A Late Middle Palaeolithic assemblage containing Levallois and bifacial objects from Saône-et-Loire, France: GH 3 at Grotte de la Verpillière II à Germolles

  • Jens Axel Frick University of Tübingen
Keywords: Middle Palaeolithic, eastern France, Levallois, bifacial objects, Keilmessergruppen

Abstract


The site of Grotte de la Verpillière II, a rock shelter and corresponding cave tunnel, is situated in a cliff face of an Oxfordian massive, around 10 km West of Chalon-sur-Saône in Eastern France. The excavation at this site has recovered Middle Palaeolithic assemblages in three stratified sedimentological units. The richest of these assemblages derives from Geological Horizon (GH) 3 and is discussed here. It is preliminarily attributed to a Late Middle Palaeolithic context of OIS 3 to 4 using radiometric-dating techniques.

The assemblage combines Levallois reduction, bifacial objects and diverse ‘opportunistic’ reduction strategies. The Levallois reduction shows a high level of raw-material economy in the use of raw pieces and blanks whose morphology is close to the shape of desired configured cores. Other reduction strategies show a wider range of approaches to blank production. Bifacial objects include but are not limited to Keilmesser with tranchet blows. The condition of objects from GH 3 range from unused raw pieces, tested raw pieces, configured and exhausted cores, correction and central flakes, as well as some heated objects, frost shards, and debris. The majority of raw materials derive from sources nearby, but were clearly transported to the site. Only some pieces show evidence for transport of up to 100 km from source to site. The presence of specific reduction strategies on bifacial objects and the existence of tranchet-blow modification provide support for the attribution of the assemblage to the Keilmessergruppen assemblages from Central Europe.

Author Biography

Jens Axel Frick, University of Tübingen

Doctoral candidate, lecturer and academic employee

Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology
Institute for Pre- and Protohistory and Medieval Archeology
Eberhard Karls

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Published
15-Sep-2016
How to Cite
Frick, J. (2016). A Late Middle Palaeolithic assemblage containing Levallois and bifacial objects from Saône-et-Loire, France: GH 3 at Grotte de la Verpillière II à Germolles. Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.v3i2.1408