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Isturitz Tools


The Caves of Isturitz, Oxocelhaya and Erberua date back to the Mousterian, about 80 000 BP, and there is evidence of Neanderthals living there, but occupation extended to almost the end of the ice age in 10 000 BP. It is in the Atlantic Pyrenees region. The network consists of three caves, the upper Isturitz Cave, then 20 metres below, Oxocelhaya Cave with calcite concretions and finally the Erberua cave where the Arberoue river now runs. Isturitz is famous for the discovery of a series of important prehistoric flutes dating from the Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian to the Magdalenian), about 35 000 to 10 000 BC. This is a record of the tools found there by Normand, and on display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.

Isturitz tools
Isturitz tools from Layer 4d, excavations of C. Normand.

Age circa 34 000 BP.

■   6: Grattoirs, scrapers on the end of a blade
■   7: Burins
■   8: Retouched tools
■ 11: Notched/denticulated tools

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Originals, Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac




Isturitz tools
Isturitz tools from Layer 4d, excavations of C. Normand.

Age circa 34 000 BP.

■   8: Retouched tools
■   9: Perçoirs becs, awls
■ 10: Microliths
■ 11: Notched/denticulated tools
■ 12: Racloirs/raclettes, side scrapers and small, often round scrapers

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Originals, Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac




Isturitz tools
Isturitz tools from Layer 4d, excavations of C. Normand.

Age circa 34 000 BP.

■ 10: Microliths
■ 12: Racloirs/raclettes, side scrapers and small, often round scrapers
■ 15: Special tools
■ 16: Bone industry

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Originals, Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac









References

  1. Normand C., 2005: Les Occupations aurignaciennes de la grotte d'Isturitz (Saint-Martin-d'Arberou; Pyrénées-Atlantiques; France), Munibe (Antropologia-Arkeologia) 57, Homenaje a Jesús Altuna 119-129 San Sebastian 2005
  2. Passemard, E., 1913: Fouilles à Isturitz (Basses-Pyrénées), Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française, 1913, tome 10, N. 11. pp. 647-649.
  3. Passemard, E., 1944: La caverne d'Isturitz en Pays Basque, Préhistoire, 1944, 9, 7–95



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