French prehistorian specializing in the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic periods. He became Professor of Archaeology in Bordeaux University, where he established the Institut du Quaternaire. He excavated many sites, including the Palaeolithic deposits at Combe‐General and Pech de l'Azé, and was an expert flint knapper and replicated early tools. Bordes is probably best known for his classification of the Mousterian industries of southwest France in what became known as the système Bordes. He interpreted the variations between topological groups as reflecting chronological changes through time. In the late 1960s he was famously challenged over this by Lewis Binford, who interpreted the data as reflecting functionally differentiated assemblages.
Antiquity, 55, 168–9