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The Vasconian Mousterian, which has been argued as a late Mousterian facies by radiometric data, is older at this site than has been argued at other sites: Vasconian Mousterian: 50 300 14C BP. Figure 1 - Carte du sud de la France et du nord de l’Espagne indiquant la localisation de Gatzarria (n° 10) dans le contexte régional de sites aurignaciens et moustériens à hachereaux. As is typical for this artifact type, the bladelets are retouched on one edge of the ventral surface (inverse retouch), with some of them also being dorsally retouched on the opposite edge (alternate retouch). It is marginal (often very marginal) and semi-abrupt, thus barely transforming the blank.

These represent the first dates ever obtained on this key site. In this assemblage, the inverse retouch was nearly exclusively done on the right edge (34 of 37 cases), as is usually the case for this artifact type (Demars et Laurent 1989 - p. Blanks were made using local raw materials or generally those from the neighbouring environment ; flysch dominates, with 93.8 % of the pieces of identified raw material type belonging to this group (we could not identify the raw material of 20% percent of the assemblage).

The site of Gatzarria (Pyrenean France) was excavated in the 1960s and 1970s by Georges Laplace. It is the richer of two superposed Proto-Aurignacian layers, containing 1737 flint pieces in the sampled set (see below for what is meant by ‘sampled set’).

The importance of the site lies in the fact that it contains a stratified sequence of Aurignacian industries (Proto-Aurignacian — Classic Aurignacian — Late Aurignacian), a Châtelperronian layer, as well as a long sequence of Mousterian layers (including what has been termed the Vasconian Mousterian). This industry is geared towards the exclusive production of small blades, as well as elongated, slender, rectilinear-profile bladelets produced as part of the same operational sequence.

It is interesting to note that there are very few pseudo-Levallois points. Retouched flake tools consist primarily of side-scrapers, followed by notches and denticulates (fig. Analyses are still underway regarding the Proto-Aurignacian layers, but preliminary results can already be presented. 2 and 3) fits completely within the definition and characterization of the Proto-Aurignacian.

We also find flakes whose back was formed by previous removals. This raw material was used nearly exclusively to make this artifact-type.

Pieces were labelled according to their three-dimensional coordinates. We then go on to describe the samples chosen for dating, the laboratory methodology used on them and the results.

Some of them (especially the smaller fraction and/or unmodified lithic artifacts, as well as most of the fauna) were not labelled to precise depth, but only to archaeological layer and square, sometimes to sub-square and Figure 1 - Map of southern France and northern Spain showing location of Gatzarria Cave (# 10) in the context of Aurignacian and Vasconian sites in the larger region. Examining the stratigraphic profile of the infilling (fig.

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We undertook dating of animal bones from three levels, sampling from the Dating is the focus, but this could only be achieved reliably at this site by integrally linking sampling for dating with a consideration of the larger contextual information of the site; this, in order to avoid obtaining incorrect dates. For these reasons, as a precaution, we chose not to date Cjn1.

This method involved the three-dimensional plotting of artifacts according to an orthogonal coordinate system. Below, we describe the analyses we did to assess the stratigraphy and to identify the most problematic zones at Gatzarria.

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