Before Farming

Chronology of the site of Grotte du Renne, Arcy-sur-Cure, France

implications for Neanderthal symbolic behaviour

Before Farming (2011), 2011, (2), 1–9.

Abstract

Higham et al (2010) published a large series of new dates from the key French Palaeolithic site of the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure. The site is important because it is one of only two sites in Europe in which Châtelperronian lithic remains co-occur with Neanderthal human remains. A large series of dates from the Mousterian, Châtelperronian, Aurignacian and Gravettian levels of the site was obtained. The 14C results showed great variability, which Higham et al (2010) interpreted as most likely to be due to mixing of archaeological material in the site. In contrast, Caron et al (2011) suggested that the site stratigraphy is well preserved and that the problem with the variability in the radiocarbon ages was due to unremoved contamination in the dated bone. In this paper we address their critique of the original Higham et al (2010) paper.

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