Vers une redéfinition des occupations gravettiennes de la grotte d’Isturitz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) : révision critique des collections “ anciennes ” par l’approche intégrée des données lithiques, fauniques et d’industrie osseuse


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À la recherche des identités gravettiennes : actualités, questionnements et perspectives, 52, Société préhistorique française

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The Isturitz cave is a famous reference prehistoric site. It offers one of the most important stratigraphic sequences of Western Europe, from Middle Paleolithic to the end of Upper Paleolithic. Gravettian holds a central place, both by its central stratigraphic position in the middle of Upper Paleolithic and by the unequalled density of the archaeological remains which have already been studied (Passemard, 1924, 1944 ; Saint-Périer, 1952 ; Bouchud, 1951 ; de Beaufort and Julien, 1973 ; Clottes, 1976 ;Esparza San-Juan, 1990 ; Gambier, 1990-91 ; Mujika Alustiza, 1991 ; Esparza SanJuan and Mujika Alustiza, 1996a and b ; Buisson, 1990 ; Schwab, 2003…). Relying on these researches, and using others approaches of materials (technological, economical, archaeozoological), our aim is to renew datas about Isturitz Gravettian whose old excavations and dense levels contribute to give yet a monolithic picture. Productions (lithic and osseous) as well as fauna remains will therefore be tackled together. For the first time, the new archaeozoological studies give data on seasonality and subsistence strategy. From now on, the determination of lithic raw materials opens the field of an estimate of the supply area and suggests some changes compared with Aurignacian. By taking account distortions due to the excavation methods and to the particular cave sedimentation process, we will attempt to enlight the gravettian occupations from this major site. This will lead us to discuss the structuration of the Isturitz Gravettian and the activities which have taken place there (domestic, hunting, symbolic), in order to suggest several tracks of thought on the site function and its place within “aquitano-pyreneo-cantabrique” area.

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