Grotte du Lazaret

The spatial patterns documented by Henry de Lumley (1969a) in the later Acheulian levels of the Lazaret cave, in the Department of Alpes Maritimes, close to Nice, provide interesting comparisons with those documented in the Grotte Vaufrey excavations discussed above. The site consists of a large cave directly overlooking the Mediterranean coast and located, at the time of occupation, about 500 metres from the contemporary coastline. Vertically, the cave stands approximately 100 metres above the estimated sea level at the time of occupation and, as in the case of the Vaufrey site, would have required a strenuous climb to gain access from the main adjacent areas of economic and subsistence activities. The complete sequence of deposits in the cave occupies over 7 metres, apparently spanning the period from the 'Mindel-Riss' interglacial to the earlier part of the last glacial. The excavations carried out by Octobon and de Lumley explored all parts of this sequence but a detailed account has been published only for the final Rissian levels, which include the much-discussed 'living floor' and the controversial traces of a supposed hut structure (de Lumley 1969a; de Lumley et ah 1969). The excavations in this level (layer 5) were confined to the interior of the cave and extended over an area of 55 square metres (Fig. 9.11). From various geological and faunal evidence, the age of the occupation level has been correlated with

1 I I 1 I I_I_J_I_I_I—I—LJ-1—I—J—I—I I 1 I

Figure 9.11 Plan of the Grotte du Lazaret, with the excavated zone shaded. After de Lumley 1969a.

1 I I 1 I I_I_J_I_I_I—I—LJ-1—I—J—I—I I 1 I

Figure 9.11 Plan of the Grotte du Lazaret, with the excavated zone shaded. After de Lumley 1969a.

isotope stage 6, probably in the region of 130-150,000 BP (i.e. slightly younger than the estimated age of the Grotte Vaufrey occupation discussed above). The character of the associated lithic industry shows broad similarities with that from the Grotte Vaufrey and consists of moderate percentages of racloirs, pointed forms and notched or denti

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Retouched tools

Worked pebbles

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