08-2017, tome 114, 2, 2017, p. 237-256 - Solène Caux - Étude typo-technologique et pétro-archéologique des grattoirs Caminade. Première synthèse d'un outil caractéristique de l'Aurignacien récent du Sud-Ouest de la France

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08-2017, tome 114, 2, 2017, p. 237-256 - Solène Caux - Étude typo-technologique et pétro-archéologique des grattoirs Caminade. Première synthèse d'un outil caractéristique de l'Aurignacien récent du Sud-Ouest de la France

La phase récente de l’Aurignacien a longtemps été caractérisée uniquement par quelques outils types dont les plus connus sont les burins busqués, ainsi que les grattoirs à museau et les lamelles torses Dufour sous-type Roc-de-Combe. Certains d’entre eux sont retrouvés de l’océan Atlantique jusqu’au Levant. Les grattoirs Caminade ont pourtant très rapidement été érigés comme marqueurs de l’Aurignacien récent puisqu’ils ont été retrouvés sur leur site éponyme (Caminade, Dordogne) dans un ensemble de vestiges comprenant également des burins busqués. Cependant il ne semble pas que ce type ait diffusé au-delà du Bassin aquitain. De plus, tous les grattoirs Caminade du site éponyme sont réalisés dans le même matériau, reconnu a posteriori comme étant le silex « Grain de mil » de Charente-Maritime. L’ensemble de ces observations a soulevé plusieurs questions : comment se définit le territoire associé aux grattoirs Caminade ? Pourquoi la tradition technique des lamelles torses a-t-elle diffusé à l’échelle pan-continentale tandis que celle des grattoirs Caminade semble être restreinte au Bassin aquitain ? Quels sont les mécanismes sociaux (transmission des savoirs, mobilité humaine, évolution des traditions techniques, etc.) qui ont entrainé une telle répartition géographique de ces vestiges jugés jusqu’à présents contemporains ?

Avant d’interroger l’association couramment admise des grattoirs Caminade et des burins busqués, une synthèse approfondie des grattoirs Caminade s’impose. Le type reste figé dans sa première définition basée sur les quelques outils très standardisés du site éponyme, alors que la description de grattoirs Caminade sur d’autres gisements laisse entrevoir une plus grande variabilité morphométrique. De même, bien que les nucléus à grattoirs Caminade aient été identifiés, l’ensemble de la chaine opératoire n’a pas encore été décrite : quels sont les modes de production des supports de nucléus ? Existe-t-il une production intégrée de supports de grattoirs Caminade et d’autres d’outils type grattoir ou burin ?). De même, les données pétroarchéologiques ne sont pas systématiques, voire restent complètement inédites pour certains gisements. Dans le cadre de cet article, nous présentons l’étude comparative de cinq gisements : en Dordogne, Caminade, le Flageolet I, la grotte Maldidier et la Grotte XVI et en Gironde, le Pigeonnier. Nous abordons dans un premier temps la question de la variabilité typologique, morphologique et technologique des grattoirs Caminade afin de proposer une vision plus large et générale de ces outils, permettant de discuter de leur association éventuelle avec les burins busqués. Dans un second temps, nous croisons ces données avec des données pétroarchéologiques dans le but de discuter non seulement des territoires d’approvisionnement, mais aussi des voies de circulation et des modes de transport des matériaux et ainsi de mieux comprendre le phénomène de régionalisation de la répartition des grattoirs Caminade telle qu’observée actuellement.

 

Mots-clefs : grattoirs Caminade, Aurignacien récent, Sud-Ouest de la France, typologie, morphométrie, territoire d’approvisionnement.

 

The Late Aurignacian has long been characterized by just a few typical tools including the busked burins and the Roc-de-Combe twisted bladelets that are known from the Atlantic Ocean to the Levant. Caminade endscrapers were rapidly established as a typical tool of the Late Aurignacian as they were found at Caminade (Dordogne) within an assemblage comprising some busked burins. It seems however that this type never spread beyond the Aquitaine Basin. Moreover, all the Caminade endscrapers from the eponymous site were made from the same raw material, later recognized as ‘grain de mil’ flint from Charente-Maritime. All of these observations lead to a series of questions: How is the territory associated with Caminade endscrapers defined? Why did the twisted bladelet tradition spread on a continental scale while Caminade endscrapers were apparently limited to South-Western France? What were the social mechanisms (transfer of knowledge, human mobility, development of technical traditions, etc.) that led to such a geographic distribution of these lithic remains, considered as contemporaneous?

In order to question the currently admitted association of Caminade endscrapers with busked burins, an in-depth synthesis of Caminade endscrapers seems necessary. The original definition of this type, still in use, is based on only a couple of very standardized tools from the eponymous site, while descriptions of Caminade endscrapers from other sites suggest that this type may present wider morphometric variability. Furthermore, even though Caminade endscraper cores have been identified and described, the whole chaine opératoire (production mode of the core blanks? presence of some blade tools?) remains to be studied. Finally, petro-archaeological data are most often lacking and there are no studies of the supply territory or raw material economy on a regional scale. In this article we present an inter-site study based on five archaeological sites from the north of the Aquitaine Basin: Caminade, Le Flageolet I, Grotte XVI and Grotte Maldidier (Dordogne), and Le Pigeonnier (Gironde). We first address the typological, morphometric and technological variability of Caminade endscrapers.  Secondly, we cross this information with petro-archaeological data. Finally, we discuss the association of Caminade endscrapers with busked burins in the light of these new data.

Our study concerns 381 Caminade endscrapers. The length ranges between 6.8 and 44 mm. The length/width ratio shows a very high standardization of blank proportions. There is a potential double use of Caminade endscrapers according to their calibre: the smallest ones may be included in the hunting sphere (projectile components) and the largest may belong to the domestic sphere as part of other composite tools. Observation of the retouch and edge morphology shows that the most important required criteria are 1) a straight left edge, 2) a distal truncation inclined to the right edge, and 3) the rounded shape of the proximal part. The oblique truncation means that the longest edge is situated on the left, which may represent the active edge. We also propose that the distal truncation and the roundness of the proximal part may be related to their insertion into the shaft.

The inter-site petro-archaeological study highlights two supply areas. For the Dordogne sites, the supply area focuses on the Dordogne river basin with imports of Bergeracois and Senonian flint. At Le Pigeonnier, the supply area is widely open towards the north-west and the Seudre and Charente river basins. There is no particular “Grain de mil” flint management associated with  Caminade endscraper production. It is however the only material to spread across both supply areas, making it the best marker of this double territory. On the Dordogne sites, only local materials or those from nearby are reduced on site; distant materials are imported as tools and represented by the largest ones. At Le Pigeonnier however all materials (even the most distant ones) are managed similarly to the local and nearby ones in Dordogne. This is a very specific characteristic of this site. Its geographical location, between the Seudre and Charente river basins to the north and the Dordogne river basin to the east, could explain this observation: Le Pigeonnier could represent a border site at the limit of the Caminade endscraper’s geographic range, leading to specific supply strategies.

The ‘chaine opératoire’ including the Caminade endscrapers seems to be complex and presents several production goals such as ‘Caminade knives’, projectile components or even scrapers. In this case, both ‘chaines opératoires’ for obtaining busked burins and Caminade endscrapers do not appear to be complementary but, rather, share very similar production goals. The association of these two ‘chaines’ could be of economic or functional interest. We may therefore question the validity of this currently admitted association. They could represent two technical traditions, one succeeding the other over time, but considered until today as coherent lithic sets because of excavation methods, taphonomic processes, or even the small proportion of Caminade endscrapers and our lack of knowledge about their global ‘chaine opératoire’.  There could also be a local tradition (with Caminade endscrapers) within a wider continental tradition (with busked burins). Based on current knowledge, both of these hypotheses are credible, even though their consequences are very different: the first one confirms a unilinear chronological model, while the second one points to a dendritic evolution of technical traditions within a large social network.

 

Keywords: Caminade endscrapers, Late Aurignacian, South-Western France, typology, morphometrics, supply territory.