Reference : Neanderthals see red : production of red powder in the Late Mousterian in Ormesson, France
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
Neanderthals see red : production of red powder in the Late Mousterian in Ormesson, France
Salomon, Hélène mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Archéologie préhistorique >]
Geurten, Stéphanie []
Bodu, Pierre []
Mathis, François mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de physique > Spectroscopie atomique et Physique des atomes froids >]
Autour de l'hématite - About Haematite
7-8 février 2013
C. Billard, D. Bosquet, É. Goemaere, C. Hamon, I. Jadin, H. Salomon & X. Savary
[en] Les Bossats, near Ormesson, is a newly discovered late Mousterian site dated around
47.000 B.P. by thermoluminescence. The archaeological level, fossilized by loess,
revealed a rich industry based on the discoide mode, associated with numerous
fragments of red iron-rich rocks. The geological sources were identified by means of
SEM-EDX, XRD, Raman spectroscopy, PIXE and by petrographical observation of thin
sections. The past mechanical and morphological modifications of the pigment blocks
were characterized by macro-photography, microscopy and topographical micro-
measures of the used surfaces.
It was thus possible to demonstrate that the colouring materials were selected in the
neighbouring by the Neanderthals. Fourteen blocks and fragments show different use
wears such as facets, grooves and scars. The Neanderthals implemented numerous
techniques in order to produce preferentially red powder. The archaeological remains
reveal an organized and versatile processing sequence of red ferruginous materials.
During the late Mousterian a great phenomenon in expansion in western Europe is
remarkable by the much wider exploitation of mineral red and black materials
corresponding to technical modifications and divers utilizations under development.

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