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Hommes et hyènes face aux recompositions des communautés d'Ongulés (MIS 5-3) : Éléments pour un cadre paléoécologique des sociétés du Paléolithique moyen et supérieur ancien d'Europe de l'Ouest

Abstract : In Europe, climate is often considered as a key factor in explaining the events of the Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic transition (e.g. Neandertal extinction, development of innovations characteristic of "modern" behavior). However, the exact impact of Upper Pleistocene global climatic changes on terrestrial ecosystems is still poorly documented. This study proposes to place the evolutionary history of hominids from MIS 5 to 3 (before, during and after the Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic transition) within a paleoenvironmental and paleoecological context. Reconstruction of past terrestrial communities is here performed both on an ecosystem scale (changes in herbivore communities, fluctuations of ungulate biomass, paleodemography of cave hyenas) and on an intra-guild scale (interspecific competition between hominids and hyenas). This multi-scaled study is permitted through taphonomic, spatial and paleoecological analyses of two hyena dens with traces of human occupation (Camiac and La Chauverie), coupled with analyses of several databases of archeological and paleontological sites with a wide array of methods (archeostratigraphy, GIS, Bayesian and multivariate statistics). At the ecosystem scale, changes in herbivore communities are reconstructed for southwestern France. Fluctuations in ungulate biomass are noticeable, with an increase at the end of the Mousterian and a significant crash at the beginning of the Aurignacian. These changes had a pronounced impact on large predator populations, as can be shown by the high correlation between reconstructed hyena paleodemography and variations in ungulate biomass. At the intra-guild scale, interspecific competition between hominids and hyenas is shown to vary across time periods and regions. Niche overlap is at some times significant (as at the end of the Mousterian) in terms of resource exploitation (species of prey, population segments targeted, subsistence strategies), but total niche overlap is never observed. The nature of hominid-hyena interaction in caves is also discussed within the framework of an interdisciplinary analysis of the faunal and lithic collections of Camiac and La Chauverie. The model built in southwestern France is then compared with the specificity of other regions of Western Europe, by utilizing an extended database. These comparisons highlight the significant differences that exist between terrestrial communities regarding their responses to global climatic changes, depending on their geographical setting. These results bring new insights to the Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic transition: notably, it appears that environmental and ecological factors cannot fully explain the dramatic biological and cultural events that occurred during this time period.
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https://theses.hal.science/tel-00671035
Contributor : Emmanuel Discamps Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:04:37 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 10:50:03 AM

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  • HAL Id : tel-00671035, version 1

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Emmanuel Discamps. Hommes et hyènes face aux recompositions des communautés d'Ongulés (MIS 5-3) : Éléments pour un cadre paléoécologique des sociétés du Paléolithique moyen et supérieur ancien d'Europe de l'Ouest. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Sciences et Technologies - Bordeaux I, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : ⟩. ⟨tel-00671035⟩

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