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Poster communications

Eemian: What’s up on the Western front? ou à l’ouest Rhin de nouveau ?

Abstract : In the 1990s, Neanderthal's presence east of the Rhine during the Eemian has been evidences by new investigations focusing on the chronology of Palaeolithic occupations both in Central and Middle Europe. More recently, in the area located to the west of the Rhine, the discovery of the site of Caours in the Somme basin in the early 2000s allowed, for the first time, to show that Neanderthal settled northern France during the Eemian optimum (MIS 5e). What’s up on the Western front since that discovery? In 2013, an exceptional site allocated to the Eemian interglacial has been evidenced at Waziers in the Scarpe River valley, a tributary of the Escaut (Scheldt), during rescue archaeological test-pits. The alluvial sequence, investigated in the frame of a multidisciplinary team, is composed by a thick alluvial sequence (~ 2.5m) composed by organic silts and peat layers deposited in a large palaeo-meander of the Scarpe River. The whole is preserved by a loess sequence (± 3m). The correlation of the base of the sequence (silt and peats) with the Eemian is based on: i) the occurrence of mammals and molluscs assemblages typical for Pleistocene interglacials, ii) a first U/Th (TIMS) date on oogons of Characeae (minimum age: 103 +3.5/-3.4 ka), and iii) the occurrence of a typical Last Glacial (Weichselian) loess sequence overlying fluvial organic deposits. Owing to the rarity of such sequences and of the importance of the flint artefacts discovered within the peat layers for archaeology, a multidisciplinary research program has been launched at Waziers in 2014. The aim of this poster is to present the main results from these new investigations and to highlight the unique potential of this site for both the reconstruction of Northern France Eemian palaeoenvironments and Middle Palaeolithic occupation. In the near future, the on-going investigations lead on the Waziers site will undoubtedly produce a main contribution to the knowledge of Neanderthal groups settlement dynamics throughout North-western Europe Great plains.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 4:04:51 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 3:06:08 AM


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  • HAL Id : hal-01992850, version 1


David Hérisson, Jean‑luc Locht, Luc Vallin, Laurent Deschodt, Pierre Antoine, et al.. Eemian: What’s up on the Western front? ou à l’ouest Rhin de nouveau ?. The Rhine during the Middle Palaeolithic: boundary or corridor?, May 2017, Sélestat, France. ⟨hal-01992850⟩



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