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Karst Memories Above and Beneath the Sea: Marseilles and Its Continental Shelf During the Cosquer Cave Occupation

  • Jacques Collina-GirardEmail author
Chapter
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)

Abstract

In the south of France, the Cosquer Cave with its famous prehistoric paintings is located in a karstic area located between Marseilles and Cassis. This emerged and submerged karst is typical of karstic coasts submerged after the Late-Glacial Maximum. All the forms observed in the hinterland can be observed directly by scuba divers and indirectly on bathymetric charts: lapiaz, karstic archs, sinkholes, uvala and polje. The emerged and submerged landscapes are mainly the heritage of specific lithological conditions (Urgonian limestones) and tectonic conditions (vertical faulting network leading to coastal collapse in the Mediterranean Sea). Other elements of this submerged landscape are given by the traces of the last sea level rise (palaeo-shorelines and erosion platforms and notches). All the area between Marseilles and La Ciotat is now established as the Calanques National Park, including the Cosquer Cave with its upper Palaeolithic rock art paintings, which adds an international archaeological interest to this exceptional natural area.

Keywords

Continental shelf Karst Prehistory Cosquer Cave Marseilles 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Géologie quaternaire et préhistoire LAMPEA, MMSH, UMR7269 du CNRSAix-en-Provence, Cedex 2France

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