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On the Tracks of Neandertals: The Ichnological Assemblage from Le Rozel (Normandy, France)

Abstract : Abstract Hominin tracks represent a unique window into moments in the life of extinct individuals. They can provide biological and locomotor data that are not accessible from skeletal remains. However, these tracks are relatively scarce in the fossil record, particularly those attributed to Neandertals. They are also most often devoid of associated archaeological material, which limits their interpretation. The Palaeolithic site of Le Rozel (Normandy, France) located in a dune complex formed during the Upper Pleistocene has yielded between 2012 and 2017 several hundred tracks (257 hominin footprints, 8 handprints as well as 6 animal tracks). This ichnological assemblage is distributed within five stratigraphic subunits dated to 80,000 years. These subunits are rich in archaeological material that attests to brief occupations by Neandertal groups and provides information about the activities that they carried out. The ichnological assemblage discovered at Le Rozel is the largest attributed to Neandertals to date and more generally the most important for hominin taxa other than Homo sapiens . The particularly large number of footprints can provide major information for our understanding of the Palaeolithic occupations at Le Rozel and for our knowledge of the composition of Neandertal groups.
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Contributor : Gilles Berillon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 6:16:45 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 3:04:11 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 9:20:59 PM


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Jérémy Duveau, Christine Verna, Gilles Berillon. On the Tracks of Neandertals: The Ichnological Assemblage from Le Rozel (Normandy, France). Reading Prehistoric Human Tracks, Springer International Publishing, pp.183-200, 2021, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-60406-6_11⟩. ⟨mnhn-03431635⟩



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