Old Stone Age

Pech de l'Azé II

Pech II was discovered by Bordes in 1948, thanks to the fact that some of the talus of the site had been cut away in the construction of a rail line that ran parallel to the cliff at this point. He excavated there from 1949 to 1951 and again from 1967-1969. Both outside the mouth of the cave (locality Pech IIb) and within the cave itself (Pech IIa) an occupational sequence began with the so-called Meridional Acheulian, followed by a variety of Mousterian industries (Bordes 1972). Schwarcz and Blackwell (1983) published two U-series dates from Pech II and two from Pech I, and Grün et al. (1991) published a series of ESR dates based on 29 teeth from Pech II. Both sets of dates give a consistent picture, though the ESR dates provide more detail. More recently, OSL dates (Jacobs et al. 2016) suggest ranges from 100 – 55 ka for the upper ensemble (layers 2G1 to 4D) and roughly 180 – 140 ka for the lower ensemble (layers 7 – 9).