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An engraved pebble from the Roquemissou site (Aveyron, France): technique, composition and context
Esther Lopez Montalvo  1, *@  , Marc Bobœuf, Thomas Perrin  2@  
Université de Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès 5
2 : Travaux et recherches archéologiques sur les cultures, les espaces et les sociétés  (TRACES)
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR5608
Maison de la Recherche, 5 allée Antonio Machado 31058 TOULOUSE Cedex 9 -  France
* : Corresponding author

The Roquemissou site, a natural shelter located in the Aveyron region, presents a long sequence of occupation that span from the Azilian (~11 500 cal. BC) to the Late Neolithic (~2300 cal. BC). This long sequence gives it enormous potential when it comes to understanding the modes of occupation and the environment of the last groups of hunter-gatherers, as well as the development of farming. The site was first excavated by G.B. Arnal between 1982 and 1991, and then since 2012 by Th. Perrin.

In 1989, the excavations made it possible to document a small pebble with engraved decorations. These engravings are of the utmost interest since they reproduce the same decorative patterns documented in Azilian engraved pebbles in southern France, as it was shown in a previous paper (Bobœuf 1996). The stratigraphic context of the discovery remains complex since the stratigraphic revision of the site shows that some Laborian occupations succeed to the Azilien ones in a level taken initially as a whole. Comparisons with other engraved pebbles from the south of France, and particularly from the Pyrenees, suggest that this engraved pebble should be related to the first occupations of the site, around 11 ky cal BC.

In this communication we present a new macro-microscopic study carried out on this engraved pebble, with special emphasis on technical and compositional aspects, which in turn allow us to integrate it into the framework of European Azilian portable art.


Bobœuf (M.) 1996. « Le galet gravé du locus 1 de Roquemissou (Aveyron) dans son contexte épipaléolithique ». L'Anthropologie (Paris) 100 (1): 236‑43.

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