Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Cave of Fontéchevade
Recent Excavations and their Paleoanthropological Implications


Philip G. Chase, André Debénath, Harold L. Dibble, Laurent Chiotti, Brooks B. Ellwood, William R. Farrand, Shannon P. McPherron, Henry P. Schwarcz, Thomas W. Stafford, Jr, Jean-François Tournepiche, Virginie Teilhol
View all contributors
  • Date Published: August 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107431621

£ 32.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Summary of the discoveries made during the course of excavations at the Paleolithic cave site of Fontéchevade, France, between 1994 and 1998. The excavation team address major problems raised by earlier excavations at the site from 1937 to 1954. These earlier excavations produced two sets of problematic data : first, the Lower Paleolithic stone tool industry, the Tayacian, that differs in fundamental ways from other contemporary industries, second, the human skull fragment that has been interpreted as modern in nature but that apparently dates from the last interglacial, long before there is any evidence for humans from any other site in Europe. By applying modern stratigraphic, lithic, faunal, geological, geophysical, and radiometric analyses, the interdisciplinary team demonstrates that the Tayacian 'industry' is a product of site formation processes and that the actual age of the Fontéchevade I fossil is compatible with other evidence for the arrival of modern humans in Europe.

    • Authors use up-to-date archaeological methods, techniques and equipment for their research (stone analysis, soil analysis, carbon dating, etc.)
    • Paleolithic (Ice Age) archaeology - the book deals with the earliest stone age. The discoveries pertain to what were believed to have been among the earliest stone tools used by hominids in Europe
    • As a result of their discovery, the cave remains are more in line with what has been found in other caves dated to the same period and therefore does not stand out as an anomaly, as it has believed to have been for the last 50+ years
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The publication of [The Cave of] Fontechevade is a chronicle of both the value and the difficulty of reanalyzing material from early excavations. This study makes clear the importance of pairing studies of museum collections with renewed fieldwork, even if this fieldwork is on a modest scale. The results have removed the Fontechevade fossils from their position as early evidence of modern human morphology in Europe and delivered a serious blow to the concept of the Tayacian. At the same time, the study presents Fontechevade as a significant site for understanding site formation processes and hominin behaviour in the Middle Paleolithic and makes it clear that the research potential of the site is far from exhausted.' Michael Chazan, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107431621
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction, Background, and Methodology Philip G. Chase, André Debénath, Harold L. Dibble and Shannon P. McPherron:
    1. Introduction and background
    2. Introduction to the 1994–8 excavations
    Part II. Specialized Analyses:
    3. Sedimentology and stratigraphy at Fontéchevade William R. Farrand
    4. Paleoclimate delineation using magnetic susceptibility data Brooks B. Ellwood
    5. Electrical resistivity survey of Fontéchevade Shannon P. McPherron and Brooks B. Ellwood
    6. The fossil human remains Philip G. Chase and Virginie Teilhol
    7. Radiometric dates Philip G. Chase, Henry P. Schwarcz and Thomas W. Stafford, Jr
    8. Faunal taphonomy Philip G. Chase and Jean-François Tournepiche
    9. The fauna from Henri-Martin's excavation of bed Jean-François Tournepiche
    10. The Upper Paleolithic of Fontéchevade Laurent Chiotti
    11. Description of the lithic industries Harold L. Dibble and Shannon P. McPherron
    Part III. Analysis and Conclusions Philip G. Chase, André Debénath, Harold L. Dibble and Shannon P. McPherron:
    12. Processes of site formation and their implications
    13. Summary and conclusions.

  • Authors

    Philip G. Chase , University of Pennsylvania
    Philip G. Chase is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He is the author of The Emergence of Culture and The Hunters of Combe Grenal, as well as numerous articles and chapters on Paleolithic archaeology, zooarchaeology, and the origins and evolution of symbolism and culture.

    André Debénath, Université de Perpignan, France
    André Debénath is Professor and Director of Research at the University of Rabat and Professor Emeritus at the University of Perpignan. He specializes in the Paleolithic of the Charente River Basin, France, and of Morocco. He has excavated numerous sites in both countries, and has published more than 200 articles and several books.

    Harold L. Dibble, University of Pennsylvania
    Harold L. Dibble is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and curator in charge at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. Editor of the journal PaleoAnthropology, he is the author of twelve books and has directed excavations in France, Morocco, and Egypt for over twenty-five years.

    Shannon P. McPherron, Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie, Germany
    Shannon McPherson is an archaeologist in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute. He has published on aspects of Paleolithic archaeology, lithic analysis, and the use of computers in archaeology. He is co-author, with Harold Dibble, of Using Computers in Archaeology: A Practical Guide.


    Philip G. Chase, André Debénath, Harold L. Dibble, Laurent Chiotti, Brooks B. Ellwood, William R. Farrand, Shannon P. McPherron, Henry P. Schwarcz, Thomas W. Stafford, Jr, Jean-François Tournepiche, Virginie Teilhol

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.