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Le tuf de Caours (Somme, France) : mise en évidence d'une séquence eemienne et d'un site paléolithique associé

Abstract : The new investigation lead on the tufa deposits of the River Somme basin, within the SITEP (CNRS) Program, have allowed the discovery of a new tufa sequence overlying an alluvial formation in low terrace position at Caours (Scardon valley). The tufa sequence is separated from the underlying periglacial alluvial gravels by fluvial calcareous silts overlain by a thin marshy soil and a thin peat layer. The tufa formation is mainly composed by paludal (marshy) soil facies showing numerous in situ incrusted vegetal remains and travertine concretions (stromatoliths). Downslope, looking to the present day valley the whole tufa formation quickly evolves toward typical fluvial facies including oncolithic sands and large scale cross beddings. The tufa sequence and the fluvial silts have provided abundant malacological faunas that have allowed describing a climatic evolution contemporaneous of the initial phases of an interglacial, followed by a climatic optimum and then a decline of temperate conditions. The lower part of the tufa includes several organic horizons that have yielded numerous large mammals and rodent remains contemporaneous of the intergla-cial optimum previously evidenced by malacology. Within these horizons, several Palaeolithic layers have been discovered in situ in association with interglacial large mammal remains showing evidences of human operation (systematic breaking of long bones and cut marks). Taking into account its relative position within the Somme terraces system, the U/Th ages (average ± 120 ka BP) and the results of the various bioclimatic studies, the Caours sequence represents the first record of the Eemian interglacial in the Somme basin. In addition, the archaeological levels discovered at Caours are a unique example of Human occupation during the Last Interglacial in Northern France.
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Pierre Antoine, Nicole Limondin-Lozouet, Patrick Auguste, Jean-Luc Locht, Bassam Galheb, et al.. Le tuf de Caours (Somme, France) : mise en évidence d'une séquence eemienne et d'un site paléolithique associé. Quaternaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 2006, 17 (4), pp.281--320. ⟨10.4000/quaternaire.880⟩. ⟨hal-02476131⟩

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