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Etude archéo-ichtyofaunique des sites magdaléniens du Taillis des Coteaux et de La Piscine (Vallée de la Gartempe, Vienne). Taphonomie, biodiversité et techniques de pêche.

Team 4: Larval dispersal and communities organization in austral and tropical island systems

Guillaud Emilie

Year of defence: 

The exploitation of aquatic resources by Magdalenian populations in northern France is still largely unknown. This thesis addresses this gap through the study of ichthyofaunal remains from the caves of Le Taillis des Coteaux and La Piscine (Gartempe basin, Vienne). The identified remains consist mostly of salmonids (grayling, trout, salmon) and are represented almost exclusively by vertebral bones. The development of new methodologies, such as the application of morphometric analysis and sclerochronology, has allowed us to optimize the study of this type of material. We have developed a discriminating model using geometric morphometrics in order to distinguish between salmon and trout. The application of the knn method permits us to identify these species with 90% certainty. The application of sclerochronology to scales in the archaeological record allowed us to determine fishing season and to reconstruct the growth of the Magdalenian grayling. The results show that fishing was practiced during springtime and that the growth of the grayling during the Magdalenian period was similar to the growth of current Scandinavian populations.

This thesis also addresses the determination of fish bone accumulators present in a karst landscape. The establishment of a taphonomic reference that characterizes the effect of otters on fish bones allowed us to determine its potential role in the accumulation of archaeological deposits. This set of methods contributes improved techniques for species identification and increased our knowledge of subsistence strategies during the Magdalenian as well as provided information about the evolution of fish populations in the Gartempe basin. Finally, this thesis illustrates how the application of these new methods for ichthyo-archaeological studies contribute to the understanding of prehistoric societies.