Programmes > Par auteur > Bassam Ghaleb

Molluscan Pleistocene biozonation : dating Acheulean occupations in Europe
Nicole Limondin-Lozouet  1, *@  , Jean-Jacques Bahain, Ghaleb Bassam, Sébastien Nomade, Alison Pereira, Pierre Voinchet@
1 : CNRS
CNRS : UMR8591
* : Auteur correspondant

Recent malacological investigations at several classic sites from Northern France and central Italy together with reappraisal of old palaeontological collections provide new informations leading to palaeoenvironmental reconstructions contemporaneous with Acheulean settlements. Molluscan biozonation defined from these studies are reinforced at several locations by physical dating methods (U/Th, ESR, TL, 40Ar/39Ar). In France, the studied sites are located in the Somme and the Seine basins and within this area Acheulean occupations span from the Late Cromerian (MIS 15) up to the Late Middle Pleistocene (MIS 9). In Italy, recent investigations were undertaken in the Abruzzo and higlighted malacological successions associated with several Acheulean settlements from MIS 14 up to MIS 12.

This contribution presents a synthesis of the European malacological data available and review both quality and accuracy of the information.

Some phases, like the MIS 11 interglacial appear particularly well documented with numerous sites in north-west Europe including good malacological record allowing recognition of particular species, i.e. presence of critical forest species, especially those now extinct or occurring far beyond their modern ranges. They also give way to detailed landscape reconstructions. In such case environmental successions defined from malacological series provide a framework of the temperate episode within which associated Acheulean industries can be set. These results allow to precise the chronological prehistoric settlements succession that is out of reach of physical dating technics. In the Mediterranean area malacological references are still under construction but recent results give way to the first step of a regional framework and allow comparison of the malacological responses to climatic cyclicity between northern and southern Europe.

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