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Diagnostics des aires sauvages néolithiques et protohistoriques dans la moyenne vallée de la Vesle (Marne, Grand Est)

Abstract : Regularly, in Reims sector and more widely in Champagne, diagnostic operations see the discovery of I-U-V-Y and W profile pits. The initial postulate, resulting from recent synthesis work, is that these pits are hunting traps, marking an ancient human presence (between the beginning of the Neolithic and the end of the Bronze Age), in areas with little or no anthropisation, far from habitats. Although a priori isolated on a small scale, these pits are in fact part of complexes that often extend over several dozen hectares, the scale of the archaeological diagnostic being the most suitable for understanding such devices. The systematic inventory of these pits, in the middle basin of the Vesle, reveals interesting spatial data. In the Neolithic period, when the habitats were concentrated very close to the river, signs of human presence can be followed up to 4 km back on both sides. At the end of the Bronze Age, human occupation moved a little further back from the river. However, the hunting grounds in the area remain more or less the same as in the Neolithic period, indicating that the valley was only partially settled until the end of the Bronze Age. The few environmental studies carried out on these pits, particularly malacological ones, offer interesting results for understanding the general framework of the hunting areas to which they relate. Contrary to popular belief, it would seem that, at least where the studies were carried out, in the Neolithic period the « wild areas », where the traps are located, set back from the habitats, were mainly open meadows with little woodland and punctuated by ponds. At the end of the Bronze Age, a drying out and reforestation of sometimes dense secondary forests can be observed in at least one of these areas. However, these results are still too sporadic, both chronologically and geographically, to be generalised to the whole valley over the period in question. The global consideration of hunting traps, essentially found « isolated » during archaeological diagnoses (or incidentally during excavations), therefore provides data that enriches our understanding of Neolithic and protohistoric human occupation. In this context, archaeological diagnoses are effective analytical tools for understanding human occupation outside of settlements, insofar as they are combined with precise and complete studies of certain well-dated contexts.
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Nicolas Garmond, Sidonie Bündgen. Diagnostics des aires sauvages néolithiques et protohistoriques dans la moyenne vallée de la Vesle (Marne, Grand Est). Le diagnostic comme outil de recherche : 2e séminaire scientifique et technique de l'Inrap, David Flotté; Cyril Marcigny, Sep 2017, Caen, France., ⟨10.34692/hxve-7s61⟩. ⟨hal-02489707v2⟩



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