chassé

Chasséen culture

Chasséen culture is the name given to the early pre-Bell beaker archaeological culture of prehistoric France of the late Neolithic (stone age), roughly between 4500 BC and 3500 BC. The name "Chasséen" derives from the type site near Chassey-le-Camp (Saône-et-Loire; archeological evidence shows continuous occupation after the Chasséen period through the Bronze and Iron ages, the Roman period and the Middle Ages).

Chasséen culture spread throughout the plains and plateaux of France, including the Seine basin and the upper Loire valleys, and extended to the present-day départments of Haute-Saône, Vaucluse, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Pas-de-Calais and Eure-et-Loir. Excavations at Bercy (in Paris) have revealed a Chasséen village (4000 BC - 3800BC) on the right bank of the Seine; artifacts include wood canoes, pottery, bows and arrows, wood and stone tools.

Chasséens were sedentary farmers (rye, panic grass, millet, apples, pears, prunes) and herders (sheep, goats, oxen). They lived in huts organized into small villages (100-400 people). Their pottery was little decorated. They had no metal technology (which appeared later), but mastered the use of flint.

By roughly 3500 BC, the Chasséen culture in France gave way to the late Neolithic transitional Seine-Oise-Marne culture (3100BC - 2000 BC) in Northern France and to a series of archaeological cultures in Southern France.

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