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    • "A very late Mousterian at Les Cottés (France)? Les Cottés, in the Vienne department of central France, contains a sequence of Mousterian (US 8), Châtelperronian (US 6) and Aurignacian (US 4 and 2) industries (Soressi et al. 2010) "
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    ABSTRACT: Refining and interpreting the chronology of the so-called Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition continues to be a contentious issue, polarizing the opinion of archaeologists, anthropologists and dating experts alike. Bayesian modelling has become an important means for organizing and interpreting an increasing number of available radiocarbon dates. Here we address what we consider important oversights in recent models purportedly demonstrating a chronological overlap between the Mousterian and Châtelperronian and a very early appearance of the Aurignacian in Western Europe. When faced with closer scrutiny, the integrity of several dated contexts appears less than ideal, questioning either the reliability of the ages obtained and/or their use in such models. Bayesian modelling can in some instances present an illusion of higher resolution and reliability; however, our comprehension of the chronology of the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition may be in more need of taphonomic revisions of archaeological contexts than it is of new statistical models.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · World Archaeology
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    • "Faunal remains (3337 bigger than 2.5 cm) are relatively well preserved and rounding and weathering is infrequent (Rendu, in Soressi et al., 2010). Reindeer is the most abundant species (it counts for up to 96% of the 716 identified bones in Unit 02) except Fig. 2. Top pane: distribution of all archaeological finds on a plan view of numbered lithics and bones. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bone is a commonly used material for radiocarbon dating, yet at ages close to the limit of the method (>30,000 BP), it is a substantial challenge to remove contamination and produce accurate ages. We report here on the preliminary results of a dating study of 2 bones older than 30,000 yr, which were each treated with a suite of pretreatment procedures, including ultrafiltration (Brown et al. 1988). Substantial differences in the 14C ages were observed, which is most likely linked to crucial steps in the removal of contamination both in the bone and in the laboratory. Using a comprehensive sequence of pretreatment procedures, including ultrafiltration, we obtain generally older ages. © 2011 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Radiocarbon
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a geoarchaeological study of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic (Châtelperronian, Aurignacian and Solutrean) occupations preserved at the Bordes-Fitte rockshelter in Central France. The lithostratigraphic sequence is composed of near-surface sedimentary facies with vertical and lateral variations, in a context dominated by run-off and gravitational sedimentary processes. Field description and micromorphological analysis permit us to reconstruct several episodes of sediment slope-wash and endokarst dynamics, with hiatuses and erosional phases. The archaeostratigraphic succession includes Châtelperronian artefacts, inter-stratified between Middle Palaeolithic and Aurignacian occupations. Systematic refitting and spatial analysis reveal that the Châtelperronian point production and flake blanks retouched into denticulates, all recovered in the same stratigraphic unit, result from distinct and successive occupations and are not a 'transitional' Middle to Upper Palaeolithic assemblage. The ages obtained by (14)C place the Châtelperronian occupation in the 41-48 ka cal BP (calibrated thousands of years before present) interval and are consistent with the quartz optically stimulated luminescence age of 39 ± 2 ka and feldspar infra-red stimulated luminescence age of 45 ± 2 ka of the sediments. The Bordes-Fitte rockshelter sequence represents an important contribution to the debate about the characterization and timing of the Châtelperronian, as well as its affinities to earlier and later industries.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Human Evolution
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