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2022-05-16 09:34:17   •   ID: 2331

A Quina scraper from Germond-Rouvre (Deux-Sèvres) and the Paleolithic of the Seuil du Pointou

Figure 1
This is a classic simple Quina scraper from Germond-Rouvre (Deux-Sèvres), some 80 km North/East of the Quina site of Saint-Maixent-l'École, already introduced in the Blog Ems where- see: 1634 . This site was destroyed during construction work in the 1950ies with Archeological permission (sic!). According to a Quina Chaîne opératoire the scraper of this post was made from a second generation partial cortical elongated blank.

Located in the Seuil du Poitou, a rich corpus of typical Lower and Middle Paleolithic artifacts from the surface without stratigraphic context, is known. More about the Geographical Region, I am talking about- see here: Seuil du Pointou

Through an orographic map it becomes immediately apparent that the region allowed early Hunter-Gathers to move through the landscapes in all compass directions.

Basically, the Seuil du Poitou is a geological denomination for an area in western central France where the Paris (Northeast) and Aquitaine (Southwest) sedimentary basins meet, and which also is a gap between the ancient mountain ranges Massif Armoricain (Northwest) and the Massif Central (Southeast). It occupies only a small part of what is now the Department of Poitou-Charentes. The large classic Charentien sites are located further South- see 1469 and 2290

Situated to the south of Poitiers, the area is the drainage divide between the Loire, Charente and Sèvre basins and a border between different climatic zones.

Most of the Seuil du Poitou lithics were discovered until the 1950ies by farmers after ploughing or by collectors looking at their feet while moving. At the best these implements were the subject of articles in local history magazines. Georges Germond and Marcel Bizard have revealed some private collections that are not without interest. Anyhow without context, they remain useless for Science.

Figure 2
The poor yield of stratified sites can be explained by the lack of a regional loess cover, missing abris and caves, absence of fine grained fluviale sediments and by the structure of the river terraces, which are more difficult to date, than those in Northern France.

However, both intact Acheulian and Middle Paleolithic sites have been detected and excavated with up to date methods.

Londigny is the first open air Acheulian industry, found in situ, 70 km South/East of Germond-Rouvre and dated by TL to MIS 11 (ca 400 k.a.). The site is located on a Jurassic limestone plateau dotted with small sinkholes at the Seuil du Poitou.

It was discovered in 2011 and excavated in 2012 (Connet et al. 2020). An age of 400 k.a. was rather supprising, because in the Aquitanian Basin further south, the earliest Acheulian is still dated not earlier than MIS 9- but this maybe an artifact of research history.

Interestingly the Londigny Acheulian is a "classic" Lower Paleolithic, as defined for N/W-France. Simple Hard Hammer shaping of Flint nodules by bifacial Faconnage was observed in the Production of Handaxes.

Simple debitage techniques were also prevalent in the Production and Processing of flakes, that did not show characteristics of any prepared core production.

The authors believe that the raw material did not have a decisive influence on the production of the bifaces and that unlike the "Acheulian Meridional" in Aquitaine, the ensemble belongs to a N/W European "Interaction Sphere".

For me, the matter remains quite ambivalent - Ultimately, the hypothesis of a stable "tradition" over decades of thousands of years leads into an area for which historical experience is lacking.

A middle Paleolithic occupation site has been detected at Saivres – La Terrière by an INRAP-Team, which is mainly characterized by a Levallois Mode of Blanks, transformed to Points and Scrapers. (Fourloubey- 2009).

The older non-professional literature also reported surface finds that could be assigned to an MTA and a Quina Mousterian. However, no excavations have been carried out so far that could verify these entities in situ.

Thus, we are left with a peculiar frustration that only a few meaningful and datable Middle Paleolithic finds have been made so far at what was certainly an important junction between Northern and Southern France....

Provenance: Collection Ampoulages (FR)

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