Underwater survey of the Final Neolithic village of Beau Phare (UNESCO) at Aiguebelette-le-Lac (Savoie).

The Aiguebelette-le-Lac/Beau-Phare site is located in the southern part of the lake, on a projection of the littoral platform forming a narrow peninsula. The station was identified as early as 1863 at a shallow depth, and material was collected until the beginning of the 20th century. As part of monitoring operations led by Y. Billaud (2015-2018) following the listing of the station i on the UNESCO World Heritage List (2011), a sanitary and documentary assessment of the site was carried out in 2016. The synthesis of data from operations conducted by R. Laurent (1971) and A. Marguet (1983 and 1998), combined with a short field mission, vastly enhanced our knowledge of the site.

Project leader: R. Brigand

Partners: Trajectoires (R. Brigand), MCC-DRASSM (Y. Billaud), Laténium (F. Langenegger), CCLA (V. Beauvais)

The Aiguebelette-le-Lac/Beau-Phare site is located in the southern part of the lake, on a projection of the littoral platform forming a narrow peninsula. The station was identified as early as 1863 at a shallow depth, and material was collected until the beginning of the 20th century. As part of monitoring operations led by Y. Billaud (2015-2018) following the listing of the station i on the UNESCO World Heritage List (2011), a sanitary and documentary assessment of the site was carried out in 2016. The synthesis of data from operations conducted by R. Laurent (1971) and A. Marguet (1983 and 1998), combined with a short field mission, vastly enhanced our knowledge of the site. In order to continue the exploration of this site and to record the layout of a Final Neolithic coastal village, for the first time in Savoy, underwater prospection began in 2018. The objective of this campaign was to carry out a survey of the piles in order to obtain a general view of how the village was structured.

This pile dwelling site is singular in that it comprises an access road blocked by at least three palisades. The very regular village plan is organised along a preferential orientation perpendicular to the axis of the road, particularly in the eastern sector where four buildings measuring approximately 5 x 10 m are adjoined by their eaves walls.

To the west of the road, at least two buildings can be clearly distinguished. The first, along the road, faces the entrance, whereas the second is located between two palisades. In the current state of research, nearly twelve dendrochronologically dated piles provide an initial outline of village occupation, with a date of 2693 BC obtained from two fir posts placed on either side of the inner palisade. Four timbers from the latter were felled in 2684 BC. Finally, several dates obtained on the pile alignments to the south of the archaeological site point to the construction of the access road in 2672 BC.

See also in «Current projects»

Chalcolithic lithic industries of Sultana My research focuses on the lithic industries of the Chalcolithic sites of Sultana, thanks to new excavations led by C. Lăzăr, and includes training a Romanian student in lithic technology. Autour du grand tell daté du Gumelnița et fouillé en 1924 (Andrieșescu 1924), se trouvent des sites plats et des cimetières couvrant l’ensemble du Chalcolithique : Boian pour l’étape ancienne et Gumelnița pour l’étape récente. Les sites sont installés dans la grande plaine loessique roumaine, sur la rive droite du Moștistea, affluent du Danube, et aujourd’hui au bord du lac artificiel de Moștistea. Contribution to the monograph on the Varna Necropolis Three bilingual (German, English) volumes dedicated to the necropolis of Varna, Das Varna Gräberfeld, will be published by Philipp von Zabern, in the DAI Eurasian Series, edited by V. Slavčev. I am in charge of the lithics, which I comprehensively reviewed after the recent revision of the funerary inventories. The multidisciplinary approach will combine technological and typological data, in connection with raw material supplies and types of production, as well as the functional analysis carried out by M. Gurova. L. Manolakakis in V. Slavčev, Dir. (2020, à paraître) IRP NORth (2020-2023) The Eastern European model of Neolithization contrasts with that of the West, in terms of modes and chronology. In the central Russian plain, the beginning of the Neolithic is dated between the second half of the 7th and 6th millennia BC, depending on the region considered, and is defined by the emergence of sedentarism and the appearance of ceramic technology. Despite occasional contacts with mixed farming groups, local populations maintained a lifestyle based on hunting, fishing and gathering. It was not until several millennia later that a real production economy was adopted and became widespread in the area (3rd and 2nd millennia BC). Based on the duration and the breakdown of events recorded in the Russian plain, we can follow the history of communities in the process of Neolithization in a very original way.