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2020-04-17 09:43:53   •   ID: 2172

Late Neanderthals in splendid Isolation at the Saint-Brice-sous-Rânes site

Figure 1
Figure 1: These are three small Handaxes (max. 7 cm long) and a bifacial scraper from the well known site Saint-Brice-sous-Rânes.

The last Neanderthals in Europe developed an extraordinary techno-typological diversity during MIS 3.

These ensembles were present alongside with a plethora of other Technocomplexes, those makers remain widely unknown like the Limcombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician, the Moravanian Szélétian, the (Proto)- Aurignacian, the Uluzzian and the Bohunician- see 1603 .

The lithic production of the last Neanderthals along the Atlantic Facade of France included several Bifacial Ensembles-About the Bifacial Mousterian in N/W-France please see here: 1179 , 1501 , here 1665 , here: 1250 , 1585 , and here: 1077

The upper strata of Saint-Brice-sous-Rânes were dated by TL on heated flints of 40.6 ± 2.2k.a, and therefore to a time, when Homo Sapiens was certainly present in Europe. The lithics do not show any influence by leptolithic technics.

Anyhow, together with the 45-50 k.a. old Saint-Amand-les-Eaux site -see here: https://www.inrap.fr/en/neanderthal-news-saint-amand-les-eaux-biface-workshops-12205 with its wonderful triangular ovalaire and cordiform handaxes, we unfortunately have no absolute dates for the Bifacial Mousterian in N/W-France. Possibly most of these ensembles also date to MIS3.

There is some evidence, that Neanderthal societies in the Normandie did not form any networks with Homo sapiens groups. This hold also true for other Bifacial Mousterian-sites in N/W-France, especially for the large undated workshop sites at Julien de la Liègue- see 1163 .

The sites, mentioned in this post are called workshop sites, because stone knapping activities seem to be focused on the production of supports and tools. The settlements were almost near the deposits of raw materials and evidence to the production and maintenance of the tools like manufacturing of bifacial tools, resharpening, and retooling.

Anyhow we lack of faunal data and have no certain indication of dwelling structures, thus the classification of these "mega-sites" remains tentative.

Certainly there is almost no techno-typological overlap between the tool kits of Saint-Brice-sous-Rânes and Julien de la Liègue and the Central European "Micoquian / KMG-and Blattspitzen / Szeletian groups", as suggested by some authors. The same holds true for the only Technocomplex, that can ascribed with a sufficient degree of certainty to Homo Sapiens: the (Epi)-Aurignacian.

Based on Lithic artifacts in this part of Europe at least we have no indication for an interaction of Neanderthals and AMHs.

Figure 2
Figure 2 (Wikimedia Commons): The Pegasus Bridge at at the Orne River/Caen Canal crossings remains a symbol of the D-Day- an important step of the liberation of Europe in 1944 by the Anglo-Americans.

I will remain thankful for this military operation, allthough the USA is now under the control of a narcissistic lier.

Suggested Reading: Dans les pas de Neandertal. Sur les traces de Néandertal: Les premiers hommes en Normandie de 500000 à 5000 avant notre ère; 2016.




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