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Un site moustérien de type Quina dans la vallée du Celé : Pailhès à Espagnac-Sainte-Eulalie (Lot)

Abstract : Quarry works along the Celé River (South-West France) have allowed the discovery of a new Charentian Mousterian site, wich is located on the eastern margin of Aquitan Basin (Quercy). The access to archaeological levels is limited due to their position in the middle of an important detritic sequence, mostly sterile. Only limited rescue excavations have been possible which nevertheless permitted us to collect rich samples, sufficient to approach the prehistoric socio-economic behaviors. Thick detritic deposits are plugging up the base of a cliff and the exact palaeotopography of the site is not well understood : collapsed shelter, open air site, cliff foot ? The archaeological sequence is homogeneous : mostly debris flows with some rare gravitational scree. Geological processes have not strongly affected the levels although the material undergoes redistribution. Several archaeological « levels » have been noticed with one main level (level II). Radiometric dates (U/Th on bone) give a mean of 43 ± 1 ky BP, in agreement with the different studies showing a colder period of the Last Glacial, either the isotopic stade 4, or one cold period point from isotopic stage 3, if the U/Th dates are corrects. A severe palaeoenvironment characterized Espagnac and an open landscape under cold climate is suggested from floral and faunal (horse, reindeer, wild goat, bison) studies. he human occupations correspond to large herbivores hunters, who probably used the specific geotopography of this part of this relatively narrow and closed valley to obtain game during the best season. Viewing thefaunal sample, we proposed a human acquisition with game stalking and slaughtering one by one individual and differential carcasse transports. The occurrence of allochtone flint (Senonian, Campanian, Bergeracois) points out a wider territory located to the northwest region ofQuercy (Perigord). The lithic industry shows local or near exploitation of quartz and flint, and the chaînes opératoires are generally complete (Discoïdal, débitage récurrent centripète) associated with arrival on the site of allochtoneous flint tools, mainly Quina type scrapers. Bones assemblages show a great involvment of Neanderthals for meat removal and marrow extraction (green breakage, cut-marked bones) and there is a good series of bone retouchoirs.
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Jacques Jaubert, Jean-Philip Brugal, Pierre Chalard, Marie-Françoise Diot, Christophe Falguères, et al.. Un site moustérien de type Quina dans la vallée du Celé : Pailhès à Espagnac-Sainte-Eulalie (Lot). Gallia Préhistoire – Archéologie de la France préhistorique, CNRS Éditions, 2001, 43, pp.1-99. ⟨10.3406/galip.2001.2312⟩. ⟨hal-02413966⟩

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