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Pour une palethnologie du pauvre : apports des séquences du Sud-Ouest de la France à la définition des comportements techno- et socio-économiques lors de la transition solutréo-badegoulienne

Abstract : On the eve of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM: 23-19 kyr cal. BP) several profound changes occurred with respect to technical systems. These changes are illustrated in France by the transition between the Solutrean and Badegoulian complexes. In this geographical area there is no evidence of the “desolutreanisation” phenomenon documented in the Iberian Peninsula by some authors. Rather, the Badegoulian traditions quickly succeeded those of the Solutrean and are characterised by pronounced techno-economic reorganisations. The global reconfiguration of toolkits, as observed in the spatial-temporal management of their production and use within inferred settlement systems (Renard and Ducasse, 2015), paired with the fact that radiometric data indicate this transition to have been rapid (Ducasse et al., 2014a), suggests that concomitant changes to socio-economic systems were similarly broad-ranging and fast. Research carried out within the “SaM” project since 2012 (S. Ducasse and C. Renard coord.) has addressed these issues through an interdisciplinary analysis of a large corpus of data. This corpus is derived from 20 sites located between the Charente, Landes and Aude regions, encompassing the Périgord/Quercy core area (table 1). Depending on the nature of each archaeological context and site type (rockshelter/cave, n = 17; open-air site, n = 3), we have constantly adapted our approach to ensure two basic points: the homogeneity of each assemblage studied (i.e. critical analyses of the stratigraphic sequences) and the availability of a renewed and robust radiometric framework. This last point led us to design a 14C dating programme aimed at addressing both “taphonomic” and chronological issues, most notably through the direct dating of culturally diagnostic bone and antler technical waste and tools, whenever possible. Within this approach, assemblages are studied in a systemic manner that takes into account the entire technical system. Our approach, focusing on the techno economic relationships between the production of “domestic” tools and the production of hunting equipment (sensu Bon, 2009), allows us to discuss and compare the different strategies developed by Solutrean and Badegoulian groups. This, in turn, allows us to identify evolutionary trends. Once examined from a techno-economic and socio-economic perspective, the newly defined balances are discussed with regard to the changes documented in the symbolic component, thereby reinforcing the cultural significance of the transformations at work and allowing us to place our results in a paleohistorical perspective (sensu Valentin, 2008). Although the results of the 14C program allow us first to define a chronological boundary around 23 kyr cal BP corresponding to a terminus post quem for the Upper Solutrean and second, to date the Solutrean-to-Badegoulian transition (23.5-23 kyr cal BP) to the GI-2 interstadial (sensu Rasmussen et al., 2014), which was characterised by two abrupt warming events (GI 2.2 and 2.1) with a brief intervening stadial (GS 2.2), there is no local evidence of pronounced environmental changes between Upper Solutrean and Badegoulian – available data from archaeological sites and natural traps indicate, respectively, that the hunted and available fauna were identical. Thus, we can hypothesise that the use of very different hunting implements to procure game within the same or similar environmental contexts was related to more complex cultural factors rather than functional constraints. Our interdisciplinary study shows that beyond a broad restructuring of the lithic and osseous array of tools, the Solutrean-to-Badegoulian transition is characterised by a significant reconfiguration of the techno-economic management of the production and tools depending on their functional aim (i.e. “overinvestment” in the production of hunting tools and weapons in the Upper Solutrean versus equal investment regardless of the type of activity during the Badegoulian, notably expressed through a “ramification” of the chaînes opératoires – sensu Bourguignon et al., 2004b). This reconfiguration is also expressed through clearly distinct anticipation strategies of needs based on a very distinct spatial-temporal segmentation of the operational sequences (chaînes opératoires), preferentially related to the hunting equipment during the Late Solutrean, whereas it concerns both domestic and hunting equipment during the Badegoulian. We assume that this opposition between a technoeconomical dissociation of needs on the one hand (Late Solutrean model) and the fact that they are techno-economically intertwined on the other (Badegoulian model) could correspond to an opposition between various levels of the social segmentation of activities. At a broader, inter-site scale, one might well think that this varying degree of segmentation could also explain the perceptible differences relating to the various site types documented for each techno-complex: whereas we observe a possible site “complementarity” during the Late Solutrean (i.e., lithic production sites, “hunting camps”, “base camps”, etc.), the Badegoulian seems to be characterised by a very similar pattern of occupation at all sites (i.e. occupations characterised by a diverse range of activities). In the end, if we follow the line of thinking that the changes documented in the management of the lithic and osseous equipment, and more specifically hunting equipment, reflect changes in the groups’ social organisation, all these transformations could reflect not only economical but also socio-symbolical changes (i.e. the various lines of evidence that support the hypothesis of a special sociological status for Solutrean hunters within the groups – see Pelegrin, 2007 and 2013 ; Renard and Geneste, 2006 – versus the absence of such evidence in the Badegoulian archaeological record). Such socio-symbolic changes are possibly suggested by the results of the study of the personal ornaments, which show a typo-technological reorganisation between the end of the Solutrean and the Badegoulian that is defined by two consistent and distinct assemblages.
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Sylvain Ducasse, Caroline Renard, Malvina Baumann, Jean-Christophe Castel, François-Xavier Chauvière, et al.. Pour une palethnologie du pauvre : apports des séquences du Sud-Ouest de la France à la définition des comportements techno- et socio-économiques lors de la transition solutréo-badegoulienne. Préhistoire de l'Europe du Nord-Ouest. Mobilités, climats et identités culturelles., Cyril Montoya, Jean-Pierre Fagnart, Jean-Luc Locht, May 2016, Amiens, France. ⟨hal-02361075⟩



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