La Ferrassie - Currently

The La Ferrassie project resulted in the discovery of new in situ deposits which were the focus of a multi-year excavation project. The lithic analysis is now complete. We were able to confirm the basic sequence (from the base to the summit) of a Mousterian with bifaces, a Mousterian with Levallois technology and scrapers, a Chatelperronian and an Aurignacian.

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.

One important conclusion of the geological work is that the eastern and western portions of the site represent different depositional sequences even if the stone tool industries and chronologies are roughly similar.

A program of luminescence and radiocarbon dating on the new sequence is complete and both have been published.

Excavations ended in 2014. No further work at the site is planned by the current team. Since that time we have been working to finish the final analyses of the material and to prepare the monograph. We hope to have it completed in the coming year.