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2016-06-16 03:12:28   •   ID: 1345

Bifaces from the“ Acheuleen Meridional”

Figure 1
The “Acheuleen Meridional” was defined by F. Bordes during the 1960ies, using the inventory of the relatively poor Acheulian- levels of Pech de l’Azé II and Combe-Grenal (OIS 6 and 7) .

He thought that this Aucheulian facies, which he also called a “cave Acheulean”, was opposed to the “classic” Acheulean of Northern France by various typological and technological  aspects. Bordes suggested that this facies was a specific cultural tradition of Southern France.

Similar series were later published from Barbas (C'4 sup), Cantalouette and Les Pendus in the Bergeracois and recognized in the early strata at La Micoque.

The Acheuleen Meridional according to Bordes is characterized by small bifaces, often badly made with backs and partial retouche and bifaces with a rostrocarinated and  trifacial aspect. The flake tools exhibit allmost no aspects of the Levallois-technique.

In his Terra Amata-thesis P. Villa noted in 1983, that these aspects could be better understood as an adaption to local raw-material availability during OIS6/7 in Aquitaine. Villa noticed that the classic Acheulian-collections of Northern France were heavily biased towards “nice pieces” by selective sampling.

The re-examination of the of Pech de l’Azé II material, which was published recently, partially confirmes this point of view.

Anyhow, I personally do not know any biface from Northern France that is similar to bifaces diplayed here, which can be described as typical specimens from the Acheullen meridional according to Bordes original description.

Provenance: Collection Vanderkeulen (BE)