Abstract : At the end of the upper Solutrean, a specific cultural group, the Salpetrian, appears in Languedoc (France) around 19000 BP. Named in 1964 after the type-site of La Salpêtrière cave (near the « Pont-du-Gard » roman bridge), the Salpetrian is nowadays known by two other prehistoric deposits : La Rouviere in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc (Ardeche) and Cadenet in Gaujac (Gard). The definition of this cultural entity rests on the absence of invasive solutrean retouch and the focusing of lithic production on a specific tool : the mediterranean shouldered point with abrupt retouch.
This study tries to analyze the lithic technology of the upper Solutrean and lower Salpetrian series in Languedoc. Consequently the lithic reduction of salpetrian industry and the knapping objectives are clearly defined. The links between the Salpetrian and the Solutrean is clarified from a technological point of view.
The analysis brings additional elements for the characterization of the Salpetrian. It also provides the debate on cultural filiation between upper Solutrean and Salpetrian in Languedoc but in mediterranean Europe too.