The Magdalenian at Gros-Monts I near Nemours


These artifacts come from the Magdalenian open air site of Gros-Monts I, Beauregard, village Nemours (Seine-Oise region of Paris) and are from the R Espitalié collection.  Espitalié was a close friend and collaborator of the excavator of this site, Raoul Daniel.

The forest of Fontainebleau, being a steppe environment during the late glacial,  is actually a mixed deciduous forest lying sixty kilometers southeast of Paris, France covering an area of 280 km2. It is located primarily in the arrondissement of Fontainebleau in the southwestern part of the department of Seine-et-Marne. Sandstone has formed on its silty, sandy soil, throwback to the Stampian sea that covered it at the dawn of time: the grains of sand have cemented over millions of years, causing rockfalls and creating caves and boulder fields, gradually eroded by rain and wind. Paleolithic sites in the Nemours vicinity, such as Gros-Monts, Beauregard and the Cirque de la Patrie, are numerous, and most of them were excavated by enthusiastic amateurs during the first part of the last century. It was Raoul Daniel, who performed the first methodological excavations at the open air Magdalenian site of Gros-Monts, always in competition with very active looters, disturbing important contexts. He was the first one who identified Magdalenian habitation units in the Paris vicinity.

The Magdalenian occupations of Gros-Monts fit perfectly into the context of the regional late Magdalenian during the late Bölling and early Alleröd. The blades are usually long and very regular. Burins are present in large numbers, followed by large endscrapers. About 25% of the retouched artifacts are backed pieces. They are present in much higher numbers than in contemporaneous sites in the Paris basin (Etiolles, Pincevent, Verberie, Le Grand Canton, Tureau des Gardes and Marsangy) “Micropercoirs” and “becs” are also common, suggesting an activity specific composition of the lithic inventory.

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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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