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Let's talk about Badegoulian and its relation to other contemporaneous Iberian cultural traditions: Reconsidering the issue of the LGM cultural mosaic in the light of new data from Pégourié cave (Lot, France) and les Harpons rockshelter (Haute-Garonne, France).
Sylvain Ducasse  1, *@  , Caroline Renard  2@  , François Xavier Chauvière  3@  , Jean-Marc Pétillon  4@  
1 : De la Préhistoire à l'Actuel, Cultures, Environnement, Anthropologie  (PACEA)  -  Website
CNRS : UMR5199, Université de Bordeaux (Bordeaux, France)
Université Bordeaux, Bâtiment B8, Allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, CS 50023, 33615 PESSAC Cedex -  France
2 : Travaux et recherches archéologiques sur les cultures, les espaces et les sociétés  (TRACES)  -  Website
CNRS : UMR5608, Université de Toulouse Jean-Jaurès
Maison De La Recherche, 5 Allée Antonio Machado, 31058 TOULOUSE Cedex 9 -  France
3 : Office et musée d'archéologie de Neuchâtel, Laténium
Espace Paul Vouga, 2068 Hauterive -  Suisse
4 : Travaux et recherches archéologiques sur les cultures, les espaces et les sociétés  (TRACES)  -  Website
CNRS : UMR5608, Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II
Maison de la Recherche, 5 Allée Antonio Machado 31058 Toulouse Cedex 9 -  France
* : Corresponding author

From a regionalized Solutrean substratum, the evolving trajectories of the contemporary Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) societies in southwestern Europe remains controversial. While in the Aquitaine Basin it is for a long time accepted that Badegoulian technical traditions succeeds the Upper Solutrean ones around 23 cal ka BP, two coexisting and opposite models are proposed for the Iberian Peninsula. Whereas one suggest that Badegoulian industries were developed at the same time as in France, defining a kind of “globalization” phenomenon, the other defends the classical hypothesis of a persistence of Solutrean traditions until about 20 cal ka BP, implying the existence of a cultural mosaic from the Parisian Basin to the far south of the Iberian Peninsula.

In any case, beyond the issue of typo-technological definition and cultural attribution of the LGM assemblages in this area, several elements indicate that southwestern France was related to Cantabrian Spain during this time frame, specially (1) the typo-technological and chronological framework of the Pyrenean Upper Solutrean considered similar to the Vasco-Cantabrian one (i. e. same tool-kits and comparable young 14C ages up to 20 cal ka BP) and (2) the large geographic spread of specific Badegoulian osseous objects as decorated antler pieces using “pseudo-excise” technique at least from Dordogne to Asturias around 21 cal ka BP.

Recent research led in southwestern France as part of the “SaM” project has recently focused on these two specific aspects since they were essentially based on arguable data from old excavations and/or problematic archaeostratigraphic contexts. The interdisciplinary reassessment of Les Harpons rockshelter (well known for its concave base point-yielding Upper Solutrean level) and the Badegoulian sequence of Pégourié cave (characterized by the presence of “pseudo-excise” technique) allows us to reconsider the issue of the LGM cultural mosaic. After testing the homogeneity of this two assemblages through a critical assessment of the lithic and osseous equipment (including inter-layers refitting) and updating the radiometric framework through the direct dating of several characteristic antler pieces (tools and/or waste products), these studies confirm: (1) a same age for the end of Upper Solutrean between Aquitaine Basin and Pyrenees; (2) the existence of raclette-yielding Badegoulian in the Pyrenees since 23 cal ka BP and (3) the Badegoulian age of “pseudo-excise” technique at Pégourié despite the strong cultural heterogeneity of the assemblage.

Beyond a regional interest these results shed new light on southwestern Europe cultural geography during the LGM, allowing us to indirectly address the issue of the “Iberian Badegoulian” hypothesis.


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