19-2017, tome 114, 4, p. 619-635 - François-Xavier Chauvière et al. - L'attribution chronoculturelle des « objets arciformes » du Paléolithique supérieur. Apports de la datation directe de l'ébauche du Petit Cloup Barrat (Cabrerets, Lot, France) ...

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19-2017, tome 114, 4, p. 619-635 - François-Xavier Chauvière et al. - L'attribution chronoculturelle des « objets arciformes » du Paléolithique supérieur. Apports de la datation directe de l'ébauche du Petit Cloup Barrat (Cabrerets, Lot, France) ...

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François-Xavier Chauvière, Jean-Christophe Castel, Sylvain Ducasse, Mathieu Langlais et Caroline Renard - L'attribution chronoculturelle des « objets arciformes » du Paléolithique supérieur. Apports de la datation directe de l'ébauche du Petit Cloup Barrat (Cabrerets, Lot, France) et discussion autour de l'hypothèse badegoulienne

La couche 4 du Petit Cloup Barrat (Cabrerets, Lot) a livré une probable ébauche d’objet arciforme (ou « anneau ouvert ») en bois de cervidé. Ce morphotype n’était jusqu’à présent connu qu’au travers des dix exemplaires mis au jour dans la grotte du Placard (Vilhonneur, Charente) et de celui de la série dite de la « Cave à Endives » (collection André-David, Cabrerets, Lot). Sa datation directe par SMA (17720 ± 90 BP, soit 21770-21122 cal. BP), réalisée au laboratoire d’Oxford, semble renvoyer, selon les cadres chronologiques aujourd’hui disponibles pour le Sud-Ouest français, aux traditions techniques badegouliennes. Cette datation est par ailleurs cohérente avec la mesure d’âge obtenue au sein du même ensemble à partir d’un éclat de bois de renne débité par percussion lancée, déchet technique caractéristique de la méthode de production des supports au Badegoulien.

Au-delà d’un nécessaire travail de critique archéostratigraphique de la couche 4 qui semble, d’après les données typo-technologiques et radiométriques, témoigner d’une diachronie insoupçonnée jusqu’ici (Magdalénien moyen, inférieur, Badegoulien et Solutréen), la datation directe de l’ébauche d’anneau ouvert du Petit Cloup Barrat et son examen technique apportent un complément important à l’étude de ce type d’objet. Ces résultats, étendus aux autres objets arciformes considérés jusqu’alors comme magdaléniens, constituent une première étape vers la re-contextualisation chronoculturelle d’un morphotype aussi rare qu’original.

 

Mots-clés : objet arciforme, anneau ouvert, datation directe SMA, Paléolithique supérieur, Badegoulien, Magdalénien, industrie osseuse.

 

Le Petit Cloup Barrat cave (Cabrerets, Lot, France) is located on the hill of Pech Merle, 800 metres from the famous Palaeolithic art cave. It opens onto the edge of a collapsed doline of 500 m2. Since 2003, the different excavations (by Castel and Chauvière, then by Castel) have revealed an important Upper Palaeolithic stratigraphy, with several archaeological assemblages. More than ten millennia have been recorded discontinuously in the various sedimentary complexes, with occupations dating from the end of the Gravettian to the Middle Magdalenian.

Layer 4 of the deposit yielded an ‘arciform object’ rough-out (so-called ‘omega-like shape open ring’) made in antler. Until now, this morphotype was known only through the ten specimens discovered at the end of the 19th century in Le Placard cave (Vilhonneur Charente, France) and that of the so-called ‘Cave à Endives’ archaeological collection (André David collection, Cabrerets, Lot). The direct dating of this rough-out using the AMS radiocarbon method (17720 ± 90 BP or 21770–21122 cal. BP) was carried out in the Oxford laboratory. According to the chronological frameworks now available for south-western France, it seems to refer to the Badegoulian technical traditions. The implications of the absolute chronological positioning of this original object are important, first on the scale of Le Petit Cloup Barrat, but also for the Upper Palaeolithic ‘arciform objects’.

At Le Petit Cloup Barrat, Badegoulian occupations have been identified since 2003 inside the cave, following the discovery of lithic and osseous remains (respectively raclettes and antler flakes). They were discovered in layer c8a1. This layer has a remarkable sedimentary signature and was dated by the AMS radiocarbon method from a faunal remain (18595 ± 150 BP or 22876–22101 cal. BP). The direct 14C dating of the open ring fills a gap in the radiometric chronology of the outer area of the main excavation sector, confirming the presence of the Badegoulian, already suspected through the recurrent demonstration of lithic “markers” on the heart and bottom of layer 4. Moreover, the direct 14C dating of the ‘omega-like shape open ring’ is consistent with another AMS date, in layer 4, from an antler flake produced by knapping (17800 ± 80 BP or 21838–21292 cal. BP), technical waste characteristic of the Badegoulian. These two dates are older than one of a splinter fragment from the same layer, and produced by grooving (16,100 ±70 BP or 19629–19208 cal. BP). Taken together, they refer to the anteriority of the use of knapping in comparison to the groove and splinter technique, according to the general evolutionary model proposed elsewhere, without excluding, for the moment, the possible coexistence of other elements resulting from these two modes of blank production, at least on the scale of the sedimentary unit which contains them. The bone industry data are added here to other observations about typo-technological analysis of the lithic industry and radiometric data to confirm the diachrony in layer 4.

The direct radiocarbon date of the ‘omega-like shape open ring’ rough-out from Le Petit Cloup Barrat and its technical examination also provide a substantial complement to the study of this rare and original object. The results can be extended to the other ‘arciform objects’, previously considered as Magdalenian, and constitute a first step towards their chronocultural re-contextualization. Firstly, if the attribution to the Badegoulian of the ‘arciform object’ type were to be confirmed, it would increase a corpus constituted of elements which, for most of the currently available series, suffer from the disconnection between the production of blanks and the different typo-functional categories (eye needles, awls, chisels and projectile points). Secondly, the direct dating of the ‘omega-like shape open ring’” rough-out from Le Petit Cloup Barrat encourages a critical re-reading of the typological assemblages yielded by Le Placard cave, according to the radiometric framework from the Badegoulian assemblages of this famous Palaeolithic site. As these assemblages served to seriate the Magdalenian periods, they need reassessment, using the AMS radiocarbon method, in addition to ‘arciform objects’ with other morphotypes such as ‘spiked single bevelled points’ and ‘Lussac-Angles points’.

 

Keywords: ‘arciform object’, ‘omega-like shape open ring’, radiocarbon date (AMS), Upper Palaeolithic, Badegoulian, Magdalenian, bone industry.