Travaux et Recherches Archéologiques
sur les Cultures, les Espaces et les Sociétés
UMR 5608 T.R.A.C.E.S

le 24 mars 2017

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Divergence in the evolution of Paleolithic symbolic and technological systems: The shining bull and engraved tablets of Rocher de l'Impératrice
 

par Nicolas Naudinot, Camille Bourdier, Marine Laforge, Céline Paris, Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet, Sylvie Beyries, Isabelle Thery-Parisot, Michel Le Goffic



PLOS One - Mars 2017  - http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0173037

Abstract

The development of the Azilian in Western Europe 14,000 years ago is considered a “revolution” in Upper Paleolithic Archaeology. One of the main elements of this rapid social restructuring is the abandonment of naturalistic figurative art on portable pieces or on cave walls in the Magdalenian in favor of abstract expression on small pebbles. Recent work shows that the transformation of human societies between the Magdalenian and the Azilian was more gradual. The discovery of a new Early Azilian site with decorated stones in France supports this hypothesis. While major changes in stone tool technology between the Magdalenian and Azilian clearly mark important adaptive changes, the discovery of 45 engraved schist tablets from archaeological layers at Le Rocher de l’Impératrice attests to iconographic continuity together with special valorization of aurochs as shown by a “shining” bull depiction. This evidence suggests that some cultural features such as iconography may lag far behind technological changes. We also argue that eventual change in symbolic expression, which includes the later disappearance of figurative art, provides new insight into the probable restructuring of the societies.

Communiqué de presse de l'InEE : http://www.cnrs.fr/inee/communication/breves/b255.html



 

 

 

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