Old Stone Age


From 1994 to 1999, new excavations were undertaken at Fontéchevade by the University of Pennsylvania and the Université de Perpignan. These excavations had three primary goals:

1) Site Formation Processes - To determine the site formation processes using the same techniques that we have applied to open-air sites such as Combe-Capelle Bas and Cagny-l’Epinette.

2) Chronology - To attempt to date the formation of the Tayacian layers and, by extension, the hominid fossils.

3) Industrial Variability - To clarify the nature of the poorly understood and poorly defined Tayacian industries.

The excavations are now complete, and the results have been published as a monograph. One of the main conclusions of our work is that the formation of the Tayacian deposits is more complicated than previously believed (with sediments coming in from a chimney in the back) and that the associated “industry” is not really an industry at all. Furthermore, there is no evidence for fire.