AMS radiocarbon dating of carbonate cements in late Pleistocene alluvial conglomerates, Verdouble River. Palaeoenvironmental implications concerning the Palaeolithic site of Tautavel (Pyrénées-Orientales)

Abstract : The Pleistocene alluvial conglomerates of the Verdouble River valley, close to the famous Palaeolithic site of Tautavel, were the object of lithologic determinations including microtextural analysis intended to define their provenance, their sedimentary facies and their calcite cement. Previous age assignments by other authors envisage that these conglomerates belong to the MIS 7 (Mindel-Riss interglacial). For the first time, single-phase and some polyphase cements were AMS 14C dated to MIS 3 and possibly to MIS 4, respectively Würm III and Würm II substages. Some 15 ages range from 10,130 years BP to > 48,000 years BP. They testify to a rather late karst-induced excavation of the Gouleyrous Gorge and consequently to the relatively recent connection between the upstream and downstream basins of the Verdouble River. Consequently, this connection did not exist at the time of the Tautavel Man (450,000 years BP). Lateral erosion by floods of the Verdouble probably destroyed the Palaeolithic soils and settlements downstream of the Gouleyrous Gorges: the limited preserved evidence is exactly situated upstream at the confluence of the Vingrau Stream and Verdouble River.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 11:33:48 AM
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Pierre Giresse, Michel Martzluff. AMS radiocarbon dating of carbonate cements in late Pleistocene alluvial conglomerates, Verdouble River. Palaeoenvironmental implications concerning the Palaeolithic site of Tautavel (Pyrénées-Orientales). Géomorphologie : relief, processus, environnement, Groupe français de géomorphologie (GFG), 2015, 21 (2), pp.115-130. ⟨10.400/geomorphologie.10956⟩. ⟨hal-01199824⟩

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