Old Stone Age

Combe-Capelle Bas - Results

The present project took place during four field seasons, from 1987 through 1990, following initial mapping and surveys and studies of existing collections from 1984 to 1986. All of the lithic analysis was performed during the field seasons and one additional study season in 1991. During this time the entire stratigraphic sequence of the site was sampled and all of the excavated material analyzed.

The goals of this project were very tightly focused on a number of particular research questions that were especially relevant to this site. To a large extent these questions dictated the excavation strategy as well as the kinds of analyses that were initially performed and reported here.

The current excavation revealed an industrial sequence that differed radically from that which was previously reported. Instead of finding three typologically-defined industrial variants, only one Mousterian facies appeared to be present throughout the sequence. This industry is, typologically, a Typical Mousterian that is rich in notches and denticulates. Technologically, however, it is not dissimilar to certain Quina industries, in having many thick and broad flake blanks, a general absence of Levallois flaking, and a fair number of naturally-backed knives.