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13th AFEQ-CNF INQUA conference: Strasbourg 2022

The next AFEQ-CNF INQUA conference will be held from March 14 to 18, 2022 in Strasbourg and will be entitled “Q13 – Paleoclimate changes, landscape evolution and human societies: from sedimentary basins to industrial landscapes”. Organized by the Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement (LIVE, UMR7362), it will have a strong international dimension reflecting Strasbourg’s position at the heart of Europe.

It will be structured around 12 sessions and two workshops presented in the first circular available here. You will also find the various deadlines there.


The AFEQ letter is published

The AFEQ 2019 2020 newsletter summarizes two years of activity of AFEQ – CNF INQUA and illustrates the many initiatives to come and the prospects for 2021 and 2022.

Thank you to all of you for helping to revitalize the life of the association!

Note that due to the changing health situation, the excursion to the Eastern Pyrenees has been postponed to September 9-11. Registration closed a few weeks ago and the excursion is fully booked. However, you will be informed if, with the change of dates, some places become available.

Last days of registration for the excursion in the Pyrenees

The next AFEQ excursion will take place from 20th to 22nd May 2021 in  the eastern Pyrenees and is entitled:

The impact of Pleistocene environmental changes on the evolution of landscapes. 10 years of research in Quaternary and Geomorphology in the Eastern Pyrenees.

The detailed program is available in the circular

Registration and payment of the deposit before 10 February 2021

Registration form

the millionth map of the Quaternary of France, version 2020 is available

The Quaternary millionth map of metropolitan France proposed here presents the geological polygons of Quaternary-age formations of metropolitan France as well as certain remarkable sites (prehistoric, of climatic interest, paleontological, palynological) that have been the subject of a comprehensive study over the past 20 years.

The polygons are RGF (Geological Referential of France) labeled and the RGF chronostratigraphic charter (compatible with the INSPIRE standard) was used for the chronological attributions. The map has been updated according to recent modifications of the international stratigraphic chart.

This map will in the end be integrated into the next map of the European Quaternary at 1 / 2,500,000 (IQuaME)

Source : BRGM

More information:


4-day training course in geochronology from 8 till 11
October 2019

The first three days (Tue-Thu) involve training on geochronological techniques and age-depth modelling given by experts in the field. The theoretical part will be followed by a field excursion on
Friday, where sampling techniques for C-14, OSL, ESR, and CRN dating will be presented and discussed.

MSc and PhD students in geo-sciences and archaeology, as well as early career and advanced researchers and professionals are welcome in this geochronology training course. The full course qualifies for 30 contact hours or 4 ECTS. It is possible to participate in part (15h or 2 ECTS) of the training program. A certificate for the doctoral school can be issued on request.

Find more information here

The new issue of Quaternaire journal (Vol 30 No 2) has been published

Dedicated to the publications of the Q11 symposium held in Orléans in 2018, it first takes us to the Bao Bolon Valley in Senegal for a paleoenvironmental study of the second half of the Holocene (Stern et al., 2019). Back in France, in the Somme Valley, paleontological and geochronological data allow a reinterpretation of the archaeological site of Menchecourt (Bahain et al., 2019). Which large animals lived in the vicinity of the Neandertal occupations of the Ramandils cave (Port-la-Nouvelle, Aude, France)? Rush et al. (2019) study their assemblages to reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental and paleoclimatic framework during the Late Pleistocene.

Cover of Quaternaire, Volume 30 Issue 2

Two articles are devoted to the region of Orleans which hosted the Q11 symposium. Coussot et al. (2019) describe the chronostratigraphy of the filling of a palaeovallon by silt in the context of the Beauceron plateau at Courville-sur-Eure (Eure-et-Loir, France), which extends from the second half of the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. From a sedimentary filling section at the prehistoric site of La Roche-Cotard IV (Indre-et-Loire, France), Marquet et al. (2019) conclude that the parietal productions with a symbolic character of the cave are very probably the work of the Neanderthal Man.

Finally, Armynot of Châtelet et al. (2019) have characterized foraminifers to reconstruct the environment of the Merovingian and Carolingian emporium of Quentovic, in the mouth of the Canche (France).

You can read a more detailed introduction of this issue and the Q11 colloquium in the foreword (Tissoux and Jacob, 2019).


In 2020, the AFEQ-CNF INQUA will reward for the first time a francophone professional whose career has been devoted to the study of Quaternary whatever the discipline concerned. Dedicated to be awarded every two years, this distinction honors Henriette Alimen (1900-1996), a French geologist known for her many works on the Quaternary of the Pyrenees and Africa, former president of the Société Géologique de France and founder of the Laboratory of Quaternary Geology of Marseille-Luminy.

Each nomination must be submitted by two members of the AFEQ-CNF INQUA, at least one of whom does not belong to the same laboratory as the person proposed. The assessment of the files is entrusted to the Association Council (CA), assisted if necessary by external stakeholders. The final decision is voted on by the CA. The selection criteria include the candidate’s national and international scientific outreach and the services provided to AFEQ-CNF INQUA or other international associations working for the Quaternary.

The first Henriette Alimen medal will be awarded in February 2020 at the Quaternaire Q12 symposium in Paris by the President of AFEQ-CNF INQUA and the laureate will give a presentation of his work on this occasion.

Filing of nominations before September 30, 2019
The file includes a letter of justification signed by the two members of the AFEQ-CNF INQUA who sponsor the candidate, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications and, possibly, letters of support from Quaternary specialists, members or not of the AFEQ-CNF INQUA. The file must not exceed 5 pages.

It should be sent in digital format (pdf) to Julie Dabkowski, Secretary of the AFEQ-CNF INQUA (

12th AFEQ-CNF INQUA conference : Paris 2020

The next conference of the AFEQ-CNF INQUA will be held from February 3 to 5, 2020 on the Condorcet Campus in Aubervilliers, north of Paris. Organized by the Laboratory of Physical Geography (UMR8591) of Meudon, Q12 aims to: (1) present news research carried out and associated results; (2) discuss new investigation methods and their multiple applications in response to the issues raised and the various environments; (3) to feed the discussion around the contribution of this research to the issues facing the environment and society.
It will hold 8 sessions presented in the first circular available here: Circular Q12.

For this edition of the Quaternary conferences, the AFEQ-CNF INQUA is associated with the GFG (French Group of Geomorphology). Thus, the Days of Young Geomorphologists (JJG), dedicated to the diffusion and promotion of the work of PhD students and young PhDs in geomorphology, will be held in the aftermath on 6 and 7 February.

Conference website :


Death of émilie campmas

Emilie CAMPMAS (1983-2019)

Emilie passed away on Friday, March 8, 2019 after five years of tenacious struggle against this terrible disease that is cancer. After having held, from 2014 to 2016, an ATER position at the Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, she had recently joined CNRS as a researcher at the TRACES laboratory. A relentless worker, with bulimia of knowledge, Emilie was a young researcher out of the ordinary as much for her dynamism, her scientific rigor, her sense of the collective, her so communicative enthusiasm ! Laureate of several prizes, including a L’Oréal France thesis grant for women and science in 2011 or more recently the Young Researcher Award in Prehistoric and Anthropological Archeology from SAMRA and the Award from Fondation des Treilles, she became in a few years an essential researcher enjoying full recognition in the field of expertise that was her: the adaptation to the coastal environment of Paleolithic hunters-collectors.

An archaeozoologist specialized in large fauna and malacofauna, Emilie launched her career during a Master 1 course conducted at UTAH in 2006 on the fauna from the excavation materials of cave Abri du Moulin in Troubat. Her doctorate “Characterization of the occupation of the sites of the region of Temara (Morocco) in the Upper Pleistocene and new data on the subsistence of Middle Paleolithic men of North Africa: Examples of taphonomic and archeozoological approaches carried out on the faunas of El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra “, that she defended in 2012 at the University of Bordeaux 1, was the starting point of her problematic on coastal economies. Having demonstrated, thanks to an exemplary taphonomic study of the faunal assemblages, the decisive role of the littoral in the modalities of occupation of the territories by the Aterian and then Ibero-Amaurian human groups, her results had then brought her to be interested in the thorny issue of cultural modernity for these “archaic” populations. The early diversification of food resources, especially the consumption of marine shellfish, coupled with the presence of Nassarius sp. symbolic markers, had allowed her to draw a convincing parallel with what is observed in South Africa’s anatomically modern men, opening up new perspectives on the evolutionary trajectories of these populations and the role played by coastal environments in the emergence of so-called modern behaviors. On these issues, she co-organized two sessions: one in 2016, at the SAfA Congress “The role of North Africa in the emergence and development of modern behaviors: Integrated Approach”, the other in 2018 PANAF Congress “Diversity of hominin subsistence strategies across Africa from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene”.

In parallel with these major anthropological questions, the fine analysis of the bone material was at the heart of Emilie’s approach. Particularly active in the field of taphonomy with her strong involvement in the European Network for Quaternary Taphonomy, Emilie was also a field scientist. Since 2006, she was a member of the Franco-Moroccan mission “El Harhoura-Témara” and in 2016 she led an ethnographic mission on the coastal fringe of the Atlantic around Rabat-Témara to combine archaeological and ethnological data for the exploitation of marine molluscs. In order to fully discuss the complementarity of terrestrial and marine animal resources, she had expanded her areas of expertise to the field of malacology, leading her to train with Catherine Dupont and begin to develop experimental approaches on the use of mollusc shells as a butcher’s knife. Seeking to understand the diversity of coastal adaptations, she was just beginning to extend her research to the entire circummediterranean zone both in the Neanderthals of the European Pleistocene and in the fully anatomically modern humans of the late Upper Pleistocene and early Holocene in North Africa and Eurasia. During all these years, I had the chance to work with her first as a supervisor alongside Patrick Michel and then as a colleague. I salute here her courage and her scientific career so rich and intellectually stimulating. Emilie, we’ll miss you …

Sandrine Costamagno, March 31, 2019

Selected bibliography

Campmas, E., Stoetzel, E., Denys, C. 2018. African carnivores as taphonomic agents: Contribution of modern coprogenic sample analysis to their identification. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, p. 1–27.

Campmas, E., Chakroun, A., Chahid, D., Lenoble, A., Boudad, L., El Hajraoui, M.A., Nespoulet, R. 2018. Subsistance en zone côtière durant le Middle Stone Age en Afrique du Nord : étude préliminaire de l’unité stratigraphique 8 de la grotte d’El Mnasra (Témara, Maroc). In : Costamagno, S., Dupont C., Dutour, O., Gourichon L., Vialon D. (dir.), Animal symbolisé – Animal exploité. Du Paléolithique à la Protohistoire. Actes du 141ème Congrès du CTHS(Rouen, avril 11-13, 2016). Paris, Édition électronique du CTHS, p. 112-134.

Campmas E., Stoetzel E., Oujaa A., Scerri E. (dir.) 2018. Special Issue: The Role of North Africa in the Emergence and Development of Modern Behaviors: An Integrated Approach. African Archaeological Review, 34.

Campmas, E. 2017. Integrating human-animal relationships into new data on Aterian complexity: a paradigm shift for the North African Middle Stone Age. African Archaeological Review, 34, p. 469–491.

Campmas, E., Michel, P., Costamagno, S., Nespoulet, R., El Hajraoui, M.A. 2017. Which predators are responsible for faunal accumulations at the Late Pleistocene layers of El Harhoura 2 Cave (Témara, Morocco)? Comptes Rendus Palevol, 16, p. 333-350.

Campmas, E., Amani, F., Morala, A., Debénath, A., El Hajraoui, M.A., Nespoulet, R. 2016. Initial insights into Aterian hunter-gatherer settlements on coastal landscapes: the example of Unit 8 of El Mnasra Cave (Témara, Morocco). Quaternary International, 413, p. 5-20.

Campmas, E., Michel, P., Costamagno, S., Amani, F., Stoetzel, E., Nespoulet, R., El Hajraoui, A. M. 2015. Were Upper Pleistocene human/non-human predator occupations at the Témara caves (El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra, Morocco) influenced by climate change? Journal of Human Evolution, 78, p. 122-143.

Campmas, E. 2012. Caractérisation de l’occupation des sites de la région de Témara (Maroc) au Pléistocène supérieur et nouvelles données sur la subsistance des hommes du Paléolithique moyen d’Afrique du Nord : exemples des études taphonomique et archéozoologique menées sur les faunes d’El Harhoura 2 et d’El Mnasra. Thèse de Doctorat, Bordeaux, Université Bordeaux 1, 592 p.

Campmas, E., Daujeard, C., Lenoir, M., Ajas, A., Baillet, M., Bourgeon, L., Delvignes, V., Robert, B., Teyssandier, J., Armand, D., Rigaud, S. 2011. Nouvelles données sur le Magdalénien de l’Entre-deux-Mers : la faune de l’Abri Vidon (Juillac, Gironde). Préhistoire du Sud-Ouest, 19, p. 3-18.

Campmas, E., Laroulandie, V., Michel, P., Amani, F., Nespoulet, R., El Hajraoui, M. A. 2010. A Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) in North Africa: Discovery of a bone remain in Neolithic layer of El Harhoura 2 Cave (Temara, Morocco). In : Prummel, W., Zeiler, J.T. et Brinkhuizen D.C. (dir.), Birds in Archaeology. Proceeding of the 6th meeting of the ICAZ bird working group in Groningen (Groningen 23-27 Août, 2008). Groningen Archaeological Studies, 12, p. 233-240.

Michel, P., Campmas, E., Stoetzel, E., Nespoulet, R., El Hajraoui, A. M., Amani, F. 2010. La grande faune du Paléolithique supérieur (niveau 2) et du Paléolithique moyen (niveau 3) de la grotte d’El Harhoura 2 (Témara, Maroc) : étude paléontologique, reconstitutions paléoécologiques et paléoclimatiques. Historical Biology, 22, p. 327-340.

Campmas, E., Beauval, C. 2008. Consommation osseuse des carnivores : résultats de l’étude de l’exploitation de carcasses de bœufs (Bos taurus) par des loups captifs. Annales de Paléontologie, 98, p. 167-186.

Emilie Campmas

INRAP is urgently looking for a motivated geomorphologist

INRAP is urgently seeking a motivated geomorphologist for a 10-month contract at INRAP (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research) in Nîmes, France.

This person would intervene on the diagnoses and archaeological excavations in Gard and its surroundings. He/She must be ready to take housing in the area. An archeology experience is preferable.

For more information or to send CV and cover letter, please contact Marc Jarry :

image :

What future for the ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula?

An international research group, including scientists from three French laboratories (1), has revealed the systematic and negative impact of ocean warming on the extent of ice shelves in the East Antarctic Peninsula in recent decades and the 9000 last years.

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the regions most affected by the current global warming. Over the last 50 years, it has lost almost 75% of the surface of its floating ice platforms, which are important barriers to ocean erosion for the continental ice cap and, therefore, limit the sea-level increase. The major collapses of these platforms in recent decades coincide systematically with joint and rapid increases in ocean temperature (+0.3°C) and atmospheric temperature (+3°C).

Location of the study sites (JPC-38, marine core, JRI, ice core) and the main glacial platforms (Larsen A, B and C). The shaded area corresponds to the area where the ocean temperature reanalyses and the simulations for the future were made (figure modified from Etourneau et al.).

Scientists conducted geochemical analysis of marine sedimentary records which were compared to data from an ice core located only 50km from their study site. With these temperature reconstructions covering the last 9000 years, they have shown that the main period during which all the platforms have been greatly reduced in the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula, between 8200 and 6000 years BC, occurred during a major oceanic warming (+1.5°C) period, while the atmosphere was cooling. They also pointed out that the progressive warming of the ocean (+0.3°C) over the last thousand years has recurrently controlled the gradual removal of the ice shelves of this region.

Based on this observation, this research team focused on assessing the possible evolution of ocean and atmospheric temperatures over the next century, based on two scenarios established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Only the pessimistic scenario of increasing atmospheric (+3°C) and oceanic (+0.3°C) temperatures would be enough to weaken these ice platforms even more, until they can collapse completely in the coming decades. Their future therefore belongs henceforth to the respect or not of the Paris Agreements, and to its objectives of limiting global warming to +2°C.

Sources :


Johan Etourneau, Giovanni Sgubin, Xavier Crosta, Didier Swingedouw, Verónica Willmott, Loïc Barbara, Marie-Noëlle Houssais, Stefan Schouten, Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté, Hugues Goosse, Carlota Escutia, Julien Crespin, Guillaume Massé & Jung-Hyun Kim (2019) Ocean temperature impact on ice shelf extent in the eastern Antarctic PeninsulaNature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-08195-6

Note (1) :

The French laboratories involved are the Laboratoire environnements et paléoenvironnements océaniques et continentaux (EPOC/OASU, Université de Bordeaux/CNRS/EPHE), the Laboratoire d’océanographie et du climat: expérimentations et approches numériques (LOCEAN/IPSL, CNRS/UPMC/IRD/MNHN), and Unité mixte internationale TAKUVIK (UL/CNRS).

extreme vulnerability of African moUNTAIN forests to climate change revealed by the sediments of a lake in Cameroon

The pollen grains content of lacustrine sediments allowed to trace the history of mountain biomes in Cameroon during the last 90 000 years. This study, conducted by French laboratories LOCEAN and LSCE of the IPSL with the National Herbarium of Cameroon, showed that tropical mountain forests are extremely vulnerable to climate change.

Bambili Lake (© A.-M. Lézine) is located on the volcanic line of Cameroon, one of the hotspots of global diversity.

Because they have forms and ornamentations that are specific to most plant species and are remarkably preserved in sediments, pollen grains are powerful tools for reconstructing the vegetation of the past and understanding biodiversity.

Bambili Lake, located on the volcanic line of Cameroon at an altitude of 2273m, has provided a unique palynological sequence in tropical Africa, the first that accurately covers such a long period, ie most of the last climatic cycle. This sequence makes it possible to precisely follow the response of mountain biomes to extreme climatic, glacial and interglacial situations.

The study shows that Cameroon’s mountain forest biome has been extremely sensitive to climate change in contrast to lowland forests that appear to have been much more stable. Its area has varied considerably over time, in particular because of the large movements of its upper limit. This ecological instability has not been a hindrance to the exceptional biodiversity of the high mountains of Cameroon, but has instead favored it.

Sources :


Anne-Marie Lézine, Kenji Izumi, Masa Kageyama, Gaston Achoundong (2019) A 90,000-year record of Afromontane forest responses to climate change, Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aav6821