Prehistory of Brittany

Prehistory Of Brittany

Prehistory of Brittany

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Description:
This page concerns the prehistory of Brittany.

Palaeolithic

Brittany was never glaciated during the Quaternary, owing to its latitude, proximity to the coast and absence of significant mountain ranges. However, even though free of glaciers, Palaeolithic Brittany was extremely cold compared to its present climate, with annual mean temperatures at the last glacial maximum estimated at -3°C (27°F). Permafrost was present with only a very shallow active layer estimated at only 1 foot (30 cm) thawing each summer, so that only a very light (less than 5 percent) cover of tundra could grow. This vegetation could only support very low densities of grazing mammals like reindeer, which (in Europe) are found today only in areas then uninhabitable due to the presence of thick ice sheets.

Consequently few if any people could survive in Brittany prior to the end of the last glaciation, and only a few Palaeolithic sites are known from Brittany, like the rock shelter of Perros-Guirec near Rochworn. The only cave site known so far is Roc'h Toul in a sandstone promontory near Guiclan (Finistère). The cave contained about 200 artifacts and was dated to the late Magdalenian by de Mortillet. Because of the presence of points with curved backs, it is now connected with the epipalaeolithic Azilian. Other Azilian sites include Parc-an-Plenen and Enez Guennoc.

Mesolithic

The best-known mesolithic sites from Brittany are the cemeteries on the islands of Hoëdic (10 graves) and Téviec...
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