The Magdalenian occupation (Layer 4 in Table 2) was certainly the result of short stays in the shelter, while the more numerous Azilian
objects (Layers 3 and 2 in Table 2) may be evidence of longer and more frequent occupations.
The area immediately north of the engraved block had been disturbed (by looting and or guano-digging) in recent times, but our initial test excavation demonstrated that the sediments against at least the western (engraved) face were intact and Magdalenian, Azilian
and Mesolithic in age (Table 1).
Five Magdalenian sites and one Azilian
form the focus of the book's analyses, a large number focusing on the Late Magdalenian level II-1 ofVerberie, a substantial primary kill and butchery site some 400[m.
JoHN GoSDeN St Leger record 2010 Arctic Cosmos 1st 2007 Lucarno 1st Raincoat 10th 1996 Shantou 1st 1993 Silverdale 7th Winged Victory 8th Azilian
9th 1992 Sonus 2nd
The Upper (harpoon-bearing) Magdalenian and Azilian
periods are relatively poor in El Miron, but are better represented in the caves of El Horno and El Valle both located at the valley floor, respectively at the base of Monte Pando and near the middle Ason Valley.
Only limited evidence of Palaeolithic art was found during the excavation of the Pleistocene deposit: some batons perfores decorated with geometric engravings from the 'Prince' burial--a truly exceptional find in Italy, as such items are not found outside Liguria; and some pebbles with painted Azilian
motifs from the layers and burials of final Pleistocene age.
Nearly all of these images are attributed to the late Magdalenian and the Azilian
In fact, the classic Azilian
is only found in Asturias, Cantabria and the coastal Basque provinces.
In Europe, Eriksen suggests that the increased density of arboreal vegetation probably led to an increased residential mobility through time in northwest Europe, and Straus also suggests that Azilian
groups in southwest France were probably more mobile and smaller in size than in the preceding Magdalenian.
Helwan retouch occurs in the Azilian
of northern Spain;
The opening section describes the archaeological context of the group of Azilian
artefacts that were studied and provides a superb, detailed description of d'Errico's experiments in using scanning electron microscopy and high magnification studies of varnish replicas to establish the `criteria' for distinguishing the variations in cross-sections made by one tool under different conditions of repeated use, angle or pressure of use, long-term wear, and breakage.
Since one of the original arguments against the authenticity of both the Altamira ceiling and the painted pebbles of the Azilian
was that parietal art could not possibly survive from such a remote age even inside a cave (see Bahn & Vertut 1988: 23), it goes without saying that virtually nobody entertained the possibility that Ice Age depictions in the open air could have survived the millennia of weathering and erosion.