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2022-11-10 12:06:52   •   ID: 2358

The Late Acheulian in Northern France

This is a 22 cm long lanceolated / Micoquian Handaxe from Hardivilliers / Oise- a site known for its abundant high quality Flint and already introduced in the Blog-see: 2328 . The sophisticated Biface is certainly an example of fine workmanship, manufactured by Neanderthals.

The Oise is a river of Belgium and France, flowing for 341 km from its source in what is now the Belgian province of Hainaut, south of Chimay.

It crosses the border with France after about 20 km. Subsequently it flows into the Seine at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a north-western suburb of Paris. Its main tributary is the Aisne and finally gave its name to the French departments of Oise and Val-d'Oise.

The Oise Valley is rich in Lower and Middle Paleolithic findings, mainly collected during the 19 and 20th century in brickyards, like the famous late Acheulian / ("Micoquian") locality of Allonne- see: 1532 , 2028 , 1661 and 1615 .

Interesting historical ensembles were collected since Mortillets times from Montguillain / Goincourt- see: 1650 a Middle Paleolithic with sophisticated bifacial scrapers, Villeneuve-sur-Verberie- a very interesting collection with flat asymmetrical handaxes and Keilmesser and Catigny - see: 1456 an MTA / MAT.

Collections characterized by symmetrical Micoquian bifaces have been particularly numerous in loess quarries of the Paris Basin since the end of the 19th century , allowing Breuil (1932) and Bordes (1954) to define a “Province micoquienne de la Seine”.

Stratigraphic observations allowed Bordes to date the ensembles into the beginning of the last glaciation. Modern excavations at Saint-Illiers-la-Ville (Yvelines) have brought to light a "Micoquian" ensemble sensu Bordes, absolutely dated to ca 100-90k.a. BP and therefore confirming the earlier geo-chronological observations from the 1950ies - see here: 1532

In the vicinity of Saint-Illiers-la- Ville, such handaxes had been already found in the quarries of Mantes-la-Ville, Rosny sur- Seine as well as that of Saint-Pierre-les-Elbeufs, Oissel, and Villejuif.

Allonne in the Oise Valley remains a reference site for the example in this post. Another nearby location with a more abundant lithic ensemble is known from Villeneuve-les- Sablons (red patinated Series), where the Handaxes are combined with linear and recurrent approach (Tuffreau 1989).

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