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2016-06-17 03:52:55   •   ID: 1420

Neolithic Axe from St. Jean d'Eyraud / Bergeracois

Figure 1
This is a flat Neolithic axe (12 cm long) from St. Jean d'Eyraud near Bergerac (Figure 2). There are numerous open-air stations around Bergerac, both from Paleolithic and Neolithic times. Neolithic artifact types are axes, adzes, daggers, tanged or barbed arrowheads and sickle blades.

The Neolithic near Bergerac began about 5000 BC, but traces from villages are still rare. Many of the Megalithic tombs and collective burials are dated to this early era. It is possible, that the Neolithic workshops indicate the emergence of a form of craft specialization whose development can be followed over several millennia. During the middle Neolithic, the most important implements from the Bergerac area were polished axes, sometimes of exceptional dimensions and quality. These artifacts were exported to the Centre-ouest to the Languedoc coast. 

The late Neolithic sees a slowdown of large axe production and circulation. In contrast, we observe the appearance of new objects from workshops:  bifacial daggers that have undergone heat treatment and large blades, which were produced according to the techniques, which were invented at Grand Pressigny. Recently the remains of a Neolithic village in the Vaures quarter of Bergerac dating from the Late Neolithic period, circa 3500 - 3000 BC, were excavated.

Figure 2
These findings are exceptional, because from this this period only the lakeside settlements of the Alps and Jura and some dry-stone villages of Languedoc have been found. At Bergerac, the archaeologists found more than twenty dwellings over an area of a hectare. These houses have a rectangular floor plan with convex extremities, and are from 15 to 25 metres long by 4-5 metres wide, resting on sill-beams whose imprints are still visible.