Why Build When There Are Caves? Investigating the Construction and Use of a Stone Structure in Pleistocene France
This is an abstract from the "More Than Shelter from the Storm: Hunter-Gatherer Houses and the Built Environment" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The Late Pleistocene in Western Europe is the origin of the idea of the "caveman," and the majority of research has historically focused on cave sites. In regions of Europe where caves are not present but archaeological evidence is, the assumption is that people used lightweight ephemeral shelters such as tents and lean-tos, and this is sometimes supported through the presence of a few stones arranged in a pattern. The open-air site of Peyre Blanque in the Central French Pyrénées has the potential to change this narrative about Late Pleistocene hunting and gathering peoples. This site, in a region with many caves and rockshelters, was occupied shortly after the Last Glacial Maximum, and features a structure constructed of hundreds of sandstones. The structure presently covers nearly fifty square meters. Excavation and analysis are currently ongoing, but this structure is unlike other stone arrangements in Late Pleistocene Western Europe in its size and organization. The people who occupied Peyre Blanque were not "cavemen," neither literally nor metaphorically, and this was by choice.
Cite this Record
Why Build When There Are Caves? Investigating the Construction and Use of a Stone Structure in Pleistocene France. Kathleen Sterling, Sébastien Lacombe. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450972)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23627