Handaxe from the Bergerac region

The Bergerac region is full of archaeological sites, mainly known from old surface collections (http://www.aggsbach.de/2011/02/the-prehistory-of-the-bergerac-region-in-the-dordogne/). This flat handaxe with multiple traces of resharpening and thinning  has been found during the 1910ies near Bergerac and is heavily patinated.

With the advent of a programmed archaeology (INRAP), a number of sites with contextual information were and are still excavated. Artifacts very similar to the handaxe shown here were found at Combe Brune 3 and Cantalouette l. These sites are situated near Pécharmant, located less than two kilometers from each other. At both sites, archaeological levels, with more than 3000 artifacts each were preserved within natural depressions of the original landscape.

Cantalouette l is a microdoline eight meters in diameter. The lithic material was found in immediate contact with the local raw material (Maastrichtian Bergerac flint), which is present in large blocks embedded in tertiary clays. The same holds true for Combe Brune 3, where very large blocks of Maastrichtian flint have been shattered by periglacial phenomena. The dates of the two occupations were determined by thermoluminescence on burned flint artifacts. Cantalouette 1 has been dated at 223 ± 20 k.a (OIS7); which is in concordance with the chronostratigraphic position indicating a deposition during the penultimate interglacial. For Combe Brune 3, the date is 156 years ± 12 k.a. and the site seems to be dated to OIS6. Similar archaeological materials in the Aquitaine were found at Barbas c’ 4 sup and Petit Bost niv I.

A technological analysis of the operational sequences at both sites recently published (read Brunets’ thesis!), indicates a conscious and collective anticipation of tool needs, which can be especially exemplified on the Cantalouette 1 material.

http://ori-oai.u-bordeaux1.fr/pdf/2011/BRENET_MICHEL_2011.pdf

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