Potentialités de contacts entre mésolithiques et néolithiques dans le sud de la France

Abstract : In southern France, for 1980s, we often conceive the appearance of the Neolithic as the result of a process of colonization, a physical migration of farmers populations since Italy. By taking into account data of the absolute chronology and the geographical dispersion of the sites, we can model this Neolithic expansion in three main stages during the VIth and Vth millenniums before our era. First restricted to a very Mediterranean part of France, Neolithic economy earns little by little the inside lands, notably along the Rhône valley, to reach the Alps and the Jura mountains in the course of the third stage. In parallel of this model of expansion -- which is not new, of course --, ceramics styles, alone mobilized for defining the cultural facies of this era, evolve in a cycle which we can simplify under the succession: Impressa, Cardial, Épicardial/recent Cardial. Some authors mobilize the autochthonous populations of hunters collectors to explain the origin of some of these ceramics styles, in scenarios of exchanges, or even of acculturation. Very rich in social and historical involvements, these models collide nevertheless with an serious obstacle: the quasi full absence of Mesolithic sites on the coastal region at the time of the arrival of the Neolithic populations. In this paper, we thus attempt to map the potential zones where such contacts were able to take place in a big southeast quarter of France. To do it, we begin by establishing a chronological map of the last Mesolithic settlements and of the earliest Neolithic occupations. This cartography, which owes be the most precise possible, collides naturally with the big disparity of quantity and quality of radiocarbon datings according to periods and regions. The picture presented in this work is thus completely susceptible to evolve quickly according to new discoveries and datings. However, the confrontation of the actual available datings allows to measure the existing chronological distance between the last Mesolithic sites of a region or even of a site and the first Neolithic occupation of the same region or of the same site. Also, the overlapping of maps allows to measure the geographical distance between a Mesolithic site and the Neolithic closest and contemporary one. The quantification of those both distances, chronological or geographical, allows to draw the outline of geographical zones where contacts between these two populations were not able to have took place, because too much taken away, or on the contrary, zones where the chronological or geographical distances are low, making credible of possible scenarios of interactions. After all and as is data, such zones are rare: it is possible to identify only four, quite situated in periphery of the primary zones of development of the former Southern Neolithic. It is firstly in these places which it will be necessary to try in the future to refine our analysis of the possible exchanges having been able to take place between last hunters and first farmers.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 13, 2014 - 9:56:02 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 9:36:07 AM

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Thomas Perrin. Potentialités de contacts entre mésolithiques et néolithiques dans le sud de la France. Autour du Néolithique ancien - Les outils du changement : critique des méthodes (session H) Transitions, ruptures et continuité durant la Préhistoire, actes du XXVIIe Congrès préhistorique de France, Jacques Jaubert; Nathalie Fourment; Pascal Depaepe, 2010, Les Eyzies, France. pp.357-372. ⟨hal-00927419⟩

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