Old Stone Age

La Ferrassie - Currently

The La Ferrassie project has resulted in the discovery of new in situ deposits which were the focus of a multi-year excavation project. Lithic analysis is on-going but the deposits contain a Mousterian with bifaces, a Mousterian with Levallois technology and scrapers, a Chatelperronian and an Aurignacian. These characterizations will become more precise as work continues.

Geological work including geophysical survey has confirmed the suggestion that the La Ferrassie shelter is actually the opening of a karst cut by the small valley next to the site. It is also clear that there is a change in deposition from alluvial sediments at the base to colluvial sediments in the upper part. In early 2012, we looked at the sediment still attached to the La Ferrassie 2 foot (shown here) to place it in our sequence. A similar study with the La Ferrassie 1 skeleton took place in early 2015. These studies have helped place the skeletons in the newly excavated sequence.

A program of luminescence and radiocarbon dating on bone is in progress. The luminescence results have been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. As for the radiocarbon program, good collagen preservation has been confirmed through most of the sequence, and work now is concentrated on building a large sample of dates from the relevant levels.

Excavations ended in 2014. 2015 is a study season. No further work at the site is planned by the current team.