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Conference papers

Les gisements gravettiens d’Amiens-Renancourt 1 et 2 (Somme, France) : premières données palethnologiques

Abstract : Up until recently the few known Upper Palaeolithic sites in the Hauts-de-France region suffered from a lack of sufficient data. Only the site of Renancourt-lès-Amiens, excavated in 1910 by Victor Commont, presents a reliable stratigraphy and a considerable quantity of objects, and has been unequivocally attributed to this period. Unfortunately, after the premature death of Victor Commont in 1918, the documentation and archaeological material were misplaced, thereby preventing any new studies of this essential site for our knowledge of the regional Upper Palaeolithic. In 1996, but especially since 2010, the area of Renancourt, located to the west of Amiens, was surveyed again during several rescue archaeology operations. Two sites attributed to the Gravettian were discovered during the se new investigations. They are spatially and chronologically distinct, and were both very well conserved in particularly dilated loess sequences. They are located on either side of a silty promontory several metres above the surrounding valleys. A nearby chalky talus provides protection from the winds and the easy acquisition of good quality flints. These two Gravettian sites are separated by several millennia and present very different spatial organisation, denoting distinct site functions and activities. The older site, Amiens-Renancourt 2 (dated to 28,000 BP non-cal.), was excavated over a surface of 1,800 m2 by the INRAP as part of rescue excavations. Different surveys show that the site extends over about 5,000 m2. The archaeological level is characterised by small concentrations or heaps of lithic and faunal remains. The study of the objects, as well as the spatial analysis, point to a site with specialised activities, mainly geared towards butchery and the acquisition of siliceous raw materials. The absence or low number of certain categories of lithic objects (cores, blades, tools) seems to indicate that these were removed from the excavated zone. Among the faunal remains, bones from reindeer, horse, and, to a lesser extent, bison limbs are overrepresented. These archaeozoological observations, associated with the results of the microwear study, point to the specific transport of carcass portions rich in meat, which were then cut up on site using non-retouched blades. The site of Amiens-Renancourt 1, dated to 23,000 BP non-cal., contains a significant concentration of objects just beside the former Victor Commont excavations. This archaeological occupation has undergone programmed excavations since 2013. The surface studied up until now is relatively limited (41 m2) and the extension of the site has yet to be evaluated. Although the spatial organisation is still only partially known, it shows an intense occupation with varied activities: flint knapping, horse carcass processing and indirect evidence of a combustion area that has not yet been identified. More singularly, a probable onsite production of feminine statuettes and ornaments in chalk evokes the Gravettian sites of Central and Eastern Europe with specific status. All of these data clearly show a longer, probably seasonal occupation, unlike the early Gravettian site of Amiens’Renancourt 2.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 5:11:22 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 6:01:01 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02500072, version 1



Clément Paris, Pierre Antoine, P. Auguste, Émilie Claud, Sylvie Coutard, et al.. Les gisements gravettiens d’Amiens-Renancourt 1 et 2 (Somme, France) : premières données palethnologiques. Préhistoire de l'Europe du Nord-Ouest : mobilité, climats et identités culturelles. 28e congrès préhistorique de France, Cyril Montoya; Jean-Pierre Fagnart; Jean‑luc Locht, May 2016, Amiens, France. pp.97-115. ⟨hal-02500072⟩



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