The “Moustérien à pièces bifaciales dominantes”


This Mousterian facies is defined by numerous small bifaces (average size:~ 6-8cm) and bifacial scrapers, and is constitutive for the  Middle Palaeolithic of the Bretagne and the Basse Normandie. Originally dated to the beginning of the last glacial (OIS5), some sites seem to be now securely dated to OIS3.

Important findings were made since the second half of the 19th century in the Eure Valley (Saint-Julien de la Liègue, Saint-Nicolas d’Attez “La Madeleine”),  the Calvados region (Bons-Tassilly “Le Châtelet”)  and at several sites in the Orne Valley  (near Putanges-Pont Ecrepin, Saint-Brice-sous-Rânes, la “Bruyère”).  Some of the sites are considerably large. For example Saint-Brice-sous-Rânes, la “Bruyère”9  covers serval hundred hectares. Many of these sites have a work-shop character (

Bifacial tools display a cordiform, subcordiform and somtimes ovalaire character. The scrapers usually have a covering retouch at one side and often show an incomplete covering of the other side. Basal thinning of transverse scrapers is common.  Many “unifaces” have similarities to the “Halbkeile” and many flat handaxes are “Faustkeilblätter” in the German nomenclature.  Similar findings from what is now Germany are known from the Lichtenberg Micoquian site in the North European Plain in lower Saxony:

 Suggested Readings:

An exhibition in 1996 in Göttingen assembled findings from Lichtenberg and Eastern Micoquian sites,  especially from Volgograd [Sukhaja Metchetka].


About Katzman

During my whole life I was fascinated by stone age artefacts. Not only the aesthetic qualities of these findings, but also the stories around them and the considerations arising from their discovery, are a part of my blog. Comments and contributions are allways welcome! About me: J.L. Katzman (Pseudonym). Born in Vienna. Left Austria in 1974 and did not regret. Studied Medicine and Prehistory at a German University. Member of a Medical Department at a German University. Copyright 2010-2017 by JLK. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to use material in these posts so long as you cite the work.
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2 Responses to The “Moustérien à pièces bifaciales dominantes”

  1. Pingback: Middle Paleolithic from Scheden; Lower Saxony | Aggsbach's Paleolithic Blog

  2. Pingback: Bifacial tools from Saint-Brice-sous-Rânes | Aggsbach's Paleolithic Blog

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