Marie-Hélène Moncel

Marie-Hélène Moncel
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle · Department of Prehistory

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413
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Publications (413)
Article
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Long bone breakage for bone marrow recovery is a commonly observed practice in Middle Palaeolithic contexts, regardless of the climatic conditions. While lithic technology is largely used to define cultural patterns in human groups, despite dedicating research by zooarchaeologists, for now butchering techniques rarely allowed the identification of...
Article
Full-text available
Polyhedrons, spheroids and bolas (PSBs) are present in lithic series from the Lower Palaeolithic onwards and are found in several regions of the world. Nevertheless, very little is known about them. We propose here to summarise, illustrate and discuss the current state of our knowledge about these artefacts. Based on the available data in the liter...
Article
Full-text available
Current data seem to suggest that the earliest hominins only occupied the Northwest of Europe during favourable climatic periods, and left the area when the climate was too cold and dry, in the same way as Neandertal and even Homo sapiens. However, several sites in England and the North of France indicate that the earliest hominins, possibly Homo a...
Chapter
This chapter presents the first collective synthesis of Late Middle Palaeolithic lithic technology (MIS 4–3, ≈ 70-40 ka) from the Altai mountains to the Atlantic coast of Western Europe and the Mediterranean regions of Europe and the Levant. As early as the first half of the twentieth century, archaeological debates focused on characterising and in...
Article
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(The Middle Palaeolithic artefacts from Cioarei cave in Boroșteni (Romania). Preliminary study of the lithic industries. The question of the Carpathians settlement) - Middle Palaeolithic levels from Cioarei cave are dated from an interglacial and the last glacial. They are theoldest elements of the men occupation in Romania. The archaeological unit...
Article
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Des témoignages d'une fréquentation de la moyenne montagne à la faveur d'améliorations climatiques par des groupes de Néandertaliens? RÉSUMÉ: La grotte Cioarei à Borosteni est un exemple de l'occupation humaine de vallées des Carpates. Les niveaux du Paléolithique moyen de ce gisement sont datés principalement entre 50 et 40 000 B.P. par 14 C. Ils...
Article
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The archaeological sequence of la Noira (Centre region, France) yielded two phases of occupation: ca 700 ka (stratum a) and ca 450 ka (stratum c). No site between these two dates has yet been discovered in the area, and this chronological period has thus been interpreted as a gap in settlement from MIS 16 to MIS 12, two crucial phases of occupation...
Article
Previous studies have suggested that the Lower-to-Middle Paleolithic transition was associated with the earliest Neanderthals, but recent research has established that the oldest Neanderthal fossils and the first signs of their technologies and behavior appear from MIS 11 or possibly earlier. To understand these changes, re-evaluation of the eviden...
Article
The establishment of the Acheulean in Europe occurred after MIS 17, but it was after the harsh glaciation of MIS 12 and during the long interglacial of MIS 11 that human occupation of Western Europe became more sustained, with an increased number of sites. Menez-Dregan I (Brittany, France) is one of the key sites in Western Europe that dates from t...
Preprint
A Sensitive High Resolution Ion MicroProbe (SHRIMP II) has been used to make high spatial resolution in situ micro-analyses of oxygen isotopes in fish otoliths, and teeth from fossil herbivores and a Neanderthal. Large intra-tooth variations in the oxygen isotopic composition (up to 9&) were observed in the enamel of herbivores from the Neanderthal...
Article
The middle Rhône valley, located at the southeastern margins of the Massif Central in France, produced a large number of Middle Palaeolithic sites, most of which dated to the Middle and Late Pleistocene. Due to its position, connecting northern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, this corridor and the surrounding plateaus are of particular interest...
Article
Full-text available
During the Paleolithic period, bone marrow extraction was an essential source of fat nutrients for hunter-gatherers especially throughout cold and dry seasons. This is attested by the recurrent findings of percussion marks in osteological material from anthropized archaeological levels. Among them some showed indicators that the marrow extraction p...
Article
Some areas in Western Europe indicate hiatuses in human occupations, which cannot be systematically attributed to taphonomic factors and poor site preservation. The site of la Noira in the center of France records two occupation phases with a significant time gap. The older one is dated to around 700 ka (stratum a) with an Acheulean assemblage, amo...
Article
North‐West Europe yields few traces of early human occupation, in particular for the Acheulean. In this context, the Somme Valley in northern France offers a route to Britain during various Pleistocene low sea levels, and has provided numerous evidence of Lower Palaeolithic human occupation through fieldwork initiated during the 19th century. These...
Article
Résumé De nouvelles prospections ont été entreprises à Abbeville en 2016 et 2017 à l’emplacement de l’ancien site du Moulin Quignon exploité de 1837 à 1868 par Boucher de Perthes, relocalisé grâce aux travaux archivistiques menés par des chercheurs du MNHN. Ces recherches ont conduit 150 ans plus tard à la redécouverte de ce site paléolithique embl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Depuis 2016, le PCR « Réseau de lithothèques en région Centre - Val de Loire » (PCR CVDL) s’inscrit dans une perspective de recherche sur les modes d’exploitation des ressources lithiques et sur la territorialité des groupes humains préhistoriques. Outre l’étude ou la révision de séries archéologiques de l’espace régional, la caractérisation précis...
Article
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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-84805-6 Neanderthals have often been seen as populations that sought refuge in southern regions of Europe during ice ages and whose ultimate disappearance could be attributed to their inability to adapt to climate change. An international team of archaeologists, ecologists, and climate modelers refute thi...
Article
The recently discovered Nalai site is one of the Bose Basin localities, which is key to studying the earliest bifaces in China. The Nalai site has yielded an abundance of lithic artifacts, including bifaces and tektites in close association. The total fusion 40Ar/39Ar method was applied to four tektites discovered beside and contemporaneous with bi...
Article
Full-text available
Level 4.1 from the Abri du Maras (Ardèche, France) is chronologically attributed to the beginning of MIS 3 and is one example of late Neanderthal occupations in the southeast of France. Previous work on the faunal and lithic remains suggests that this level records short-term hunting episodes of reindeer associated with fragmented lithic reduction...
Article
During the XVIII UISPP congress at Paris in 2018, we organized sessions devoted to the first peopling of Europe (chronology, behaviour and environment) and the question of bifacial shaping over time and space. We aimed to discuss recent data regarding the earliest occupations in Europe and to investigate the onset of the bifacial phenomenon, not on...
Preprint
Full-text available
The archaeological sequence of la Noira, in the Middle Loire Basin (Centre region, France) yielded two phases of occupation: ca 700 ka (stratum a) and ca 450 ka (stratum c). No site between these two dates has yet been discovered in the area, and this chronological period has thus been interpreted as a gap in settlement from MIS 16 to MIS 12. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
The stressful situation caused by the pandemic has become a powerful factor for the introduction of new methods and forms of education. The field of archaeological education was no exception. In this educational year, teachers and students fully experienced both the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning in the field of archaeology and m...
Article
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This paper presents a unified methodology to describe critical features in lithic assemblages, in order to better interpret the Middle Pleistocene hominin occupation of western Europe, in the context of the Western European Acheulean Project (WEAP). This project aims to characterise the Acheulean technology of the western side of Europe by the anal...
Article
Full-text available
Much research has debated the technological abilities of Neanderthals relative to those of early modern humans, with a particular focus on subtle differences in thumb morphology and how this may reflect differences in manipulative behaviors in these two species. Here, we provide a novel perspective on this debate through a 3D geometric morphometric...
Article
Notarchirico is the earliest Acheulean Italian site. On account of the wide variety of artefacts (cores, flakes, pebble tools and bifaces for some levels) and raw materials, it is also a key site for analysing behavioural variability in the Acheulean record before 600 ka, and for investigating the significance of occupation levels with and without...
Article
This pioneering research performed at the Abri du Maras (Ardèche, South-East France) explores the potential of non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP) to provide new insights into the relationships between Neanderthals and plant resources. Remains of endophytic fungi found during the analysis are key indicators of the local presence of plants, which could ha...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the Middle Paleolithic period, bone marrow extraction was an essential source of fat nutrients for hunter-gatherers especially throughout cold and dry seasons. This is attested by the recurrent findings of percussion marks in osteological material from anthropized archaeological levels. Among them some showed indicators that the marrow extra...
Article
Full-text available
New fieldwork and the revision of lithic collections during the past decade have renewed our interpretation of the timing and characteristics of the earliest Acheulean techno-complexes in western Europe. The lower level of the la Noira site is a crucial snapshot for evaluating the technological abilities and strategies of Middle Pleistocene hominin...
Article
Over the past two decades, taphonomic and zooarchaeological studies have focused on Neanderthal settlement patterns and subsistence strategies. The south-eastern margins of the Massif Central constitute one of the regions with the most abundant archaeological evidence of Neanderthal occupations in France. The faunal record of level 5 of Abri du Mar...
Article
Full-text available
La transition du Paléolithique inférieur au Paléolithique moyen constitue une période charnière de la préhistoire, caractérisée par de nombreux changements dans les modes de subsistance et de production des groupes humains. Elle peut être perçue comme une période de rupture ou une phase de transformation progressive selon le cadre et l’échelle pris...
Article
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Notarchirico (Southern Italy) has yielded the earliest evidence of Acheulean settlement in Italy and four older occupation levels have recently been unearthed, including one with bifaces, extending the roots of the Acheulean in Italy even further back in time. New 40Ar/39Ar on tephras and ESR dates on bleached quartz securely and accurately place t...
Article
Full-text available
Decades of fieldwork in the Frosinone-Ceprano basin (Latin Valley, Latium, central Italy) have shed light on numerous open-air Lower Palaeolithic localities, delivering a human fossil calvarium, thousands of scattered faunal remains and a large collection of lithic industries, including core-and-flake type lithic series (mode 1) and Acheulean assem...
Article
Although Neandertals are the best-known fossil hominins, the tempo and evolutionary processes in their lineage are strongly debated. This is in part due to the scarcity of the fossil record, in particular before the marine isotopic stage (MIS) 5. In 2010, a partial hominin mandible was discovered at the Middle Paleolithic site of Payre (France) in...
Article
Full-text available
The beginning of the Middle Palaeolithic in Western Europe is traditionally associated with the emergence of new, more complex and standardised debitage technologies, such as Levallois technology. These changes occurred in the archaeological record between MIS 9 and MIS 6. This paper aims to evaluate the processes of technical change at work in Sou...
Article
Currently, approximately 90% of the human population is right-handed. This handedness is due to the later-alization of the cerebral hemispheres and is controlled by brain areas involved in complex motor tasks such as making stone tools or in language. In addition to describing the evolution of laterality in humans, identifying hand preference in fo...
Preprint
Full-text available
The essential relationship to fat in the Middle Paleolithic, and especially to the yellow marrow, explains the importance of addressing this issue of butchery cultural practices through the study of bone fracturing gestures and techniques. In view of the quasi-systematization of bone marrow extraction in many anthropized archaeological levels, this...
Article
Early Levallois core technology is usually dated in Europe to the end of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 9 and particularly from the beginning of MIS 8 to MIS 6. This technology is considered as one of the markers of the transition from lower to Middle Paleolithic or from Mode 2 to Mode 3. Recent discoveries show that some lithic innovations actually ap...
Article
Full-text available
Percussion marks have been studied in the field of archaeology for more than a century. Researchers have identified, characterized and analysed them in order to distinguish them from traces of environment modification to bone and reconstruct hominin subsistence strategies. The multiplicity of studies based on percussion marks in different languages...
Article
The Ceprano human calvarium, dated around 400,000 yr, is a well-known fossil specimen. It represents significant evidence of hominin presence in the Italian peninsula during the Middle Pleistocene and may be considered representative of an archaic variant of the widespread and polymorphic species Homo heidelbergensis . Since its discovery (March 19...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The south-eastern margins of the French Massif Central yield many rock shelters and caves with Neanderthal occupations dated to the Marine Isotopic Stages (MIS) 5-3. Les Barasses II and Abri des Pêcheurs share the same topographic configuration with lithic and faunal peculiarities, especially the abundance of ibex remains as well as a diversified c...
Article
Full-text available
For the past decade, debates on the earliest evidence of bifacial shaping in Western Europe have focused on several key issues, such as its origin (i.e., local or introduced), or on what should define the Acheulean culture. Whatever hypotheses are proposed for its origin, the onset and technological strategies for making Large Cutting Tools (LCTs),...
Article
Full-text available
the dispersal of hominin groups with an Acheulian technology and associated bifacial tools into northern latitudes is central to the debate over the timing of the oldest human occupation of europe. new evidence resulting from the rediscovery and the dating of the historic site of Moulin Quignon demonstrates that the first Acheulian occupation north...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades, a growing attention was paid toward the exploitation of other lithic raw materials than flint. In this context, the lithic assemblage of Payre level D, dated to the end of the MIS 6, offers the opportunity to make some considerations about the modalities of a discoid technology on various lithic raw materials. Payre is a very w...
Article
Full-text available
Discoveries of quartzite artefacts on the highest terrace: Early or Middle Pleistocene occupation of the Rhône Valley? - Volume 93 Issue 369 - Marie-Hélène Moncel, Simon Puaud, Ludovic Mocochain, Evelyne Debard, Bernard Gely
Article
Full-text available
Neanderthals had complex land use patterns, adapting to diversified landscapes and climates. Over the past decade, considerable progress has been made in reconstructing the chronology, land use and subsistence patterns, and occupation types of sites in the Rhône Valley, southeast France. In this study, Neanderthal mobility at the site of Payre is i...
Data
Table A. Types of flint used at Abri des Pêcheurs in the Middle Palaeolithic sequence (MIS 4), after [84]. Table B. Types of flint and products in the Middle Palaeolithic sequence at Abri des Pêcheurs. (DOCX)
Technical Report
Full-text available
Depuis 2016, le PCR « Réseau de lithothèques en région Centre - Val de Loire » s’inscrit dans une perspective de recherche sur les modes d’exploitation des ressources minérales et sur la territorialité des groupes humains préhistoriques.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the wake of the discovery of numerous large blade workshops at Le Grand-Pressigny site (Indre-et-Loire, France), which initially aroused great interest, the mid-Loire Valley region became central to studies of flint diffusion. Despite the quality of the initial work, the widely shared view now is that the capacity for this concept to continue to...
Article
Middle Pleistocene hominins occupied Europe as early as 700 ka. Data on subsistence and adaptation to environment remain limited due to the small number of sites, especially from 700 to 500 ka. Current consensus suggests that Middle Pleistocene populations periodically peopled and depopulated areas of Europe in response to climatic fluctuations. Mo...
Article
Full-text available
Gona in the Afar region of Ethiopia has yielded the earliest Oldowan stone tools in the world. Artefacts from the East Gona (EG) 10 site date back 2.6 million years. Analysis of the lithic assemblage from EG 10 reveals the earliest-known evidence for refitting and conjoining stone artefacts. This new information supplements data from other Oldowan...