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Intra‐interstadial environmental changes in Last Glacial loess revealed by molluscan assemblages from the Upper Palaeolithic site of Amiens‐Renancourt 1 (Somme, France)

Abstract : The Amiens-Renancourt 1 site recently yielded one of the most important Upper Palaeolithic human occupations of northern France by the number of flint artefacts and especially by the presence of Venus figurines. All the material comes from a single archaeological layer located in a tundra gley bracketed by loess units. A multi-proxy study combining a detailed stratigraphy, luminescence and radiocarbon datings and high-resolution (5 cm per sample) grain size and molluscan analyses was therefore carried out to reconstruct and date the associated environmental changes and to determine the exact context of the human occupation. The chronological frame thus established supports the correlations of the archaeology-bearing tundra gley and of an underlying arctic brown soil with Greenland interstadials GI-4 and GI-3. Composition changes in the molluscan population enabled the identification of transitional and optimum phases and sub-phases within these two pedogenetic horizons. A conceptual correlation model linking molluscan phases with millennial-scale variations of Greenland ice-core and Sieben Hengste speleothem climate records is proposed. The Human occupation appears contemporaneous to the end of the stadial–interstadial transition of GI-3. Synchronous in Amiens-Renancourt 1 and Nussloch, subsequent micro-gleys may also result from a regional/global forcing. Such a level of detail is unprecedented in a loess sequence.
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Contributor : Olivier Moine <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 6, 2021 - 1:40:01 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:07:45 AM

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Olivier Moine, Pierre Antoine, Sylvie Coutard, Gilles Guérin, Christine Hatté, et al.. Intra‐interstadial environmental changes in Last Glacial loess revealed by molluscan assemblages from the Upper Palaeolithic site of Amiens‐Renancourt 1 (Somme, France). Journal of Quaternary Science, Wiley, In press, ⟨10.1002/jqs.3312⟩. ⟨hal-03224365⟩

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