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2016-07-02 11:58:32   •   ID: 1449

Aurignacien ancien (La Rochette / Dordogne)

Figure 1
This Abri, situated near Le Moustier, was almost completely destroyed by various  "excavators"  (among them the infamous Otto Hauser). H. Delporte worked on what was left during the early 1960ies. He published an important sequence with Charentien- MTA-A and MTA-B, Castelperonnian, Aurignacian (Aurignacien ancien et recent: conventional C14 dates : 36-29 k.a.; Figure 1) followed by a Gravettian with Noailles burins and traces of Solutrean on the top of the sequence.

The artifacts displayed here are made of black and gray Dordogne-chert and are from the Aurignacian layers (Stangulated Blade, Burins, carinated scrapers and double scraper on blade). The Aurignacian is not the first upper Palaeolithic technocoplex in S/W France. At several sites in the Perigord (La Ferrassie, Laussel , La Rochette...) the Châtelperronian is situated below the Aurignacien ancien.

The so called Proto-Aurignacian is  found stratigraphically below the Aurignacien ancien in S/W-France and along the adjacent European Mediterranean coast. This technocoplex  differs from the Aurignacian both by a specialized chaine operatoire and by typology.

In the Proto-Aurignacian elegant blades and straight bladelets are detached in most of the sites from the same pyramidal cores. During the classic Aurignacian, thick blades were transformed to scrapers and burins and twisted bladelets were produced from specialized carinated cores.

During the last years it became clear that there are deviations from this ideal dichotomy. Twisted debitage, carination and specialized cores for bladelet production also occur in Protoaurignacian ensembles.

The Proto-Aurignacien has some affinities with the Ahmarian of the southern Levant. According to current C-14 data all these technocomplexes start before the Heinrich Event IV at 40 k.a. cal.BP. The chronological and phylogenetical relationships between the Aurignacian and the Proto-Aurignacien and the origin of both industries remain open for discussion.