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Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association

Hunting in the Gravettian: An Examination of Evidence from Southwestern France



Five southwest French sites containing Gravettian occupations provide zooarchaeological, artifactual, and paleoenvironmental data for an integrated examination of hunting strategies in the region during the latest part of the Early Upper Palaeolithic. New season-of-death and age-at-death data on red deer, based on dental annuli analysis, are combined with previously published data on reindeer to suggest possible hunting patterns. Evidence from these samples is consistent with a foraging strategy where the hunters were skilled enough to obtain prime-age individuals with as much success as they did the very young and very old. A survey of Gravettian weapon armatures notes that (a) lithic armatures are numerically very predominant in most assemblages considered; (b) organic armatures actually outnumber lithic ones in a few assemblages; and (c) microlithic armatures for composite weapons make their first appearance in the region in the latest Gravettian assemblages.

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