The Middle Paleolithic Occupations of Mutzig-Rain (Alsace, France)

Koehler, Héloïse and Wegmüller, Fabio and Audiard, Benjamin and Auguste, Patrick and Bahain, Jean-Jacques and Bocherens, Hervé and Diemer, Simon and Preusser, Frank and Pümpin, Christine and Sévêque, Noémi and Stoetzel, Emmanuelle and Tombret, Olivier and Wuscher, Patrice. (2021) The Middle Paleolithic Occupations of Mutzig-Rain (Alsace, France). In: The Rhine During the Middle Paleolithic: Boundary or Corridor?. Tübingen, pp. 1-22.

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The Paleolithic site of Mutzig, discovered by chance in 1992 (Sainty 1992), has been the focus of several excavations since 2009. Located in Alsace (Bas-Rhin, France), it is presently one of only a handful of sites reliably attributed to the Mid- dle Paleolithic in this area, thus providing rare evidence for a zone still relatively unknown for Early Prehistoric remains. The excellent preservation of the remains and the long stratigraphic sequence, with 6 to 8 in situ archaeological levels, make Mutzig a potential reference site for environmental and behavioral analyses for the Middle Paleolithic of the region. At least four archaeological levels contain burnt elements, and one level features a hearth structure. Taken together, the archaeological material, which is abundant in each of the different layers, forms an assemblage of more than 3000 faunal remains and more than 1500 lithic arti- facts.
Analyses of this site provide valuable insights into the environment and Neander- tal ways of life in Alsace. We provide here only general results, with more detailed descriptions of the lithic and faunal remains presented in Diemer (this volume) and Sévêque (this volume). The faunal remains recovered from the human occu- pations in Levels 5 and 7 reflect the same relatively cold steppe-like environmen- tal context and include reindeer, woolly mammoth, steppe horse, steppe bison and woolly rhinoceros. Small vertebrates also indicate a cold climate, though not related to the Pleniglacial. Confirmed isotopic data, from oxygen and carbon iso- tope measurements of horse and mammoth teeth, indicate temperatures lower than those of today and an open environment. Levels 9 and 10, however, tend to reveal a more temperate climate. The available OSL and ESR/U-series dates place the Mutzig occupations within the Early Weichselian Glacial (MIS 5, ca. 90,000 BP), an attribution which biometric analyses and the large and small fauna record tend to corroborate (Koehler et al. 2016a).
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Geoarchäologie (Rentzel)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Integrative Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (IPNA)
UniBasel Contributors:Pümpin, Christine and Wegmüller, Fabio
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Book Chapter
Publisher:Kerns Verlag
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
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Last Modified:21 May 2022 09:57
Deposited On:08 Mar 2022 13:25

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