Old Stone Age

Pech de l'Azé IV

Pech IV was discovered and tested by Bordes in the spring of 1952 (Bordes, 1954). In the following four years, 1953 to 1956, Mortureux, a dentist from the nearby town of Sarlat, excavated a larger trench, one by nine meters, into the site. He was stopped, however, by large blocks of roof fall and the demands of his practice. Because of Bordes’ continued excavations at Pech I and II, among other sites, and it was not until 1970 that he again began excavating Pech IV. He spent eight field seasons there, through 1977, and opened a total of 52 square meters. In the first year, Bordes expanded Mortureux’s trench into the site making it approximately two meters wide and 11 meters long through the slope deposits in front of the limestone cliff. In the following years, he opened a rectangular grid of 7 by 6 m against the cliff. Most of these squares were excavated to bedrock. At its maximum, against the cliff face, this meant a depth of roughly 4.5 m below surface, though a block of squares on the western side of the grid (C12-I13 and G14-H14) were only partially excavated leaving a series of steps. Altogether he excavated just under 115 m3. It is interesting to note that in terms of the investment of his time and amount of material that he recovered, Pech IV represents one of the largest excavations undertaken by Bordes during his career, second only to his work at Combe-Grenal (McPherron et al. 2012). It was, however, the last site he excavated in France.

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