Reflexions on the First to Second Mesolithic transition based on the stratigraphy from the Cuzoul de Gramat rock shelter (south-west France)
Keywords:Mesolithic, transition, lithics, stratigraphy, continuity, break
At the turn of the 7th millennium cal. BC the European Mesolithic underwent a major transformation in its technical traditions. This break is marked by a complete renewal of the lithic industries, with the disappearance of the production of bladelets (or slim flakes) obtained by direct percussion, used for the shaping of narrow armatures, and the appearance of standardised blades production, obtained by indirect percussion or pressure, used for the manufacture of trapeze armatures or notched blades. This break allows for a clear distinction between the First and Second Mesolithic.
Recent work has been undertaken on this question, including collective works in collaborative programs (in particular those undertaken by T. Perrin) and the excavation of sites documenting this period. New analysis offers a fresh look at this key moment of the European Mesolithic.
In light of recent evidences gathered in the Cuzoul of Gramat site (where excavations have been resumed since 2005 under the direction of N. Valdeyron), this paper propose to reassess the question of this transition between First and Second Mesolithic.
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