MTA Bifaces from the Perigord Noir

The MTA of the Perigord during OIS3 is characterized by small (length: usually < 12 cm), finely retouched cordiform bifaces, by backed elongated flakes (knives) and by well developed “upper Paleolithic tools”, mainly end-scrapers and some burins. Typical assemblages in caves and abris are: Le Moustier layer G and H, Pech-de-l’Azé layers 4 to 7, La Rochette layer 7 and La Grotte XVI layer C. The MTA method of shaping bifaces is characterized by the creation of a bi-convex transverse section, which progressively becomes plano-convex by resharpening.

In contrast to flake tools, MTA- bifaces are highly visible in the modern landscape, for example on fresh ploughed fields. Therefore it is no surprise that such tools have been found in large quantities by the inhabitants of regions with a high and continuous Paleolithic record, such as the Perigord Noir. These handaxes were found near Les Eyzies and Theon. They give a good impression of such surface findings.

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