References of "Salomon, Hélène"
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See detailL’usage des pigments durant le Solutréen
Salomon, Hélène ULg

in Otte, Marcel (Ed.) Le Solutréen (in press)

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See detailSolutrean and Magdalenian ferruginous rocks heat-treatment: accidental and/or deliberate action?
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Vignaud, Colette; Lahlil, Sophia et al

in Journal of Archaeological Science (2015), 55

Heating of prehistoric coloring materials can induce radical changes in color indicative of structural matter transformation. For instance, the structure of the yellow iron oxide-rich mineral, goethite ... [more ▼]

Heating of prehistoric coloring materials can induce radical changes in color indicative of structural matter transformation. For instance, the structure of the yellow iron oxide-rich mineral, goethite, changes into the red iron oxide-rich mineral, hematite, when it is heated to around 250-300°C. For a long time, heating has been thought to be the reason for the high frequencies of red rocks used in camp sites and the red pigments in rock art paintings. However, records of heat-treatment of coloring materials are usually not well documented; the contextual information is not clear enough to confirm intentional heating. Two Solutrean camp sites (the flint workshop Les Maîtreaux and the hunting site Combe Saunière I) and one middle Magdalenian cave with rock art (Grotte Blanchard, La Garenne) allow us to study the heating process of ferruginous rocks. All three sites, which have been excavated relatively recently, have well-defined archaeological records and strong associations between the ferruginous rocks and other artifacts. With the use of X-ray diffraction and electron µ-diffraction for identifying structural modification and SEM-FEG and TEM-FEG for detecting dehydration nano-pores, we have strong evidence for intentional heat-treatment of yellow goethite-rich materials in two archaeological contexts and one site for unintentional heating, where rocks were only partially transformed. Intentional heating to obtain red hematite from primary goethite would have required ingenious methods of temperature control in fireplace settings and purpose-built ground ovens. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Discoid techno-complex (MIS 3) at Ormesson and across the Paris sedimentary Basin: consistency and flexibility of a singular technical choice with relation to the lithological context
Leroyer, Mathieu; Bodu, Pierre; Salomon, Hélène ULg et al

Conference (2014)

During the last decade new excavations and reexaminations of old collection have refreshed our vision of the end of the Middle Palaeolithic. Among those advances, the identification of a "Discoid techno ... [more ▼]

During the last decade new excavations and reexaminations of old collection have refreshed our vision of the end of the Middle Palaeolithic. Among those advances, the identification of a "Discoid techno-complex” during the MIS 3 Interpleniglacial event, which differs deeply with other sub-contemporaneous technological practices, reinforce the idea that this period witnessed distinct stone knapping traditions. However, such claims must be established within different geographical and lithological context, in order to invalidate more parsimonious explanations of technical variability. The newly excavated open-air camp site in Ormesson has provided multiple well preserved archaeological layers. The older is dominated by Discoid flaking method and dates to the MIS 3. These occupations took place in a geographical context where flint is not present in situ but was easily available from different sources within the “daily range” of the site. For instance Gravettian and Châtelperronian have preferentially used Campanian flint available 5 km from the site along the Loing River. So far the lithic chaînes opératoires in the Discoid Mousterian layer are characterised by a more limited technical involvement both in term of flint procurement (lower flint quality) and knapping gesture. At the same time, the Neandertal occupants invested considerable effort to extract, import and select the raw ochreous material, whose numerous remains have been found associated with stone tool in the Layer 4. The fact that they did not take advantage of the same trips not only for ochre but also for better flint supply seems problematic. Another characteristic of Ormesson Discoid assemblage is, for the moment, the scarcity of retouched implements, in particular of notches and denticulates which frequently characterize the techno-complex in South-western France. Are such characteristics representative of a state of progress in the excavations? Are they relevant of local techno-economic tactics, or subtle cultural specificities? In addition to ongoing excavation progress at Ormesson, a complementary way to solve these questions will be to enlarge the scope of the analysis to the whole Paris Basin. In that space, Discoidal assemblages have been now studied from very contrasting geographical and lithological contexts. For instance, Arcy-sur-Cure cave sites, on one side, Beauvais and Mennecy open-air sites on the other side, are respectively located at the very margin and near the center of the limestone dominated basin. As a consequence we observe great variations of flint availability from these different contexts. The preliminary comparison of the datas available confirms the existence of similar knapping methods and goals during a limited period, broadly centered on the MIS 3. But it also suggests some intrinsic adaptability of the Discoid typo-technological system to raw material nature and availability. When replaced in that perspective, the different characteristics of stone tool production currently recognized at Ormesson don’t appear, so far, to underline any cultural peculiarity on that site and fit with a coherent vision of the Discoid techno-complex also in Northern part of France. In return, the singular preservation of Ochre at Ormesson, offers a punctual opportunity to integrate what we increasingly know about these knapping habits with more obscure but anyway complementary aspects of a cultural system. [less ▲]

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See detailStratégies spécialisées d’acquisition de pigments rouges durant le Châtelperronien de la grotte du Renne à Arcy-sur-Cure (Yonne, France)
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Coquinot, Yvan; Beck, Lucile et al

in Paléo (2014), Special issue

Depuis une décennie, les découvertes de matériaux colorants se multiplient parmi les sites dont les occupations remontent au Paléolithique moyen et au Paléolithique supérieur ancien. L’intérêt qu’elles ... [more ▼]

Depuis une décennie, les découvertes de matériaux colorants se multiplient parmi les sites dont les occupations remontent au Paléolithique moyen et au Paléolithique supérieur ancien. L’intérêt qu’elles suscitent tient à ce qu’elles sont susceptibles de révéler des pratiques techniques diverses et complexes, mais il tient aussi à leur forte potentialité à traduire des pratiques symboliques du fait de leur pouvoir colorant intense et des couleurs exploitées : le rouge et le noir. C’est sur le gisement châtelperronien de la grotte du Renne à Arcy-sur-Cure (Yonne), fouillé de 1949 à 1963 par André Leroi-Gourhan, qu'environ 2000 matières colorantes découvertes ont conduit à échafauder des théories concernant leurs transformations et leurs utilisations qui méritaient d’être éprouvées. Il est supposé, depuis leur découverte, qu’elles ont fait l’objet d’un chauffage contrôlé qui visait à en modifier la couleur, le chauffage permettant de transformer les matières colorantes jaunes (hydroxydes de fer) en orangé, en rouge et en violacé (oxydes de fer). De cette hypothèse découle la théorie selon laquelle les Néandertaliens ont exploité les matières colorantes en tant que pigment pour des réalisations symboliques, voire d’ordre esthétique, ce qui n’a pas encore pu être prouvé. La présente étude, fondée sur le croisement des données issues des analyses de la nature physico-chimique et pétrographique des assemblages de matières colorantes, mais aussi sur leur intégration dans le gisement, en association avec des structures d’habitat dont la conservation est exceptionnelle, et sur une série d’expérimentations visant à caractériser les poudres obtenues par différents moyens a permis de définir les choix techniques qui ont présidé à l’approvisionnement en matières colorantes dans tous les niveaux d’occupation châtelperroniens de la grotte du Renne. Il a ainsi été possible de démontrer qu’aucune des matières colorantes, rouges ou noires, n’a fait l’objet d’un chauffage préalablement à son utilisation, bien au contraire de ce qui avait été supposé jusqu’ici. Ces matières colorantes ont fait l’objet d’un approvisionnement raisonné auprès de formations géologiques affleurant ponctuellement. L’exploitation de ces gîtes de matières premières colorantes a été la même durant toute la séquence châtelperronienne et s’est orientée préférentiellement vers des matériaux que l’on peut aisément réduire en poudre. L’assemblage des matières colorantes de la grotte du Renne révèle à la fois une permanence des pratiques techniques et culturelles qui ont trait à l’emploi de matières colorantes et un profond ancrage des connaissances et de la compréhension des multiples propriétés et qualités de ces matériaux intensément mises à profit dans des activités diverses, domestiques, artisanales et manifestement aussi d’ordre symbolique, de telle sorte que le gisement châtelperronien était tout de rouge et noir. [less ▲]

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See detailLes matières colorantes sur le site aurignacien de plein air de Régismont-le-Haut (Poilhes, Hérault). Acquisition, transformations et utilisations
Pradeau, Jean-Victor; Salomon, Hélène ULg; Bon, François et al

in Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française (2014), 111(4), 631-658

The onset of the Early Upper Palaeolithic is represented by few open air camp-sites in southern France. Most of the archaeological record is documented by sequences of occupations in rock shelters or at ... [more ▼]

The onset of the Early Upper Palaeolithic is represented by few open air camp-sites in southern France. Most of the archaeological record is documented by sequences of occupations in rock shelters or at the base of rocky cliffs. These contexts offer favorable conditions for the preservation of organic materials, but the areas excavated are small, limiting our understanding of the spatial relationships between the remains of the human occupations. Knapped stone associated with consumed fauna are often accompanied by colouring materials, stones rich in iron and manganese oxides (hydroxides). This class of materials has rarely been analysed, and the objectives for their extraction and transformation still remain an open question. While this class of mineral materials collected in karstic contexts is relatively abundant, understanding of the motivations for their exploitation is made difficult by the lack of spatial data, which seems crucial to explain this industry within the technological systems of the Early Upper Palaeolithic. Régismont-le-Haut (Poilhes, Hérault, France) is one of the rare open-air sites dating from the onset of the Early Upper Palaeolithic known in southern France with taphonomic conditions that enabled the preservation of occupation structures and well-delimited activity areas. This Aurignacian camp was established in two perpendicular inactive palaeo-channel depressions, progressively filled by the erosion of a neighbouring hill, nowadays entirely levelled, via a colluvial process mixed with aeolian contributions. This configuration led to the exceptional preservation of the occupation level within these two palaeo-channels; it consists of a single nearly undisturbed living floor, forming two main areas with a clear spatial separation. Around twenty combustion structures have been discovered. These act as poles of activity around which the artefact concentration is found more or less dispersed across a very thin layer: flint and quartzite, large limestone tools, charcoal, poorly preserved bone, malacofauna and colouring materials. The colouring materials are found in different forms: raw or partially transformed blocks of raw material (mainly red, but also yellow and black), friable chunks probably resulting from some preparation (red), red powder residues on lithic elements, in particular scrapers in siliceous materials, and on body ornaments of shell beads, red impregnations in the sediments. Attention has been focused on the blocks of raw material in order 1) to identify the geomaterials brought to the site and their specific properties (colouring potential, hardness, etc.), 2) to describe the processing sequences for the preparation and transformation of these materials and 3) to initiate a discussion on the patterns of means of utilization and the intended functions of colouring materials at Régismont-le-Haut. The entire dataset has been analysed by binocular microscope and classified by petrological range. A sample of these different classes was described by observations at high magnification, element analysis (scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy: SEM-EDX) and structural analysis (X-ray diffraction: XRD). These results were then interpreted with respect to the spatial distribution of the artefacts. Seven classes were discriminated, based on several petrographic criteria (matrix texture, kinds of inclusions, mineral structure). Some can be paired and may come from the same geological facies. The main geomaterial brought to the site is heterogeneous, in majority composed of haematite, sometimes goethite, associated with quartz, calcite and muscovite; these can have a significant degree of hardness, which requires tools to transform them to powder. The second broad range of red material is composed of soft blocks rich in haematite, kaolinite and calcite, with small grains of muscovite. Much less common, goethite, lead compounds (cerusite and galena), kaolinite and dolomite form the yellow lumps. The rare black blocks are all manganese oxides. The elemental, mineralogical and petrographic characteristics of the raw materials point to a broad-spectrum acquisition typical of the regional geological environment around the site, as shown by our preliminary raw-material sourcing surveys. The sequences of transformation are primarily characterized by the mechanical operations requiring crushing/grinding while the softer blocks rich in haematite and kaolinite could be exploited by simple rubbing on a soft support. Preparation of powder by scraping and abrasion is not as yet documented. In addition, heat treatment was not performed systematically. The intended functions of the colouring materials and their means of utilization, although difficult to assess, seem to cover a wide range of activities, here clearly separated at the site according to the raw materials used. In particular, the association between hide-working activities and materials with high colouring capacity could be demonstrated at one of the loci on the site of Régismont-le-Haut (S56). The utilization of colouring materials is also documented in another locus (S72), probably linked rather to the primary processing of carcasses. In both cases, the prehistoric group exploited haematite for its intense colouring capacity for purposes that it is not possible to reconstruct precisely, given the complete destruction of any organic supports to which colouring could have been intentionally applied (hide, clothing, tools, etc.), but the use of colouring materials for technical purposes — for example their drying power to preserve organic materials or keep the ground clean, and their abrasive power to process bone or hide — is quite probable. [less ▲]

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See detailAn open-air site from the recent Middle Palaeolithic in the Paris Basin (France): Les Bossats at Ormesson (Seine-et-Marne).
Bodu, Pierre; Salomon, Hélène ULg; Leroyer, Mathieu et al

in Quaternary International (2014), 331

In northern France, most of the sites attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic are open-air sites in which mainly lithic artefacts are found, due to taphonomic conditions often unfavourable to the ... [more ▼]

In northern France, most of the sites attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic are open-air sites in which mainly lithic artefacts are found, due to taphonomic conditions often unfavourable to the preservation of fauna. The lithic assemblages found in most of those open-air sites suggest that the activities on the camp sites were diversified, although flint knapping was often intense due to the proximity of sources of raw siliceous materials. With the exception of very rare open-air sites, fauna is poorly preserved and spatial and economic analyses may often be based on the spatial distribution of lithic artefacts, in particular based on refits and their analysis. Therefore the palaeoethnological approach is difficult to implement in most open-air areas. In contrast, in the Paris Basin, the study of more recent sites from the Tardiglacial, such as the Magdalenian sites of Pincevent or Etiolles, falls within this approach. The recent discovery (2009) and excavation of the open-air site of Ormesson (Seine-et-Marne - France) was initially intended to document a Gravettian occupation floor dated around 26,000 years uncal BP and related to a preferential bison hunt. Whilst checking the thickness of the loess in which the Gravettian level was found, several other prehistoric settlements were discovered (Chatelperronian, Middle Solutrean) including two units attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic. One of them, level 4, seems to be particularly well-preserved. It occurs between one and three meters below the main Upper Palaeolithic occupation. The lithic industry from level 4 belongs to a technical tradition generally attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic: discoid technology. The freshness of the material and the presence of bone fragments attributed in part to horse support a general good state of preservation of this occupation. The Mousterian remains seem to cover at least 500 m2, as currently estimated. Even more exceptional is the close spatial relationship between the discoid industry, the bone pieces, remains of fireplaces and especially the numerous fragments and nodules of red colouring materials. These were brought to the site where they were utilised by the Mousterians. The used surfaces show indisputable scraping traces and facets. These recent discoveries will certainly contribute to the debate on the cognitive capacities of nearly the last representatives of the Middle Palaeolithic and this within a complex stratigraphy which will allow us to make comparisons between the different periods. [less ▲]

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See detailPIXE identification of the provenance of ferruginous rocks used by Neanderthals
Mathis, François ULg; Bodu, Pierre; Dubreuil, Olivier ULg et al

in Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms (2014), 331

Les Bossats, near Ormesson, France, is a newly discovered late Mousterian open air site dated to around 47,000 years ago by thermoluminescence. The archaeological level, fossilized by loess, revealed a ... [more ▼]

Les Bossats, near Ormesson, France, is a newly discovered late Mousterian open air site dated to around 47,000 years ago by thermoluminescence. The archaeological level, fossilized by loess, revealed a rich industry based on the discoid mode, associated with numerous fragments of red and yellow iron oxide-rich rocks showing clear traces of powder production (abrasion, striation, scraping), which are exceptional remains for this remote period. Archeological material and geological samples from the close environment were studied by PIXE and by petrographical observations made on thin sections. The geological sources were identified by means of PIXE analyses on two IBA facilities: AGLAE (2 MV tandem) at the C2RMF in Paris and the cyclotron of the IPNAS (University of Liège). We paid particular attention to the comparison of results obtained on both installations by using the same set of geological standards and by a fine evaluation of the limit of detection relative to each trace elements of interest for both experimental set ups. The elemental fingerprint of one geological source of iron-rich concretions corresponds clearly with the archaeological collection. At least, this investigation demonstrates that the colouring materials were minutely selected in the close neighbouring of the site by the Neanderthals. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalyse non destructive des pigments préhistoriques : du laboratoire à la grotte
Beck, Lucile; Lebon, Matthieu; Lahlil, Sophia et al

in Paléo (2014), special issue

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See detailHacia una caracterizaciòn de los òxidos de hierro empleados durante el periodo Arcaico en la Costa Arreica del Norte de Chile
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Coquinot, Yvan; Figueroa, Valentina et al

Conference (2013, April 22)

Los óxidos de hierro han sido intensamente utilizados por los grupos de cazadores recolectores de la Prehistoria desde hace 300 ka. Sin embargo, poco conocidas son las modalidades de extracción. La mina ... [more ▼]

Los óxidos de hierro han sido intensamente utilizados por los grupos de cazadores recolectores de la Prehistoria desde hace 300 ka. Sin embargo, poco conocidas son las modalidades de extracción. La mina de San Ramón15 (Taltal, región de Antofagasta) situada en la costa norte de Chile,representa una evidencia excepcional de la extracción de óxidos de hierro por grupos de pescadores-cazadores-recolectores. Dos fases de extracción han sido determinadas: La primera durante latransiciónPleistoceno-Holoceno (12000-10k BP) y la segunda haciael 4300 BP. Una alta cantidad de percutores y martillos líticosfueron encontrados en el desmonte de extracción. En la mina de San Ramón 15 las rocas ricas en óxidos de hierro se presentan bajo la forma de un filón lenticular de varios metrosintrusivo en granodioritas del Jurasico. El filón, de color negro y extremamente duro, está compuesto principalmente de magnetita y goethita.Una parte del filónfue explotada. Actualmente nuestra investigación se orienta a determinar cuales fueron las características de los óxidos de hierro explotadosy las fases posteriores de su transformación y uso. Para responder a estas preguntas, se desarrolló un protocolo de muestreo y análisis específico. En primer lugar, ha sido fundamental conocer la litología de los filones y de otras formaciones geológicas circundantes ricas en óxidos de hierro. Asimismo, se muestrearon restos de óxidos de hierro tanto en la mina como en los sitios habitacionales del área (conchales) para ser comparados. Los óxidos de hierro (geológicos, arqueológicos, residuos en los objetos) fueron analizados a partir de técnicasfísico-químicas(MEB-EDS, XRD, PIXE) y de caracterización petrográfica. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a characterisation of iron oxide-rich rocks used during the Archaic period on the Costa Arreica in Northern Chile
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Coquinot, Yvan; Salazar, Diego et al

Poster (2013, February 07)

Iron or manganese oxide rich rocks were constantly and intensively used by hunter- gatherers from around 300 kya. Nonetheless, few is none concerning the supply in raw ferruginous materials. The mine San ... [more ▼]

Iron or manganese oxide rich rocks were constantly and intensively used by hunter- gatherers from around 300 kya. Nonetheless, few is none concerning the supply in raw ferruginous materials. The mine San Ramón 15 in northern part of the Chilean coast reveals an exceptional evidence of the extraction of iron and probably manganese oxide rich materials by groups of hunters-fishers-gatherers. Two extraction phases were determined during the excavation of the mine trench: the oldest one during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (11000-8000 cal. BP) and the second one from 4300 cal. BP. A rich set of lithic pounding stones and hammer stones were recorded in the mine refus. The mine trench follows a various meters wide lenticular vein in the granodioritic bedrock from the Jurassic. The vein is principally made of hydrothermal pyrolusite, magnetite and goethite which are extremely hard materials and yellow to brown and black. Thus we suppose that the prehispanic miners intensively extracted a peculiar part of the vein, between the hard magnetite and the bedrock, so that few evidence of the material extracted in the mine were recorded. Our investigations focus on the determination of the characteristics of the quite messing materials which were extracted and we try to identify the following phases of transformation and utilisation. In order to address these issues, we sampled and document the lithology of the vein and of the numerous geological formations which provide iron rich materials in the neighbourhood. Furthermore, fragments of iron oxides from the mine refus, as well as red or black residues on tools from divers Archaic sites in the area (hammer stones in the mine, lithic weapons, grinding-stones and shells in the shellmiddens and rock-shelters) in order to compare their mineralogical and geochemical composition. [less ▲]

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See detailNeanderthals see red : production of red powder in the Late Mousterian in Ormesson, France
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Geurten, Stéphanie; Bodu, Pierre et al

Poster (2013, February 07)

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 ... [more ▼]

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. [less ▲]

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See detailPetrographical differentiation between Palaeozoic oolitic ironstones from France, Belgium and Germany and application to the provenance study of archaeological artefacts – preliminary results
Dreesen, Roland; Savary, Xavier; Goemaere, Eric et al

Conference (2013, February 07)

Samples of Palaeozoic oolitic ironstone beds susceptible of having being used as raw materials for Neolithic red ochres, have been petrographically investigated. The preliminary results of this first ... [more ▼]

Samples of Palaeozoic oolitic ironstone beds susceptible of having being used as raw materials for Neolithic red ochres, have been petrographically investigated. The preliminary results of this first comparative analysis are quite encouraging: microfacies differences have been observed between Ordovician oolitic ironstones from Normandy (France), late Upper Devonian oolitic ironstones from Belgium and uppermost Lower Devonian to lowermost Middle-Devonian (Emsian-Eifelian) oolitic ironstones from the Eifel area (Germany). Petrographical differentiation is based upon contrasting grain size, mineralogy (hematite/chlorite ratio) and typology of the ferruginous ooids, besides differences in mineralogy, diagenetic history and lithologic nature of the host sediments. Most conspicuous are differences in ferruginous ooid typology, including “true” concentric ooids, superficial ooids, algal oncoids and pseudo-ooids (ferruginized cortoids and rounded bioclasts). “Flax seed” or Clinton-type iron ores (rich in flattened ooids) and “fossil iron ores” (essentially composed of ferruginized bioclasts) can be identified as well as transitional or mixed types. Homogenous and well-sorted, often flattened and fine-grained ferruginous “true” ooids (flax seed ore) with alternating hematite and chlorite cortices in a sideritic- chloritic or fine siliciclastic matrix, are characteristic for the Ordovician (Llanvirn) oolitic ironstones of Normandy (basal part of the Urville Shales). Locally, weathered levels exist, enclosing limonitic (goethitic) crusts. Medium-sorted, fine-to coarse- grained ferruginous hematitic pseudo-ooids (ferruginized bioclasts) in a bioclastic limestone matrix (fossil ore) characterize the Lower-Middle Devonian boundary oolitic ironstone beds (Heisdorf and Lauch Formations, Eifel Synclines). Finally, well- to medium-sorted heterogenous, fine- to medium-grained, pure or mixed flax seed- and fossil ore-type hematitic oolitic ironstones in siliclastic and/ore carbonate matrices, characterize the Belgian Latest Upper Devonian (Famennian) ironstone deposits (Hodimont Formation, Famenne Shales Group). Several stratigraphic levels do exist within the Lower Famennian and basal part of the Upper Famennian in the Namur, Dinant and Vesdre Synclinoria, but the lowermost Famennian one is the only level that has been mined. Within some of the younger Famennian oolitic ironstone levels, proximal and distal facies can be distinguished on the basis of microfacies differences and mineralogy of the ferruginous pseudo-ooids. Only the proximal hematitic facies of the lowest stratigraphical oolitic ironstone level (level I) is supposed to have been used in prehistoric times for the manufacturing of ochre. Diagenetic sideritization and dolomitization, particle deformation as well as sulphide mineralizations, affect most of the studied oolitic ironstones. However, the intensity of these mineralizations varies strongly (even within the same deposit) and depends on local tectonics. A distinction can be made between the Emsian-Eifelian and Famennian fossil iron ores, based on the nature of the bioclasts and other ferruginzed components). Eifelian oolitic ironstones contain ferruginized crinoids, bryozoans, trilobites, brachiopods, goniatites besides ferruginized siliciclastic intraclasts, whereas the Famennian ones are dominated by ferruginous ooids and algal oncoids, mixed with ferruginized bioclasts including crinoids, bryozoans, brachiopods, ostracods, algae and incertae sedis, and locally intraclasts (ferruginized stromatolitic crusts). Distal facies contain slightly Fe-impregnated bioclasts only such as crinoid ossicles and display a higher chlorite/hematite ratio. Thin sections have been made in archeological objects (red ochre), allowing a first comparative petrographical analysis indicating their probable geological and geographical provenance. References Ph. Joseph, 1982. Le minerai de fer oolithique Ordovicien du Massif Armoricain: sédimentologie et paléogéographie. Thèse présentée à l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris. 325 p. R. Dreesen, 1989. Oolitic ironstones as event-stratigraphical marker beds within the Upper Devonian of the Ardenno-Rhenish Massif, in: Young, T.P. & Taylor, W.E.G. (eds), Phanerozoic Ironstones. Geological Society Special Publications, n°46, pp. 65-78 Rath, S., 2003. Die Erforschungsgeschichtede Eifel-Geologie. Ph.D. Dissertation, Rheinisch- Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 239 p. [less ▲]

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See detailGeochemistry and XRD to differentiate oolitic ironstone geological levels from Germany, Belgium and France and application to the archaeological artefacts
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Goemaere, Eric; Mathis, François ULg et al

Conference (2013, February 07)

Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) have largely demonstrated their capability to analyse trace elements for determining the ... [more ▼]

Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) have largely demonstrated their capability to analyse trace elements for determining the origin of archaeological materials. Trace elements can in fact be used as fingerprint of the geological origin and thus contribute to provenance investigations. This point is an important question for prehistoric studies, as it provides information on mobility, exchanges and interaction between groups of population. We present experimental PIXE configurations which allow to investigate prehistoric oolithic haematite, at the ppm level without any preparation or sampling. We compare the data obtained with two devices, namely AGLAE (Accélérateur Grand Louvre d'Analyse Elémentaire) in Paris and the cyclotron in the Centre Européen d'archéométrie in Liège and we determined the uncertainties of measures. The geological samples were compared in order to estimate de geochemical variability in stratigraphy and in width of oolithic haematite from the Ordovician in Caen region (France) and from the Devonian in Hesbaye (Belgium). These data were also compared to oolithic haematite used during Mesolithic and LBK (Early Neolithic) in both the regions. Furthermore we looked for mineralogical fingerprints by X-Ray Diffraction on disoriented powders. The mineralogical composition is ubiquitous and no discrimination between the stratigraphical layers was possible. [less ▲]

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See detailGeological record and sedimentology of the Palaeozoic oolitic ironstone deposits in Western Europe. Spatial relationships with the Linienbandkeramik settlements (LBK) in Belgium.
Goemaere, Eric; Dreesen, Roland; Katsch, A. et al

Conference (2013, February 07)

Mined since prehistoric times, oolitic ironstones (OIS) were a very important world source of iron from 1850 to 1945: hereafter they have been progressively replaced by the Precambrian Banded Iron ... [more ▼]

Mined since prehistoric times, oolitic ironstones (OIS) were a very important world source of iron from 1850 to 1945: hereafter they have been progressively replaced by the Precambrian Banded Iron- Formations (BIF). OIS are iron-rich sedimentary rocks bearing ferruginous ooids. They consist of at least 15% iron. In Western Europe, their overall depositional environment is that of a shallow shelf, most often located close to the transition from non-marine to marine environments. Their main age range is concentrated within the Ordovician through Devonian and the Jurassic through Paleogene. Proterozoic occurrences are known but these occur outside Europe. The host rocks of the ironstones are predominantly clastic, whereas the host sediment of the ferruginous ooids can be either clastic or carbonate or both. The OIS occur at the top of coarsening and shoaling upward cycles. They represent condensed deposits and transgressive system tracts. Numerous oolitic ironstone deposits are interpreted as tempestites or as intertidal deposits. It is generally agreed that ferruginous ooids formed in shallow marine water conditions, near the water-sediment interface, with repeated reworking of the sediment. Such an environment implies oxidizing conditions, the sedimentary iron being in the ferric state. The exact source of the iron is still a matter of discussion and speculation, just as the primary or secondary origin of the ferruginous ooids. Besides hematite (or goethite), also siderite, Fe-dolomite and berthierine/chamosite are present in the OIS as iron-bearing minerals. Due to weathering processes the carbonate matrix is often removed, the iron is released and oxidized, whereas the ferrous silicates are converted into ferric oxides or ferric hydroxides. Many old mining activities are based on occurrences of this weathered ore. The latter material has also strong staining properties. 1. Germany OIS are outcropping in the Eifel area. The latter is part of the Ardenno-Rhenish Massif and lies in the eastern extension of the Neufchateau Synclinorium, south of the Ardenne Anticlinorium (enclosing the Cambro-Ordovician Stavelot-Venn inlier). The general structure of the Eifel corresponds to an intensively folded and faulted synclinorium In the center of this synclinorium, outcrops of OIS occur on both flanks of successive synclines that are individually named (from the north to the south): the Sötenicher Mulde, the Blankenheimer Mulde the Rohrer Mulde, the Dollendorfer Mulde, the Ahrdorfer Mulde and the Hillesheimer Mulde. Two important stratigraphic levels with IOS are known and they coincide more or less with the Lower-Middle Devonian boundary (Uppermost Emsian- Lowermost Eifelian). These OIS represent excellent marker beds for geological mapping. 2. The Netherlands There is no outcrop of OIS in this country. 3. Belgium Oolitic iron ores were formed during different periods in Belgium: the Lochkovian (Lower Devonian, Dinant Synclinorium, restricted to the Belgian-French border), the Givetian (Middle Devonian, Dinant Synclinorium), the Frasnian (Upper Devonian, Dinant Synclinorium), the Famennian (Upper Devonian, Namur S., Dinant S. & Vesdre S.) and the Toarcian-Aalenian (Jurassic, Lorraine area, Paris Basin – called “minette ore”). The most important OIS level is the Lower Famennian one. It has been intensively mined until the middle of the 20th century, essentially in the Namur Synclinorium, between the cities of Namur and Huy. In this area, its important thickness (until 1.85m) and the number of layers triggered the development of an important economic activity. Outcrops were restricted to the tributaries of the Meuse River. The Famennian oolitic ironstone facies change from north to south by a gradual decrease in the number of layers, in their thickness, grain size, ooid concentration, clast size and iron content. They represent also excellent lithostratigraphical marker beds. The clay-dolomitic matrix is being progressively replaced by a calcitic cement. The other Devonian OIS levels are not of great economic importance, they were only mined locally, to supply smith’s working places. Due to surface mining, outcrops are now very rare, and often indicated by a light depression in the topography only. 4. Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg OIS are restricted to the Jurassic (Aalenian-Lower Bajocian) in the NW part of the Paris Basin. This essentially goethitic ore (“minette”) was intensively mined in the three adjacent country borders area (FR-BE-LU). No OIS levels in the Lower Devonian are outcropping in the northern part of the Grand Duchy. 5. France Numerous OIS layers are known in France at several stratigraphical levels, but a lot of them cannot be considered as a real ore. Paleozoic OIS belonging to the Armorican Massif were mined in the Normandy area (Urville Fm, Llanvirn, Middle Ordovician) and in the Bretagne area (Arenig, Lower Ordovician). In Normandy, OIS do outcrop inside several synclines (e.g. May and Urville Sy.), as one thick composite layer.  The spatial relationships of the different oolitic ironstone levels with the Linienbandkeramik settlements (LBK) in the studied area, will be presented. [less ▲]

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See detailLes matières colorantes en contexte Solutréen : Combe Saunière (Dordogne), Fressignes (Indre) et Les Maîtreaux (Indre-et-Loire)
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Vignaud, Colette; Aubry, Thierry et al

in Actes du Colloque : Le Solutréen... 40 ans après la publication du Smith’66 (2013)

Detailed reference viewed: 113 (11 ULg)
Peer Reviewed
See detailProducción y circulación de óxidos de hierro por sociedades cazadoras-recolectoras-pescadoras del periodo arcaico en el norte de Chile
Salinas, Hernan; Salazar, Diego; Salomon, Hélène ULg et al

in El pasado tecnologico, cambio y persistencia (2013)

Detailed reference viewed: 48 (1 ULg)
See detailAn open-air site from the recent Middle Palaeolithic in the Paris Basin (France): Les Bossats at Ormesson (Seine-et-Marne).
Bodu, Pierre; Lacarrière, Jessica; Leroyer, Mathieu et al

Conference (2012, November)

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See detailSpecialized « ochre » procurement strategies in the Transition context : the red pigments from the Châtelperronian of the Grotte du Renne, Arcy-sur-Cure (France)
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Coquinot, Yvan; Beck, Lucile et al

Poster (2012, June 01)

In many reports of prehistoric pigment studies, these artefacts are considered as the testimony of past symbolic activities. The first step of the processing sequence, that is to say the acquisition of ... [more ▼]

In many reports of prehistoric pigment studies, these artefacts are considered as the testimony of past symbolic activities. The first step of the processing sequence, that is to say the acquisition of raw colouring material, is not well described and understood. Physico-chemical (SEM-EDS, XRD, TEM-EDX, µPIXE-µPIGE) and petrological analysis were carried out on the colouring materials excavated in the châtelperronian layers (40000-35000 B.P.) of the French site the Grotte du Renne in Arcy-sur-Cure. The Châtelperronian is one of the transitional techno-complexes, basically one of the last cultures made by Neanderthals in Europe. The physico-chemical data were related to the location of the colouring materials on the site, in association with exceptionally well preserved “hut” structures. It was thus possible to demonstrate that none of these materials, either red or black, was heated before being used, contrary to what had been assumed so far. The supply in colouring materials was as carefully organized as for mineral materials such as flint, for example; they were collected in different geological formations occasionally showing on the surface, close to the cave and at more than 30 km from the cave. The exploitation of these geological sites did not vary during the whole Châtelperronian period, and privileged materials which can easily be ground to powder. The set of colouring minerals from the Grotte du Renne reveals Neanderthals’ in-depth knowledge of mineral materials; they understood perfectly well their properties and qualities, and used them extensively, so that the raw colouring material was part of the livelihood and the Châtelperronian site must have been a literally dazzling sight, all red and black. [less ▲]

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See detailLate Mousterian red pigment proceeding in Les Bossats, Seine-et-Marne (France)
Salomon, Hélène ULg; Bodu, Pierre; Geurten, Stéphanie

Conference (2012, June 01)

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 ... [more ▼]

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 pigment rocks. The geological sources were identified by means of SEM-EDX, XRD, FT-IR, 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 brought to the site by the Neanderthals and the supply in raw material was local. Eleven blocks show different use marks such as facets, grooves and scars. The colouring materials employed by the Neanderthals on the camp site were used by different process (scraping, rubbing, crushing and grinding) in order to obtain red powder. The archaeological remains reveal an organized proceeding sequence of red pigment. During the late Mousterian a great phenomenon in expansion in western Europe is remarkable by the much wider exploitation of mineral red and black pigments corresponding to technical modifications and divers utilizations under development. As such, it questions our perception of the humanity of Neanderthal. Did he produced symbol by using pigments or were these minerals part of the economy of subsistence? [less ▲]

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