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The roe deer at the end of the Late-Glacial: a high-resolution study of habitat change and hunting strategies at La Fru (Northern Alps, France)
Anne Bridault  1, *@  , Annelise Binois-Roman, Dorothee Drucker, Gilbert Pion@
1 : Archéologie et Sciences de l'Antiquité- Archéologies environnementales  (ArScAn - UMR 7041)
CNRS : UMR7041
M.A.E., 21 allee de l'Université, 92000 Nanterre -  France
* : Auteur correspondant

The roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is one of the ungulate preyed on species regularly documented in the lowlands sites of Western Europe during the Mesolithic period / Early Holocene. During the Last Glacial Maximum, its distribution was restricted to the Mediterranean peninsulas, south-western France and the surroundings of the Carpathians (Sommer et al., 2009). The situation during the Late-Glacial represents an interesting window corresponding to a re-opening of habitats and a reorganization of available faunal resources in the Jura and the Alps in particular (Bridault et Chaix, 2009). A marked change of habitat is well documented in red deer at the Late-Glacial to early Holocene transition in Eastern France (Drucker et al., 2011), but very little is known about roe deer habitats.

The Early Azilian occupation at the Northern Alpine site of La Fru (Savoie), documents the earliest evidence of the roe deer in the Northern France: four roe deer bones were radiocarbon dated between 14,9 – 13,9 ky cal BP (2s). This offers a unique opportunity to study the ecology and the exploitation of this ungulate at that time. Stable Isotope analyses were implemented to investigate how the diet and habitat of the roe deer differed from those of the other coeval deer. The study of faunal remains shows roe deer was the second game species hunted during the Bölling (GI-1e) at la Fru, an unusual result that brought us to explore the specific hunting strategies performed during this key period of environmental transition. Wear and eruption patterns recorded on the abundant dental remains allow us to discuss the age profile of targeted animals and seasonality of their capture.


References cited

BRIDAULT A., CHAIX L. 2009. «Réflexions sur la recomposition des spectres fauniques dans le massif jurassien et les Alpes françaises du Nord durant le Tardiglaciaire», in G. Pion (dir.), La fin du Paléolithique supérieur dans le nord, l'est de la France et les régions limitrophes. Société Préhistorique Française, Mémoire L, p.60-71.

DRUCKER, D.G., BRIDAULT, A., CUPILLARD, C., HUJIC, A., BOCHERENS, H. 2011. Evolution of habitat and environment of red deer (Cervus elaphus) during the Late-glacial and early Holocene in eastern France (French Jura and the western Alps) using multi-isotope analysis (d13C,d 15N, d 18O, d 34S) of archaeological remains. Quaternary International 245 (2): 268-278.

SOMMER, R. S., FAHLKE, J. M., SCHMÖLCKE, U., BENECKE, N., ZACHOS, F. E. 2009. Quaternary history of the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Mammal Review 39 : 1–16.

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