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2016-06-16 03:09:48   •   ID: 1288

Cordiform Handaxe from Bihorel (Seine-Maritime)

Figure 2
This is an extremely flat elongated cordiform handaxe from Bihorel / N-France (11x7,5x0,8 cm). It was produced by the typical MTA method of shaping bifaces by the creation of a bi-convex transverse section by sophisticated façonnage techniques and the use of a soft hammer.

In the western part of the Bihorel quarry near Rouen, F. Bordes  suggested severeal  series of artifacts to be present (called by him: Serie I,II,III,IV). These ensembles are mainly categorized according to their grade of patination.

The exact position of  the findings whithin the Bihorel-stratigraphy is rarely known. This reddish Handaxe  was found at the basis of the younger loess and geochronologically dated to the begin of the last glaciation (late OIS 5).

It belongs to the " Serie II", defined by Bordes as “Mousterien with cordiform and triangular handaxes and Levallois-Technique”). If this assumption is correct, some elements of the MTA would be  present in the north of France much earlier than at sites in the south (MTA at Le Moustier, Pech de L´Aze, La Rochette dated to OIS-3 ).

It is interesting, that according to recent discoveries in the Perigord, a Mousterian with handaxes seems to have been present during OIS5 (for example at La Ferrassie) and that securely dated cordiformes and triangular handaxes from OIS 3 have now detected in N-France also (Saint-Amand-les-Eaux).

Therfore it may be possible that a Handaxe tradition existed in both regions during OIS 5 and 3. Further posts here 1350 , here 1521 , here: 1534 and here 1077

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