The rediscovery of two Upper Palaeolithic skeletons from Baousso da Torre cave (Liguria-Italy).код для вставкиСкачать
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 141:3–6 (2010) News and Views The Rediscovery of Two Upper Palaeolithic Skeletons From Baousso da Torre Cave (Liguria-Italy) Sébastien Villotte* and Dominique Henry-Gambier Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Populations du Passé (LAPP, UMR 5199), Université Bordeaux 1, 33405 Talence, France Baousso da Torre is one of the caves of the Balzi Rossi, an important Italian Palaeolithic locality on the Mediterranean coast near Menton on the border between France and Italy. Intensive excavations between 1870 and 1905 yielded several hundred thousand archaeological remains including lithic and bone tools, faunal remains, art objects, ornaments, burials, and human bones (Rivière, 1887; Villeneuve, 1906; Mussi, 2001). Despite rather disparate data of unequal value, excavations revealed a stratigraphic sequence spanning from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Late Upper Palaeolithic. During these excavations, the remains of 16 Upper Palaeolithic individuals were recovered from single, double, and triple burials in four caves: Barma del Caviglione, Barma Grande, Grotte des Enfants, and Baousso da Torre (Verneau, 1906; Mussi, 1986; Henry-Gambier, 2001). A few scattered bones were also found. Two of the three skeletons discovered by Rivière in the Baousso da Torre cave (BT1 and BT3) were lost for more 80 years. The present article concerns their rediscovery. HISTORIC BACKGROUND Beginning in 1871, Emile Rivière excavated at the Balzi Rossi, particularly in Barma del Caviglione and in the Grotte des Enfants, where he discovered primary burials in both sites. He found an adult (BC1) in Barma del Caviglione and two children (GE1, GE2) buried together in the Grotte des Enfants (Henry-Gambier, 2001). In February 1873 in Baousso da Torre, he discovered the ﬁrst adult skeleton, BT1, at 3.75 m1; the 3rd of June, a second adult skeleton, BT2, at 3.90 m and the 5th of June a third skeleton, BT3, between 3.80 and 3.90 m (Rivière, 1887). BT2 was transported with sediments and transferred by train to the ‘‘Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle’’ (Paris) for restoration and consolidation. In 1932, BT2 was purchased by the then ‘‘musée des Antiquités nationales’’ (now the ‘‘musée d’Archéologie nationale’’) at Saint-Germain-en-Laye where it is housed today. BT1 and BT3 (less well preserved than BT1) would stay in Rivière’s collection. After his death, his collection was auctioned at the ‘‘Hôtel Drouot’’ in Paris in 1922, and since that time, BT1 and BT3, as well as a 1 The depths are indicated from initial ground level. C 2009 V WILEY-LISS, INC. great part of Rivière’s collection, have been missing. One of us (D.H.G) was able to identify one of the buyers, G. Goury (1877–1959), a prehistorian and collector. From 1920 to 1927, Goury served as curator of the ‘‘Musée Lorrain’’ in Nancy. In 1955, he donated his collection to this same museum. In 2008, a research mission to study the Goury Collection allowed us to recognize human remains (Figs. 1–3) among archaeological material such as faunal remains, shells (see Fig. 4), and ﬂint tools. THE HUMAN REMAINS: THE IDENTIFICATION OF BT1 AND BT3 We do not know if the excavation records (note-books, photos, drawings) were sold with the archaeological material at the Hôtel Drouot auction. There is some indication that these documents were destroyed at the time of either Rivière’s or Goury’s death. Fortunately, there are other indications that the human bones are those of BT1 and BT3. 1. The presence of labels in Rivière’s handwriting giving the name of the bone, its depth, and ‘‘6e caverne’’ (6th cave) which designates the Baousso da Torre cave in Rivière’s numbering system. 2. The bones are of two different individuals. 3. The inventory of the Goury collection corresponds to the one published by Rivière (1887) for BT1 and BT3. 4. Rivière (1887) published accurate descriptions of the biological features of BT1 and BT3. According to Rivière, BT1 is an adult male and BT3 an adolescent: the human bones of the Goury collection are those of an adult and an adolescent. Many anatomical and osteometric features are similar. For instance, it is possible to recognize on the right radius of BT1 a ‘‘tubérosité bicipitale, très accusée, [qui] se subdivise pour ainsi dire et forme une sorte de gouttière triangulaire . . .’’2 (Rivière, 1887, p. 207; Fig. 2c). The dimensions measured by Rivière are compatible with those we have 2 ‘‘Bicipital tuberosity, easy to notice, [that] subdivides so to speak and forms something that looks like a triangular gutter’’ (Rivière, 1887, p. 207). Grant sponsor: ANR GUEROPE directed by L. Baray (UMR 5594); Grant number: 06-CONF-0008-01; Grant sponsor: Transition program directed by B. Maureille and J.G. Bordes (UMR 5199); Grant number: 20051403003AB. *Correspondence to: Sébastien Villotte, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Populations du Passé (LAPP, UMR 5199), Université Bordeaux 1, Bat B8 avenue des Facultés 33405 Talence, France. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Received 15 May 2009; accepted 14 July 2009 DOI 10.1002/ajpa.21164 Published online 9 November 2009 in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). 4 S. VILLOTTE AND D. HENRY-GAMBIER Fig. 1. Baousso da Torre 1. a: Posterior view of the occipital bone and left parietal bone; b: anterior view of the right zygomatic bone and fragment of maxillary bone. [Color ﬁgure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at www.interscience. wiley.com.] measured (Table 1). Any differences that exist between older and more recent measurements are likely due to the increased fragmentation of the skeletal remains incurred during transport, curation, and storage over the intervening years between Rivière’s original analyses and ours. 5. The state of preservation of the bone and the degradations described by Rivière agree with our observations. For instance it is possible to observe on a right femur from the Goury collection the tooth-marks (carnivore or rodent) reported by Rivière on the right femur of BT1 (Fig. 2b). 6. Rivière emphasized the great quantity of red ochre on the bones of BT1 and the lack of coloring on the bones of BT3, exactly what we have observed on the bones of the Goury Collection (Figs. 1–3). Fig. 2. Baoussa da Torre 1. a: Anterior view of the left femur; b: tooth-marks (carnivore or rodent) on the right femur bone; c: right radius bone (tuberositas radii), anterior view. [Color ﬁgure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at www.interscience.wiley.com.] to each cave and to the stratigraphical levels described by Rivière is very difﬁcult. For instance, the collection of shells includes some associated with BT1 but also BT2 and probably shells found isolated by Rivière in the Barma del Caviglione (Rivière, 1887). Since the discovery, the loss of material has been limited, the most important being that of the disappearance of the mandible of BT1. Several human bones not described by Rivière and attributable without any doubt to BT1 or BT3 have also been identiﬁed. Recent breakage is frequent (Figs. 2a and 3a). The bones of BT1 are better preserved than those of BT3, with bone texture being compact and surfaces unaltered. There are just a few marks of restoration (plaster or glue). However, the BT1 skeleton is fragmentary: skull (see Fig. 1), axial region, pelvic, and shoulder girdles are very badly preserved. In contrast, the femur (Fig. 2a), tibia, humerus, radius, and ulna are almost complete; hand and foot bones are fairly well preserved. The adolescent skeleton, BT3, shows several restoration marks (glue, plaster, and others). The bones are fragile and the skeleton is mainly represented by the maxillary, the left femur (Fig. 3a), and foot bones. CULTURE MATERIAL Almost all of the lithic tools, faunal bones, mineral fragments (hematite), and perforated shells (see Fig. 4) bought by Goury come from the Balzi Rossi, according to the labels on the material itself and to the descriptions of it provided in Rivière’s book (1887). But since Rivière was convinced that the inﬁlling of all the caves of Balzi Rossi was contemporaneous (Rivière, 1887), he combined all the archaeological material. Attributing this material American Journal of Physical Anthropology Fig. 3. Baousso da Torre 3. a: Anterior view of the left femur bone; b: anterior view of the left maxillary; c: radiography of the left maxillary. [Color ﬁgure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at www.interscience.wiley.com.] 5 THE REDISCOVERY OF BAOUSSO DA TORRE 1 AND 3 Fig. 4. Balzi Rossi, set of perforated shells. [Color ﬁgure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at www. interscience.wiley.com.] were tested by H. Bocherens et D. Drucker (Universität Tübingen Institut für Geowissenschaften) to measure the amount of carbon and nitrogen in the whole bone as a proxy for collagen preservation and extraneous contamination (Bocherens et al., 2005). None contained collagen. A tooth fragment (BT3) was tested in the radiocarbon Laboratory of the Centre for Isotopic research (University of Gröningen, Nether- PRELIMINARY REMARKS The bones of Baousso da Torre 1 and 3 and a part of the tools and shells have been transferred to the LAPP at the University of Bordeaux 1 (PACEA 5199). These exceptional ﬁnds are in large part unpublished and the main publication is a very partial study published by Rivière in 1887 so these skeletons raise many questions: 1. The ﬁrst concerns the stratigraphic age and the archaeological context. Information on the archaeostratigraphic inﬁlling of Baousso da Torre cave indicate the following sequence: Mousterian, Early Aurignacian, Gravettian, and Epigravettian. The skeletons were discovered at the base of the Upper Palaeolithic levels (Rivière, 1887; Villeneuve, 1906). An earlier Upper Palaeolithic age is consistent with their stratigraphic position above the Mousterian level between 3.80 m and 4.00 m. They are generally attributed at the Gravettian culture (Mussi, 1986), but there were Mousterian, Early Aurignacian and Gravettian artefacts mixed in the burial level (Rivière, 1887). A Gravettian age for these skeletons is more likely. In that case the burials would be intrusive into the Aurignacian levels. Mixture between levels could also reﬂect taphonomic processes (Henry-Gambier, 2001). Recent analyses of stone tools from the Balzi Rossi show evidence of several Gravettian and Epigravettian occupations (Palma di Cesnola, 1976; Onoratini and Da Silva, 1978) dated from 28,000 BP to 10,000 BP (Henry-Gambier, 2001; Formicola et al., 2004). Direct radiocarbon dating of the skeletons was conducted to clarify the chronological and cultural position of the skeletons. Small samples of femur (BT1) and humerus (BT3) without any trace of contaminant TABLE 1. Comparison between original Baousso da Torre 1 and 3 measurements (Rivière, 1887) and our data Subject Bone Measurementa Adult (BT1) L. Scapula R. Humerus Max. L. Maximal breadth of the distal part Max. L. Max. L. Max. L. Max. L. Max. L. Max. L. Max. L. Max. L. Max. L. of the proximal part (without the head) Max. L. Midshaft circumference Adolescent (BT3) L. Humerus L. Radius R. Femur L. Femur R. Tibia L. Tibia R. Humerus R. Ulna R. Femur L. Femur a b Rivère, 1887b V& H.-G.b 130 60 104 44 246 195 375 452 420 150 96 58 60 247 178 (370) 441 340 150 96 58 59 430–440 77 (400) 77 Max. L., maximum length of the fragment. In mm (estimated measurements are in parentheses). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 6 S. VILLOTTE AND D. HENRY-GAMBIER lands). The collagen content was too low to obtain a reliable date. A similar result was obtained several years ago on a rib fragment of BT2. Consequently, an accurate cultural attribution for the skeletons of Baousso da Torre requires verifying sparse stratigraphic data from Rivière (1887) against new data concerning archaeological material (tools, shells, bone implements) from the Rivière/Goury collection associated with each skeleton. This is one of the ﬁrst challenges of the study we are currently undertaking. 2. Other questions concern the morphology and the pathology of these skeletons, the bones having been only brieﬂy described (Rivière, 1887). The issue is important because human remains are relatively scarce for the earlier Upper Palaeolithic from Western Europe. Although restoration must take place before more complete analysis can proceed, it is nonetheless possible to observe that BT1 is a very robust male adult (according to population-speciﬁc discriminant analyses; see Villotte, 2008). Dental development (upper canine apex open) and skeletal maturation reveals an age at death for BT3 of ca 12 years (see Fig. 3). 3. For most researchers, BT1, 2 and 3 are primary burials but Rivière (1887) did not exclude the possibility that the skeletal disturbances observed for the three individuals were related to the original funerary behavior. Taphonomic study of the bones may help identify the disturbing agent(s) and to understand the history of these deposits. 4. As many as 12 burials were discovered in the caves of Balzi Rossi. There are various hypotheses concerning mortuary practices, selection of those to be buried, and on the circumstance and cause of the death (Villeneuve, 1906; Verneau, 1906; Mussi et al., 1989; Henry-Gambier, 2001, in press; Formicola, 2007). A comprehensive approach to the human remains from Baousso da Torre will provide new data to help answer these questions. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors thank the two reviewers, the editor-inchief and the associate editor for their detailed and useful comments. The authors also thank the Musée Lorrain (Nancy, France), the MAN (Saint Germain-en-Laye, American Journal of Physical Anthropology France), and J. Bellue and R. White for the help to translating the original French text. LITERATURE CITED Bocherens H, Drucker D, Billiou D, Moussa I. 2005. Une nouvelle approche pour évaluer l’état de conservation de l’os et du collagène pour les mesures isotopiques (datation au radiocarbone, isotopes stables du carbone et de l’azote). L’Anthropologie 109:557–567. Formicola V. 2007. From the Sunghir children to the Romito Dwarf. Aspects of the Upper Paleolithique funerary landscape. Curr Anthropol 48:446–452. Formicola V, Pettitt PB, Del Lucchese A. 2004. A direct AMS radiocarbon date on the Barma Grande 6 Upper Paleolithic skeleton. Curr Anthropol 45:114–118. Henry-Gambier D. 2001. Les enfants de Grimaldi (Grotte des Enfants site des Baoussé—Roussé, Italie). Anthropologie et Palethnologie funéraire. Paris: CTHS/RMN. Henry-Gambier D. Pratiques funéraires et comportement des populations gravettiennes en Europe: bilan des données et interprétations. Paléo 20, in press. Mussi M. 1986. On the chronology of the burials found in Grimaldi Caves. Antropol contemp 9:95–104. Mussi M. 2001. Earliest Italy: an overview of the Italian Paleolithic and Mesolithic. New York: Springer. Mussi M, Frayer DW, Macchiarelli R. 1989. Les vivants et les morts. Les sépultures du Paléolithique supérieur en Italie et leur interprétation. In: Hershkovitz I, editor. Proceedings of the Second Symposium on Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic Populations of Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, Part II. BAR International Series 508. Oxford, UK: Archaeopress. p 435–458. Onoratini G, Da Silva J. 1978. La grotte des Enfants à Grimaldi. Les foyers supérieurs. Bulletin du Musée d’Anthropologie Préhistorique de Monaco 22:31–71. Palma di Cesnola A. 1976. Considerazioni sulla posizione cronostratigraﬁca dei fanerantropi della grotta dei Fanciulli a Grimaldi. Archivio Antrop Etnol 106:171–191. Rivière E. 1887. De l’Antiquité de l’Homme dans les Alpes-Maritimes. Paris: J.-B. Baillière edition. Verneau R. 1906. Les grottes de Grimaldi (Baoussé-Roussé), Anthropologie, II-1. Monaco: Imprimerie de Monaco. Villeneuve de L. 1906. Les grottes de Grimaldi (Baoussé-Roussé). Historique et description, I-1. Monaco: Imprimerie de Monaco. Villotte S. 2008. Enthésopathies et activités des Hommes préhistoriques—Recherche méthodologique et application aux fossiles européens du Paléolithique supérieur et du Mésolithique. Ph.D. thesis, Physical Anthropology. Talence: Bordeaux 1 University.