The bifacial Mousterian of the the Amorican Massif

A Mousterian facies rich in bifacial tools is very common in Western France, specifically in the Amorican Massif, a large area in the northwest of France, including Brittany, the western part of Normandy and the Pays de la Loire, during the Early Weichselian OIS5a-3. Firstly an MTA with cordiform and triangular handaxes can be recognised (e.g. Argentan, Querqueville, Commeaux, Meauvaines, Saint-Georges, Saint- Pierre-les-Elbeuf, Houppeville, Le Pucheuil, Bons-Tassilly ‘Le Châtelet’, Saint-Brice-sous- Rânes and Saint-Martin-du-Vieux-Bellême). Secondly, Micoquian elements, especially pradniks occur at several sites (e.g. Tréissény (Bretagne),Lorraine, Champlost (Bourgogne) and Saint-Acheul (Somme valley)).

Thirdly a series of assemblages is known as the ‘Bois-du-Rocher’ group (e.g. Kervouster, Bois-du-Rocher, Fontmaure, Saint-Julien de la Liègue and Clos-Rouge). These assemblages are characterised by the generalised application of a bifacial retouch on the majority of blanks . Several similarities with the Micoquian are attested in this group (morphology of the handaxes, pieces that approach foliates, round raclettes, and an abundance of notches and denticulates) and therefore it could be interpreted as being a Western equivalent of the Central European Micoquian.

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