New Insights into the Chronology of Late Middle Paleolithic Occupations in Southwestern France


The southwest of France is well-known for the wealth and number of sites attributed to the Middle Paleolithic. The archaeological sequences reflect an apparent heterogeneity of Neanderthal behaviors, based on the apparent variability of the lithic technological systems adopted by human groups over time. This has led to a range of different interpretations of the archaeological evidence. What is apparent is that a reliable chronology is key if we are to understand Middle Paleolithic lithic variability throughout this time period and its relationship to change in paleoclimate and paleoenvironment. In this study, absolute dates were obtained from several major archaeological sites (e.g. La Ferrassie, Roc de Marsal, La Quina) by applying improved luminescence dating methods. By measuring the time elapsed since minerals were last exposed to daylight, this technique enables the direct dating of sediments associated with archaeological remains and periods of human occupation at an individual site. The combination of luminescence results with other absolute techniques allows us to establish new chronological frameworks for these sites. In this paper, we will present results which provide new insights for our understanding of Neanderthal adaptation strategies, activities and cultural change in European populations during this period.

Cite this Record

New Insights into the Chronology of Late Middle Paleolithic Occupations in Southwestern France. Marine Frouin, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Tom Higham. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442881)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21628