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 Roc de Marsal

Background - The Sequence


According to LaFille (and supplemented by  work of Laville, Assassi, Turq, and Van Campo and Bouchud )  the roughly two-meter stratigraphic sequence, from bottom to top, is as follows: 

Beds C, B, and A, which were assigned to phase IX of Würm I (Oxygen Isotope Stage (OIS) 5a?), and which contained a Mousterian of uncertain type.  It is not clear that this ensemble rests on bedrock or simply collapsed roof.

·        Beds I-II,  noted by the presence of red and roe deer, contains a Denticulate Mousterian assemblage.

·        Bed III, which represents the start of the Pleniglacial (OIS 4), contains horse, bovids, and reindeer.  The industry continues with Denticulate Mousterian.

·        Beds IV-VII, which presumably are still within OIS 4 (and with still increasing amounts of reindeer), marks the beginning of a succession of Typical Mousterian assemblages, all of them relatively rich in scrapers.

·        Beds VIII-XII, still within OIS 4 or perhaps, in the upper of these levels, at the beginning of OIS 3.    This is the part of the sequence that contains a Quina Mousterian industry. 

·        Following a disturbed level, the top of the sequence, Bed XIV, contains a mix of Chatelperronian, Aurignacian, and Medieval.