2015-04-10 10:20:56 • ID: 1231
The Gravettian at the Solutré Site
This is a highly patinated fragment of a "Spitzklinge“ (pointed blade) from the Gravettian at the famous Solutré site- almost identical to examples from the Willendorf site in the Wachau region.
Pointed blades have been identified as a major component of the “Facies II” of the Pavlovian in Central Europe, which is characterized by the use of marginal retouches, pointed blades and by a reduced number of microliths (Předmostí; Dolní Věstonice II middle and upper strata, Willendorf II; 6/7/8 and Langenlois).
The second picture shows two other fragments of retouched and pointed blades and a burin from the Gravettian of the site: The Gravettian of the central-eastern region of France, geographically bridging central and South Europe, is concentrated in the valleys of the River Loire and of the River Saône, in the south of Burgundy.
Lithic series were principally collected on the surface, and only three major have contextual informations about the Gravettian occupations of this region: the site of La Vigne-Brun, in the Loire valley and the sites of Azé and Solutré along the Saône valley.
Solutre, a well-known kill site, occupies a vast area at the foot of an escarpment. The slope deposits contained a series of archaeological layers representing most of the Paleolithic cultures from Mousterian to Magdalenian.
The massive accumulation of horse bones under the escarpment, unique in the European archaeological record, intrigued both archaeologists and the general public. Inspired by reports of bison kills in North America, Adrien Arcelin proposed in a novel, an interpretation which attracted a great deal of attention.
In this popular narrative, Paleolithic hunters chased horse herds up to the top of the escarpment and forced them to jump to their death,
A late romantic imagination: The Solutré horse hunt, from an illustration of "primitive man" by L. Figuier, 1876. The Currently accepted view proposes that hunters intercepted animal herds as they moved through the Solutré valley during their seasonal transhumance from the Alluvial Plain of the Saône to the Macônnais Uplands.
They forced their prey into natural rock traps along the southern flank of the Roche just under the falt line where they could be slaughtered.
The lithic material at Solutré is highly patinated (96% of the parts). Especially during the Gravettian and the Solutrean, postdepisitional disturbances of the Archeological material by trampling and cryoturbation, is present. The limitation of old biased collections makes it difficult to reconstruct the operational sequences.
From a typological view, J. Combier attributed the Gravettian industry at Solutré to a final phase of the Gravettian. The low number of tools (old and new excavations) should lead to some caution. Moreover, the entire cluster including Microgravettes, a point of La Gravette, a La Font-Robert along with some endscrapers and burins could be more reasonable linked to an early Gravettian.
The view of an early Gravettian is also consistent with the MSA data (Sector J10: 28,420 ± 160 BP; Sector L13: 28 280 ± 150 [Montet-White et al. 2002 p.186]).
Further posts about the site: 1042 , and here: 1144