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Le tumulus de l'Estaque 2, commune d'Avezac-Prat-Lahitte (Hautes-Pyrénées) : résultats de fouille préventive

Abstract : The subject of this article is a tumulus forming part of a tumulary group at a site known as «Avézac» or «Estaque», located on a prolongation of the plateau of Lannemezan (Hautes-Pyrénées) in the direction of Bielsa, representing one of the richest geographical areas for the occurrence of tumuli on the scale of the French national territory. The excavation of this site, carried out in the spring of 2006, was justified by the construction of a road between Barthe de Neste and Hèches (RD 929). The main results obtained concern the architecture and design of the tumulus, since burials themselves are lacking. Indeed, while plundering of the central part has already been mentioned in previous studies, it also appears to have also occurred over the entire site and no additional burials could be identified in this slightly eroded monument. Hence, pottery ware is scarce and only extremely rare items are available for dating. These goods were found in a secondary position in the infilled central part of the plundered structure and in the north-eastern sector of the ditch, and can be attributed to at least two occupations, during the Chalcolithic, and then during the Early Iron Age. The setting up of the monument was carried out on a natural cluster of large pebbels, probably quite apparent during late Prehistoric times, which already formed a small elevated area. The upper part of this substrate has been reworked, and has the particular characteristic of yielding a veritable lithic industry based on pebbles. In all evidence, the goods represent opportunist tools, which, in the absence of any signs of domestic occupation nearby, could be related to the tumulus; the tools could have been used for temporary subsistence and/or carrying out technical procedures directly related to funerary architecture. Concerning the depth of plundering, it is likely that the central burial would have cut down into the substrate. The very abundant pebbles contained in the infill of this plundered structure, which was probably blocked off very rapidly, could reflect the rearrangement of lithic elements in the chamber. The substrate subsequently formed the foundation for the accumulation of a very clean and fine-grained deposit, without any stones or goods. Initially, the tumulus exceeded a height of 1 m with a diameter of 17 m. The outer limit of the tumulus encloses a ditch 15 m in diameter, showing an average width of 0.50 m and a preserved depth of approximately 0.30 m ; this ditch cut down into the sedimentary mass as well as the substrate. The pebbles found in the ditch infill display a linear arrangement along the central axis of the ditch. This arrangement of blocking elements was initially concealed and did not form a visible crown on the surface. In fact, we consider that this structure indicates the presence of a more or less lightly-built palisade, in which the above mentioned lithic tools could have been used in the construction. Within the framework of this interpretation, the whole of the architecture on this site would be compatible with a coherent design and planned organization taking place at the end of the Neolithic. Trad. M. Carpenter
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Yaramila Tchérémissinoff, Laurent Bruxelles, Anne Lagarrigue, Laure-Amélie Lelouvier, Fabrice Leroy. Le tumulus de l'Estaque 2, commune d'Avezac-Prat-Lahitte (Hautes-Pyrénées) : résultats de fouille préventive. Archéologie des Pyrénées Occidentales et des Landes, Groupe Archéologique des Pyrénées Occidentales (G.A.P.O.), 2008, Archéologie des Pyrénées Occidentales et des Landes, pp. 187-220. ⟨hal-01576872⟩

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