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CitationEvin, J., Bintz, P., & Monjuvent, G. (1994). Human settlements and the last deglaciation in the French Alps. Radiocarbon, 36(3), 345-357.
AbstractAccording to most geological and geomorphological studies, the maximal advance of the Wurmian glaciers in the French Alps occurred at least before 40 ka BP and cannot be dated by 14C. Scientists believed that this dating method could be used for dating the last glacial advance and late deglaciation in the region. The scarce and scattered 14C dating results available from geological samples do not confirm an early (ca. 18 or 20 ka BP) age for the total cooling of the ice nor do they prove that residual ice sheets remained at low elevations. Attempting to solve this chronological problem, we compiled current archaeological knowledge of the oldest Late Paleolithic sites. A review of their 14C results shows that no site older than 15 ka BP (with Gravettian, Solutrean or early Magdalenian industries) can be found east of the Saone-Rhone Valley, even at low elevations. Only rare sites, dated to ca. 14.5 ka BP, may be found close to the mountain regions that were suddenly occupied around the beginning of the Bulling period (ca. 13.5 ka BP). Thus, it seems that the eastern Alps offer no evidence for direct association between glacial retreat and human settlement or simultaneous occurrence in early or late deglaciated areas.