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Humans and their environment on the Médoc coastline from the Mesolithic to the Roman period

Abstract : The northern coast of the Médoc between Soulac-sur-Mer and Montalivet-les-Bains has a rich archaeological heritage that is being directly impacted by coastal erosion. A series of clay-peat palaeosols that formed in ancient estuarine marshes holds evidence of intensive occupation from the Mesolithic until the end of the Roman period. Within this framework, our research focused on the two key sites of La Lède du Gurp (Grayan-et-l’Hôpital) and L’Amélie (Soulac-sur-Mer), where an interdisciplinary approach based on comparison of archaeological, sedimentary and palaeo-environmental data has made it possible to situate the main phases of occupation in their environmental context. This work has benefited from field documentation that is exceptionally well-preserved in wet sediments sealed beneath the present-day dune system. The most fleeting traces (animal tracks) like the sturdiest anthropic structures are preserved, as are many organic remains. These items provide access to first-rate documentation for reconstructing the range of activities practised in a specific ecosystem: salt production, livestock grazing, shellfish collecting, passage and carriage, and funerary and symbolic practices. Study of occupation over the long term reveals an alternating pattern of dynamic phases and decline phases that seem to be correlated with changes in the local environment.
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Contributor : Florence Verdin <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 3, 2019 - 3:11:00 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:49:17 AM



Florence Verdin, Frédérique Eynaud, Pierre Stéphan, Gilles Arnaud-Fassetta, Mathieu Bosq, et al.. Humans and their environment on the Médoc coastline from the Mesolithic to the Roman period. Quaternaire, AFEQ-CNF INQUA, 2019, 30 (1), pp.77-75. ⟨10.4000/quaternaire.11201⟩. ⟨hal-01968954⟩



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