Comments on the Iberian Solutrean

This post shows five Solutrean Points from an Iberian collection acquired in 1979. The artifacts are made from the same, brownish flint and were found together. The largest point is 9 cm long. Two Points are finished bifacial Solutrean leaf-points  while three points represent probably preforms (unifacial n=1; bifacial n=2).

It can imagined that bifacial Solutrean leaf-points can be easily reworked into other types like tanged or stemmed examples or projectiles with a concave or straight base.

In Iberia the oldest Solutrean phase is the  Protosolutrean / Lower Solutrean, featuring a dominant presence of pointes à face plane with dorsal, invasive, flat retouch and lacking both bifacially-shaped foliate points and tanged types. Contexts attributable to this phase are scarce and concentrated to S- Portugal- certainly a bias of excavation history. Contemporaneous ensembles are known from very few sites in Southwest France (Laugerie Haute, Abri Casserole,  Marseillon) Important sites have also been identified in central Spain (Peña Capón, Calvaria 2, Portela 2, Balma de la Griera).

The current paradigm suggests that the Protosolutrean is a transitional industry between the Gravettian and the Solutrean. The early phase of this techno-complex seems to be characterized by the “Vale Comprido” point.  The transition occurs across the entire Solutrean region, with a great deal of interaction between France and Iberia and with much long-distance exchange occurring. e Comprido” point. Mediterranean region.

During the Middle Solutrean, lithic tool-kits are marked by the predominance of laurel- leaves over pointes à face plan, although the latter seem to maintain a relatively important presence within some of the assemblages. These assemblages are found across Southern Iberia.

The number of Upper Solutrean contexts is the highest among all three phases. From a typological point of view, Upper Solutrean assemblages are marked by the presence of pointes à face plan, although in much more restricted frequencies, while laurel-leaves maintain almost the same importance as in the previous phase.

During the Upper Solutrean the territory can be subdivided into two macro- regions , the Atlantic or Franco-Cantabrian and the Mediterranean. This division is based on the type of retouch used in the manufacture of shouldered points, predominantly flat, invasive and mostly bifacial retouch in the first case, and abrupt retouch in the second ( the so called Solutreo-Gravettian).

Tanged and winged “Parpalló-type” points are other significant implements during this stage and one of the defining elements of the Mediterranean facies. This facies is prevalent in the territory usually defined as Southern Iberia (south of the parallel 40°N) with a distribution concentrated in the coastal strip between the Valencia region and the Portuguese Estremadura.

There is increasing evidence, that the traditional chronological model for Iberia, which is replicating the successive typological phases of the Solutrean in French, needs a major revision,mainly because point types traditionally considered to be recent in age do also appear in early contexts (defined stratigraphically or by robust Calibrated C-14 data). L Straus recently  explained  the composition of Solutrean tool kits in Northern Iberia as functional variants with correlation with different classes of game.



Badegoule- an important Archaeological site for the Solutréen and Badegulien in S/W-France

Point a face plane from Laugerie-Haute

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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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