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Le Peu

26 February 2023
Ancient history, Archaeology

At https://phys.org/news/2023-02-archaeologists-homes-europe-monument-makers.html … French archaeologists have found where the megalith builders lived – when not humping big stones around. Megalithic buildings first appear in a maritime setting, along the coast of west central France. However, it was not known where the people whol erected them lived. The Le Peu enclosure seems to alter that – first seen in an aerial survey in 2011. An eager period of research then ensued and the results have been published in the journal Antiquity. Basically, a palisade and banked enclosure has been unearthed, surrounding several timber buildings erected in the 5th millennium BC. If these people were migrants they were out in their boats on the Atlantic waves at an early point in the Holocene. From the hill, and the enclosure, nearby megalithic tombs were visible – five long mounds. The monuments were contemporary with Le Peu – via C14 dating methodology. Le Peu is located on a promontory, with marshland at its flank – and they seem to act as a natural defence against, perhaps, the natives inland. Whoever they might be. A ditch and palisade wall circles the enclosure. In spite of that, around 4400BC, the Le Peu site was burnt down. While that helped preserve the site for posterity it would be interesting to know what might have caused the blaze. See also https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2022.169

Over at https://phys.org/news/2023-02-bow-and-arrow-technology-modern-humans-europe.html … the emergence of mechanically propelled weapons in prehistory is commonly perceived, by mainstream, as one of the hallmarks of the advanced nature of modern humans in comparison with their earlier occupants of Europe and western Asia, the Neanderthals. Bow and arrow technology, on the other hand, is known from 70,000 years ago, in Africa, the ancestors of the San people, perhaps. Some archaeologists have suggested it arrived in Europe around 35,000 years ago, around the same time modern humans became dominant. That appears to be an odd time, just as the weather was getting colder as Europe entered the Late Glacial Maximum, with humans retreating south and east. The point is, it is a theory that is used to account for the superiority of modern humans over Neanderthals, thereby creating a nice evolutionary upward swing of human ability, and use of technology. We are told Neanderthals insisted on sticking with their outdated technology and apparently refused to incorporate the bow and arrow into their repertoire. A new study, is based on the analysis of thousands of flint artifacts, thought to  represent arrow tips. The occupation level in a cave is said to represent the Neronian culture and dates as far back as 54 thousand years gao, or more. The level in interspersed between Neanderthal occupation in the  cave – so is pre-Laschamp. The theory is that an early group of modern humans arrived in Europe at that time [see earlier post on this subject] but later moved away or interbred with the Neanderthals – without passing on their technology. Previously, to this cave and the interpretation of its  occupation levels, no modern humans lived in Europe prior to the Laschamp event. Now it is claimed they did – in an ephemeral manner. The point seems to be they do not want to concede that even Neanderthals used the bow and arrow.

The claim flies or does not fly on the claim the Neronian culture was modern human. Is it the bow and arrow that defines that status? Why would the Neanderthals not adopt the bow and arrow if had been invented as long ago as 70,000 years away. Previously, the bow and arrow in Europe was only recognised fairly late in the Late Palaeolithic period, so the idea the Neronians were modern humans is quite radical. See also  https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.add4675

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