The Middle Pleistocene at La Cotte de St. Brelade, Jersey

Author(s): Matthew Pope

Year: 2016


The important archaeological sequence of La Cotte de St. Brelade, known for both abundant lithic and faunal material recording human activity and environmental conditions over the last 200,000 years, is an exception in this key region making the site unique. La Cotte is also famous for the discovery of late Middle Pleistocene concentrations of mammoth and rhinoceros bone remains, known as ’bone-heaps’ (Scott 1986). Different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the formation of these bone accumulations (Scott 1986; Smith 2015). Here we will present the first results of a full re-examination of the bone material from the Saalian deposits of La Cotte, which takes into account a taphonomic and zooarchaeological investigation, and when applicable, in relation to the spatial repartition of the remains. The results of this multi-proxy analysis allow for a deeper understanding of the process of formation and modification of the different faunal assemblages from the site; carnivore presence is extremely limited and even absent in some layers. Our analysis points toward an anthropogenic origin of the faunal assemblages from the different Saalian layers of La Cotte, including the famous heaps, and opens new ways to investigate the different possible behaviours resulting in these peculiar accumulations.

Cite this Record

The Middle Pleistocene at La Cotte de St. Brelade, Jersey. Matthew Pope. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404989)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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