Abstract

Five terrace levels can be recognized along the left bank of the Loir river between Angers and Villeveque (France). With the exception of a narrow band of Precambrian schists in the cliffs around Ecouflant, the terraces overlie a substratum of Cretaceous units. The highest terrace is predominantly a coarse sediment consisting of chert, sandstone pebbles, quartz and sand. The next lower terrace is distinguished by its coarse alluvium in which the sand grains show characteristics of eolian deposition. The oldest human remains in the area have been found in this terrace. The upper three-fourths of the third terrace is a light yellow, coarse alluvium washed down by the Loir river; the lower fourth consists of fine-grained, red sand with gravels containing Paleozoic fossils and granite boulders from the Sarthe. A human habitat is described from below this terrace. The next lower terrace consists of coarse Wuermian alluvium--elements as large as 17 cm. The lowest terrace is composed of fine Flandrian sands containing a molluscan fauna characterized by nanism of all the individuals and abundance of Valvata species. All the deposits except the Flandrian are characteristic cold climate sediments, probably deposited by the rapid fusion of snow accumulated on frozen ground incapable of absorption. A cross section illustrates the relative positions of the terraces as well as their characteristic features and the human industries represented in each.

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