Studies of raw material sources

The study is still at an early stage. Apart from sporadic references in the earlier literature (e.g. Bordes & de Sonneville-Bordes 1954; Pradel 1954, 1963; Seronie-Vivien 1972; Val-ensi 1960) it is only during the past 15 years that it has been taken up as a major study in its own right. The most substantial and detailed body of research has been carried out over the past decade in the Perigord and immediately adjacent areas of southwestern France. As a result of research by workers such as Demars (1982; 1990a,b), Chadelle (1983), Larick (1983, 1986, 1987), Geneste (1985, 1988, 1989a,b, 1990; Geneste & Rigaud 1989), Turq (1988a,b, 1989a, 1990, 1992b) and others, we now have systematic data from a range of sites, extending from the later phases of the penultimate glaciation to the end of the Upper Palaeolithic sequence. At present, this provides the most secure basis for any general assessment of patterns of raw material procurement among Middle Palaeolithic groups and for systematic comparisons with those of the ensuing Upper Palaeolithic.

The success of flint provenancing studies in southwestern France rests on three main factors. The first is the distinctive patterning of the major geological outcrops which make up this region. As seen from Figs 5.1 and 5.2, the various outcrops of flint-bearing rocks are aligned as a series of roughly parallel bands which run broadly from northwest to southeast across the region - commencing with the outcrops of Permotriassic limestone in the east of the region and passing through deposits of successively younger Jurassic and Cretaceous age towards the more recent Tertiary deposits in the west (Demars 1982; Gen-

Figure 5.1 Map of the major geological outcrops in the Perigord and adjacent areas of southwestern France. After Demars 1982.

Figure 5.1 Map of the major geological outcrops in the Perigord and adjacent areas of southwestern France. After Demars 1982.

West

Metres above sea level 300

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