La diversité culturelle au paléolitique moyen récent : le vasconien et sa signification au sein des faciès moustériens

Abstract : The presence of cleavers in numerous Pyrenean-Cantabrian Middle Paleolithic sites led to the creation of a regional facies called Vasconian (Bordes, 1953). Later, typological analyses based on shaped tool classes’ cumulative frequency have questioned the very existence of this facies (Cabrera Valdés, 1983). The recurrence of cleavers within Middle Paleolithic assemblages was then interpreted as a long perdurance of the Iberian Acheulean. The present research was aimed to re-evaluate the Pyrenean-Cantabrian Late Middle Paleolithic through the comparison of a large variety of data. It is supported by a detailed and renewed chronological framework for the Mousterian with cleavers of OIS 3 based on newly obtained radiometric data. The analysis included technological, morphometric and functional characterization of over 450 cleavers from nine sites attributed to the Late Middle Paleolithic. Our results were then compared to ca. 200 Acheulean cleavers from the same area. The differences between these two populations and a revised chronological framework allow us to reject the hypothesis of a sporadic persistence of cleavers after the Acheulean. We rather propose that these tools have resulted of a new invention and fully were a cultural marker. Meanwhile, the whole lithic ensembles from seven sites located north of the Basque-Cantabrian area were analyzed with the conventional methods of lithic technology. These sites correspond to various topographic contexts (caves, rock shelters, and open air sites) and to diverse environments (alpine, coastal, and arid). Despite an expected variability between these ensembles, we identified a shared technological tradition and propose that differences could be the result of different site functions. If we consider the different sites as being complementarity, we can propose the hypothesis of a low-mobility territorial structuration and thus a social complexity of the Late Middle Paleolithic societies. A first attempt to build a cultural-stratigraphic sequence for the Pyrenean-Cantabrian region is being made in order to properly assess the Vasconian location and homogeneity as for the constraining techno-complexes. Comparisons with contemporaneous techno-complexes (and more particularly with the MTA) allow us to address their respective autonomy within a newly defined technical are of influence.
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Marianne Deschamps. La diversité culturelle au paléolitique moyen récent : le vasconien et sa signification au sein des faciès moustériens. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014TOU20047⟩. ⟨tel-01265844⟩

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