Rare, but there: the bifacial components in the Armorican Peninsula between MIS 11 and 8

Abstract : This paper focuses on the bifacial elements of the Lower Palaeolithic record in the Armorican Peninsula, either found on sites or isolated, in different contexts, with an emphasis on the site of Menez-Dregan and its 250 ky-long sequence. Recent studies evidence that bifacial tools are sporadically but persistantly present in the Armorican Peninsula between MIS 11 and 8, in almost all the Lower Palaeolithic assemblages. Rare, but there, the low quantity of handaxes does not differ from most contemporaneous european sites. How can we explain this low rate of handaxes in most of sites? Can we see a linear technical trajectory between the numerous pebble-tools and the crudely made handaxes found in Menez-Dregan? Do the raw materials used (e.g. pebbles) have an influence on the technical behaviours? It is also typical that handaxes or cleavers are frequently found isolated and without any stratigraphical context (e.g. on the foreshore or along the main river valleys), suggesting a higher mobility for these kinds of tools than more common heavy-duty tools, such as choppers. Does that imply that handaxes are multifunctional tools that can be easily transported? Excavation at the Lower Palaeolithic site of Menez-Dregan I has yielded evidence of the presence of bifacial components in almost all of its 16 layers of human occupations, except in 5 levels : layers 9 and 9a (end of MIS 12), and in layers 5b, 5c and 5d (MIS 9a), which do not contain any handaxes or biface thinning flakes. Despite broadly similar environmental conditions, same raw materials and possibly site functions, can this fact highlight different raw material managements, or technical or cultural traditions?
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Conference papers
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Submitted on : Monday, April 8, 2019 - 3:10:44 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 3:32:03 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02092883, version 1

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Anne-Lyse Ravon. Rare, but there: the bifacial components in the Armorican Peninsula between MIS 11 and 8. Exploring the World’s Prehistory, XVIIIe congrès mondial de l’Union internationale des sciences préhistoriques et protohistoriques (UISPP), Union internationale des sciences préhistoriques et protohistoriques (UISPP), Jun 2018, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02092883⟩

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