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In pursuit of a missing transition: the Mesolithic and Neolithic radiocarbon chronology at La Font-aux-Pigeons rockshelter

  • Didier Binder (a1), Janet Battentier (a1), Claire Delhon (a1) and Ingrid Sénépart (a1) (a2)

The 1950s excavations at Châteauneuf-lès-Martigues—type site of the Late Mesolithic Castelnovian phase—played a significant role in shaping theories about the nature of the Neolithic transition in the western Mediterranean. Results of new AMS dating and Bayesian modelling of extant short life samples now date the Late Mesolithic deposits to c. 6460–6200 cal BC, and the Cardial deposits to c. 5260–4860 cal BC. The long gap within the stratigraphic sequence is interpreted as a consequence of erosion during the mid sixth millennium BC. These results overturn the older argument for Mesolithic–Neolithic continuity at this key site.

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