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Industrie lithique et activités domestiques au Néolithique ancien : le Rubané de la vallée de l’Aisne

Abstract : This article presents an overview of lithic material from lateral pits of Early Neolithic dwelling units (Linear Pottery Culture or Rubane) in the Aisne Valley. The corpus of 17500 objects comes from 12 sites and about 90 houses dating to the later phase of the Rubane of the Seine (5100 - 4950 BCE). These sites have been excavated by a team of researchers from the UMR Trajectoires (CNRS-Paris I) from 1970 to the present day. The sites are hamlets typical for the period, with house plans made up of five parallel rows of posts with the internal space divided up by tierces. The Rubane period lasts only for a short period in the region and dates of very few houses overlap, making it easy to attribute the artefacts found in the lateral pits to specific domestic units. Our aim is to decipher the composition of the lithic assemblages of the LPC houses and to document the activities using the flint tools. We have been able to draw up the main characteristics of the LPC lithic industry from the technological study of the lithic material. The assemblages show a mix of several manufacturing and consumption chains. Different varieties of flint are present in all the houses, but regional materials are preferred for blade debitage (Campanian and Bartonian flint between 20 and 50 km south of the area). The Aisne valley is divided into three from east to west in terms of different materials are selected and used. In the easternmost sector, communities were mainly supplied with Turonian flint from the Ardennes to the east. This type of flint is hardly used in the central part of the valley, whereas it is massively used for expedient production in the western sector. Turonian flint blocks from the alluvium were knapped to provide the blanks for the splintered pieces. Blade debitage is predominant at all sites, and all houses show evidence of the blade debitage process. It is possible, however, that some houses, notably at Cuiry-lès-Chaudardes, may have been supplied with Campanian flint laminar products by other houses. The lithic assemblages from the pits show recurrent lack of evidence of certain steps in the blade debitage process as only some artefacts that were progressively discarded in the pits. In order to characterize the activities evidenced by the flint tools found in the lateral pits, 366 artefacts from 7 LPC houses were analysed for microwear. This study showed that part of the technical system is not found according to the tools and traces of use recorded and entire technical sections remain absent or are very little present, although they are documented from the point of view of production. The tools within each of the pits clearly show that they were grouped together according to very different activities such as subsistence and crafts even if most activities are documented in most houses. Hunting, harvesting, crafting of hides and plants, and working with hard and soft materials are activities shared by all of the houses analyzed.The composition of the tool assemblages is stable for this period in this region and we can therefore assume that this assemblage and the recurrence of dominant tools are typical of the activities that take place in and around the domestic unit. We have pinpointed two main locations. Tool finds indicate that the activities took place inside or near to the house, for example, hide processing (especially finishing activities). The same is true for drills, burins, splintered pieces or retouched blades and flakes, which indicate a whole range of activities in or near the house. Other tools refer to activities that cannot take place in or near the housing unit such as arrows and sickle blades used for hunting and harvesting.The remains of wild fauna found in the lateral pits pits: deer and wild boar and more rarely aurochs show that hunting did not take place in the hamlet and even in its immediate vicinity.The preponderance of blade debitage in the LPC lithic industry could be the technical response to the fact that most tools were hafted. The lack of tools that show evidence of different processing activities indicates that most of these activities actually took place near or beyond the domestic space and that the domestic unit, stricto sensu, was in fact the place where tools were maintained and repaired.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 10:58:01 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 2:58:07 PM


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Pierre Allard, Nicolas Cayol. Industrie lithique et activités domestiques au Néolithique ancien : le Rubané de la vallée de l’Aisne. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française, Société préhistorique française, 2022, 119 (2), pp.223-257. ⟨hal-03738899⟩



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