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2019-03-22 13:12:40   •   ID: 2086

A classic Handaxe from Meung Sur Loire:

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This is a classic elongated cordiform handaxe from Meung-sur-Loire. The Château de Meung-sur-Loire is a former castle and episcopal palace in the commune of Meung-sur-Loire in the Loiret département of France.

The extraordinary light weighted Biface is extremely dehydrated, maybe by heat treatment, not necessarily intentionally induced by Hominins.

The piece is made by classic faconnage technique and refined use of a soft hammer. It has many affinities to the advanced Acheulian of the Nièvre area see: 1087 and the Late Acheulian around Châteauneuf-sur-Loire see: 1174

Overall the handaxe could be ca 300 k.a. old.

Even earlier Core and Flake (Mode I) Industries around 1,1 Ma were found in adjacent areas further south to the Middle Loire for example at Pont-de-Lavaud (France, Vallée de la Creuse), Lunery (France, Cher valley)- but are such early ensembles also attested in the Middle Loire Valley?

It has to be remembered that such in-situ Industries are rare and that several lines of evidence (taphonomy, Refittings, ESR and TL dates, isotope methods, geomagnetism) should give a coherent picture of a possible Palaeolithic site.

Saint-Hilaire-la-Gravelle «le Pont-de-la-Hulauderie », introduced in the discussion during the 1980ies, could be such an ensemble.

Unfortunately the ensemble is small and insufficiently dated -only by its incorporation into the 55m terrace. Maybe renewed work at the site with modern techniques could answer the question of its artifactual character...