Technologies for the Control of Heat and Light in the Vézère Valley Aurignacian
Clark, Amy E.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Anthropol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherUNIV CHICAGO PRESS
CitationTechnologies for the Control of Heat and Light in the Vézère Valley Aurignacian 2017, 58 (S16):S288 Current Anthropology
Rights© 2017 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved.
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AbstractWe can trace the beginnings of our knowledge of early Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian) use of fire to the pioneering 1910-1911 excavations at Abri Blanchard undertaken by Louis Didon and Marcel Castanet. At Blanchard, the excavators recognized and described fire structures that correspond in many ways to features excavated more recently in Western and Central Europe. Here, we address the issue of heat and light management in the early Upper Paleolithic, demonstrating a pattern that builds on these early excavations but that is refined through our recent field operations. Topics to be discussed include (1) recently excavated fire structures that suggest complex fire management and use, (2) the seemingly massive use of bone as fuel in most early Aurignacian sites, and (3) the anchoring of skin structures for purposes of heat retention with fireplaces behind animal-skin walls. Furthermore, new data on activities around fireplaces make it possible to infer social and organizational aspects of fire structures within Aurignacian living spaces. The vast majority of early Aurignacian occupations, most of them now dated to between 33,000 and 32,000 BP (uncalibrated), occurred on a previously unoccupied bedrock platform into which the occupants dug their fire features.
Note12 month embargo; Published online: 21 July 2017
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsUS National Science Foundation; Direction Regional des Affaires Culturelles d'Aquitaine (DRAC-Aquitaine); L. S. B. Leakey Foundation; Reed Foundation; Rock Foundation; Fine Foundation; Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences [UMI 3199-CNRS-NYU]; Institute for Ice Age Studies; Theodore Dubin Foundation; Service Archeologique Departemental de la Dordogne; New York University; Fyssen Foundation; Fulbright Foundation; Partner University Fund; Andrew Mellon Foundation; French National Agency for Research [ANR-14-CE31-0011]; Wenner-Gren Foundation