Pyrénées; that of a vast cavity at the bottom of a deep valley that possibly corresponds to another settlement type in the territory; significantly different from (and complementary to) the "small" caves often "perched" in the landscape, which is by far most of the information we currently have to describe this culture in this region.

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Cite this Record

Aurignacian(s) in the Mas d'Azil Cave (Ariège, Pyrénées, France). Marc Jarry, François Bon, Laurent Bruxelles, Céline Pallier, Lars Anderson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396028)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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