Gravettes from S/W-France


Gracettes obliques katzmanThese are broken Gravette Points from the sites of Laugerie haute, Laussel and La Gravette in the Aquitaine.

Gravette Points are generally made from slender and narrow blades (“Gravettes”) or bladelets (“Microgravettes”). These points are characterized by a  straight or slightly curved blunted back , which is formed by very abrupt retouches. Many Gravettes have additional retouches  on the non-blunted edge, either near the point or near the base.

Gravette Points are part of  hunting equipments, and may have been inserted in to darts or arrows, although the organic remains of such implements have not been found so far.

Our imagination about Gravettian hunters is strongly biased towards Mammoth hunting and Mega Sites (aggregation sites? –for example at Dolní Vestonice I, Pavlov I and Predmostí I) of M/E-Europe. Anyhow in S/W-France, Red Deer and Reindeer hunting was the most important task of the Gravettian hunters. Mass kills of Reindeer, which are well known from later times (for example: Maiendorf, Stellmoor), were rather unlikely in the Aquitaine.

Archaeofaunal studies showed, that seasonally of hunting of a given species, rather than year-round killing, was a characteristic at several sites during the Gravettian in the Dordogne:

  • Cold-season hunting of red deer in Flageolet-1/7 and reindeer at Abri Pataud 5 and 3
  • Warm-season hunting of red deer in Ferrassie D2
  • Migration hunting (spring and fall only) of reindeer in Pataud 4.

Although, similar technical equipment, symbolic expressions and the “Venus statuettes” have been found over an enormous area and might suggest a high grade of uniformity of “Gravettian societies”, the hunting tactics of S/W-France may have been very different from those of other Microregions.

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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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