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Figure 9.20 Distribution of retouched tools (upper) and cores (lower) in layer 2 ofLes Canalettes. After Meignen 1993.
Meignen suggest that these parts of the potential occupation surface may perhaps have been deliberately avoided by the occupants because of the very stony deposits in this part of the site. The alternative would be to see this as a more general feature of the occupation pattern, possibly reflecting the location of sleeping areas in this heavily sheltered part of the site (broadly along the lines suggested by Rigaud & Geneste (1988) for the similarly sheltered area along the northern wall of the Vaufrey cave). Whatever the explanation, it is clear that the distribution of both lithic and faunal material in the site is
highly localized and again points strongly to the activities of a relatively small human group.
2. The distribution of lithic material in the site breaks down into two major concentrations, located towards the northeast and southwest ends of the excavated area, lying approximately 2 metres apart (Fig. 9.19). Meignen emphasizes that these concentrations contain exceptionally high densities of very small flakes and spalls, clearly indicating the flaking of cores and nodules on the spot. Relatively few cores were recovered but their overall distribution coincides closely with that of flaking debris, as does that of the retouched tools (Fig. 9.20). A more significant contrast can be seen in the distribution of the two major raw materials worked on the site -flint and poorer quality quartz - both apparently derived from sources relatively close to the site. While both raw materials occur to some degree in both the principal concentrations, the ratio of quartz to flint is very much higher in the southern concentration (Fig. 9.19). While we cannot be certain that these two materials were employed during precisely the same episodes of occupation, there was apparently a significant separation in the working of these two materials on the site.
3. The distribution of faunal remains (consisting overwhelmingly of small, heavily fragmented splinters of bone and isolated teeth) coincides almost exactly with the main zones of lithic debitage (Fig. 9.21). In this case, there was evidently a very close correspondence in the areas used to flake the lithic raw materials and to process many of the introduced carcase parts - mainly, apparently, for the extraction of bone marrow from the principal long bones. Meignen suggests that the detailed distribution of fragmented faunal remains seems to coincide especially closely with the distribution of flaked quartz fragments, and wonders whether this may reflect the habitual use of quartz nodules or pounders to crack the marrow bones. Per haps the most interesting feature of the fau-nal distributions is the clear tendency for most of the larger and more complete bones to occur towards the northern edge of the distribution, closely adjacent to the north wall of the rock shelter. Meignen reports that this pattern seems to be equally evident in the underlying levels of the occupation sequence and can apparently be regarded as a general pattern in the overall distribution of faunal material on the site - again recalling the patterns documented in the Grotte Vaufrey, and apparently also in the Mousterian levels of the Grotte de l'Hyène at Arcy-sur-Cure (Farizy 1990a).
4. Finally, a potential contrast with the Grotte Vaufrey and Grotte du Lazaret is the apparent absence of clear traces of hearths in this particular level of the Les Canalettes deposits. In view of the ephemeral nature of hearths documented in many Mousterian sites (for example at Grotte Vaufrey) this may or may not be significant and could indicate simply that associated fires left no visible traces in the occupation levels or indeed that hearths were located just beyond the limits of the excavation. However, Meignen records that in the immediately underlying level (layer 3) clear traces of a major hearth were apparent centred on a square F5, immediately to the west of the main concentrations of lithic and faunal remains. It is probable, therefore, that here (as at Vaufrey and Lazaret) most of the industrial and food processing activities were carried out in close proximity to a hearth, in this case situated towards the outer part of the sheltered zone under the rock overhang.
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