Over the last ten years or so, discoveries of Late Paleolithic and especially Mesolithic sites have become more frequent in the middle Oise valley. They appear in a so far incomplete context and give a more vivid image of the valley during the Late Glacial period and especially during the early phase of the Holocene.

These new data provide the basis for a first assessment of the different sedimentary contexts and of the role they play in the preservation of deposits. Thus, five sedimentary contexts have been distinguished: the sand “montilles” [small mounds], the lower lying areas (one single layer), the secondary channels, the minor bed of the Oise and lastly the former banks of the river.

They have in common a very low to inexistent sedimentary balance during the early phase of the Holocene. Thus, Prehistoric deposits are frequently mingled, and little organic matter is preserved, especially as concerns fauna. This restricts studies and interpretations. However, the most recently collected data are sufficient to support a first study of the occurrence and localization of the Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic deposits.

The Upper Paleolithic has so far only been found on sand mounds which are often poorly preserved. Further evidence is needed to ascertain whether these people had indeed any interest in these sandy environments.

As for the Mesolithic people, they are usually found in lower lying areas, better preserved, but subject to considerable mingling. If the Mesolithic with segments and points with retouched bases [?] is found everywhere in the Oise valley, the full range of Mesolithic is to be found only at the Aisne-Oise confluence.

Traduction : Margaret & Jean-louis CADOUX