Aurignacian Scraper from the Laussel Rock Shelter

The Aurignacian is defined by specific and specialized operational sequences that were responsible for the production of bladelets with different forms of what we normally classify as cores. Some are “carinated scrapers” or “nosed scrapers” on thick flakes where the bladelets were removed from. When the bladelet removal from a flake is limited by a retouched notch it is known as a “busked burin”. Hence, it seems that the aim of the artisans was to obtain short, curved and twisted bladelets, which in part were later retouched to become the Dufour bladelets, or “inversely retouched bladelets” At the same time there were also regular (not exhausted cores) carinated and nosed scrapers, where the front is shaped through flaking of shorter mini-flakes, as shown in this post by  an example of the Laussel Rockshelter.

This huge rock shelter, 115 m long and 15-25 m deep is situated 7, 5 km east and slightly north of Les Eyzies, on the right side of the Beune River 500 m upstream from the Chateau de Laussel. First small excavations began during the last years of the 19th century (E. Rivière in 1894, H. Breuil L. Capitan et E. Peyrony in 1903) . Finally the site was completely excavated during large scale exploitations which were executed during 1908-1914 by the workmen of Dr. Jean-Gaston Lalanne. After the death Dr. Lalanne, the site was published by J Bouyssonie. In this publication a coarse impression of the stratigraphy is given:

  • MTA
  • M. Typique
  • Chatelperronian
  • Aurignacian (mainly Aurignacien ancien). The Laussel Rock shelter was one of the sites near Eyzies, that were visited on 15.04.1908 by H. Breuil, E. Cartailhac, F. Delage, A. Fayolle, M. Loving, D. Peyrony and P. Raymond, to resolve the stratigraphic position of the Aurignacian during the famous “Aurignacian Battle” contra the adherents of G. Mortillet.
  • Gravettian (Mixture of Flechettes, (Micro)-Gravettes (more than 1000 examples, Font-Robert-Points and Noailles Burins). The famous sculptures were discovered in this «level» during 1911.
  • Solutrean

Similar scrapers from the  Bouyssonie publication:


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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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