Les Canalettes

The excavations of Liliane Meignen in the rock shelter of Les Canalettes (Aveyron) have recently been published as a detailed monograph (Meignen 1993). The rock shelter occupies the western side of a small dry valley, located at an altitude of almost 700 metres in the central limestone region of the southern

Figure 9.18 Plan of the excavated area in layer 2 of the Les Canalettes rock shelter. The position of the present rock overhang is indicated by the outer dashed line. The distributions plotted in Figs 9.19-9.21 relate to squares D-G/5-7. After Meignen 1993.

Languedoc area, approximately 60 km to the north-east of Montpellier. The site faces almost due south and at the time of occupation would probably have provided an occupation area of up to 60 square metres under the directly sheltered part of the rock overhang. The industry recovered from the site appears to represent a broadly Typical Mous-terian facies, comprising roughly equal proportions of racloirs and notched or denticulated tools - not dissimilar in overall composition to the assemblages from Grotte Vaufrey and Lazaret. Here, however, the site is much later and is dated by TL measurements on burnt flints in the region of 73,000 BP - i.e. close to the major climatic transition from stage 5 to stage 4 of the last glacial sequence (Valladas et al. 1987; Meignen 1993). The associated faunal remains reflect a pri mary emphasis on the exploitation of red deer and horse - probably, to judge by the high altitude of the site, concentrated mainly during the summer months.

Meignen recorded separate spatial plans for three different levels in the sequence -layer 2 (close to the top of the sequence) and the upper and lower parts of the underlying layer 3. While the distributions in all three levels show a broadly similar pattern (Meignen 1993, Figs 59-77) she suggests that the distribution plots recorded for layer 2 show the clearest patterns, probably least affected by occupational palimpsests. She stresses that the areas excavated and recorded in detail cover only part of the total potential zone of occupation in the rock shelter, and must therefore be treated with some caution (Fig. 9.18). Nevertheless, the dis

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