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Take shelter! The contributions of rock-shelter archaeology to understanding the socio-economic organization of Final Paleolithic/Mesolithic societies in Western France

Author(s): Nicolas Naudinot ; Grégor Marchand

Year: 2015

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Summary

In some areas of France, the first archaeological investigations were conducted in rock-shelters, and allowed archaeologists to establish the Paleolithic chronology. Later, in other regions, and influenced by Leroi-Gourhan’s research, archaeologists focused on open-air sites, using spatial organization to create "paleoethnography." In Western France, even if the first excavation of a Palaeolithic site, in 1874, was that of a rockshelter, later, all the investigations focused on coastal open air sites. This is partly a consequence of the geology as the region’s crystalline massif lacks limestone formations. But there are rockshelters in the region; in fact, they are numerous though often small: marine erosion caves, rifts in sandstone cliffs, and granitic boulders. Our research program is investigating these small rockshelters, and first results of the excavation of two early Azilian sites and one Mesolithic shelter, shows that since these sites are usually short, task-oriented occupations, their study is essential to understanding the complexity of past land use strategies.

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Take shelter! The contributions of rock-shelter archaeology to understanding the socio-economic organization of Final Paleolithic/Mesolithic societies in Western France. Nicolas Naudinot, Grégor Marchand. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396032)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America