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Journal of Lithic Studies
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2055-0472 - ISSN (Online) 2055-0472
Published by U of Edinburgh Journal Hosting Service Homepage  [21 journals]
  • From bedrock to alluvium: Considerations on human-lithic resource
           interaction

    • Authors: Norbert Faragó; Zsolt Mester
      Abstract: Although lithic raw material provenience studies in Hungarian archaeology have started in the late 1970s, little attention has been paid to the methods prehistoric people with which acquired these raw materials for tool production. With our palaeoethnological approach, we investigate the relationship between human groups and the world surrounding them, aiming to recognize which environmental factors played a role in their lithic raw material economy and tool production. Prehistoric people weighed a range of such factors against each other when deciding about the utilization of a lithic raw material source. The occurrence-source-archaeological site (OSA) model presented in our article helps to describe the interaction between siliceous rock resources and humans. Any place where stone suitable for knapping can be found is considered to be an occurrence. If the lithic raw material from an occurrence is found in the archaeological material, we call it a source, as it was utilized by humans. All places where remains of human activity are found are usually considered archaeological sites. Siliceous rock occurrences are considered raw material sources with a long history prior to human interaction, travelling from the original bedrock to alluvial deposits, due to the geologic-geomorphologic processes of formation, transformation, and transport. The characteristics, of these occurrences, including location, determine not only the distance of transportation but also the quality and condition of the blocks available. Based on these assumptions our research has two aims: to locate lithic raw material occurrences available for prehistoric people and to recognize their decisions about extraction. For the first one, we mapped occurrences of several siliceous rocks in the region. To reconstruct lithic raw material utilization and preferences, we conducted a techno-economic analysis. We studied two areas and their characteristic lithic raw materials in northern Hungary: limnosilicite from the foothills of the Mátra mountain range (Mátraalja), and Buda hornstone or chert from the Buda Hills. The utilization of both materials is documented at archaeological sites of several prehistoric periods. Both rocks occur in the study areas at several locations that can be considered prehistoric extraction sites. According to Turq’s source area typology, allochthonous sources are not present, but primary and secondary autochthonous as well as sub-allochthonous types have been identified in both areas. However, the exploitation of primary autochthonous limnosilicites could not be demonstrated in the Mátraalja. At the moment, the exploitation of secondary autochthonous and sub-allochthonous sources can be hypothesized for all concerned prehistoric periods.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Oct 2022 18:06:11 +010
       
  • Levallois technology in southern Patagonia (Argentina and Chile): current
           knowledge and future perspectives

    • Authors: María Cecilia Pallo
      Abstract: Situated on the extreme point of South America, southern Patagonia has yielded the southernmost evidence of Levallois lithic technology. There, enough evidence of the use of a method of core preparation for production of predefined flakes similarly structured to the known Levallois technology (LT) in the Old World is present. An overview of the currently available information (distribution, chronology, frequency, artifact classes, raw materials and techno-morphological attributes) on Levallois technology in southern continental Patagonia and on the Isla Grande of Tierra del Fuego (Argentina and Chile) is presented here in order to discuss its place in the shared technological background of local hunter-gatherers during the Holocene. The analysis of the information shows that the LT occurs at very low frequency, mainly involving cores, knives and sidescrapers on local raw materials but encompassing a high diversity in terms of ecological contexts and human subsistence. These findings are an indicator that several populations were simultaneously familiar with this technology, possibly through long-distance movements of individuals or social networks to share ideas and information on how to make and use these artifacts. In this regard, the middle Holocene was an important period when the LT became a shared technological phenomenon on a macro-regional scale. However, the evidence on LT is still scarce in Patagonian contexts and emphasizes possible linkages with other reduction strategies, especially the Discoid flaking method, the search for maximize lithic raw material exploitation and even the need to produce versatile tools to deal with a diversity of tasks. It is still unclear therefore whether the LT reflects a truly method to get predetermined flakes with specific morphological features or it mainly attended to other circumstances due to the influence of environment, the spatial organization of human groups or the lithic reduction systems. This issue probably requires an exhaustive study of Levallois cores, specially their own particular sequential development of reduction, frequency and relationship with other knapping techniques recorded in the Patagonian lithic assemblages.
      PubDate: Sun, 04 Sep 2022 10:21:47 +010
       
  • Evaluating rudimentary prehistoric stone artifacts from the American
           southwest and Mexico

    • Authors: James A. Neely; Steve A. Tomka
      Abstract: The goals and background of this study are presented. A sample of rudimentary artifacts, recovered through survey and excavation from contexts in the American Southwest and southern Mexico, were physically examined to verify or reject their assumed validity as tools and their use in agricultural activities. Macroscopic and microscopic examinations were undertaken on these often overlooked and misidentified artifacts to ascertain evidence of human manufacture and use-wear. The results of the study indicate the specimens represent three general form categories of tools that have uses related to excavation and earth moving. To augment this evidence, information was gathered regarding find contexts, historic records, and from relevant literature. The geographic find locations and contexts of the artifacts, as well as their temporal placement, and likely group affiliations, are then discussed. Evidence indicates that, although probably used for other purposes, these minimally-retouched, hand-held, digging and earth moving tools were used in the preparation and maintenance of agricultural fields and irrigation canals, and functioned to support the subsistence system from ca. 400-1450 CE. These implements evidently also held social and ceremonial values and functions. The rudimentary nature of these tools is often found not to be commensurate with the sophisticated complexity of the associated agricultural infrastructure. Initial, very tentative, hypotheses are presented for this incongruity.
      PubDate: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 13:24:39 +010
       
  • Ran-thok and Ling-chhom: indigenous grinding stones of Shertukpen tribes
           of Arunachal Pradesh, India

    • Authors: Norbu Jamchu Thongdok; Gibji Nimasow, Oyi Dai Nimasow
      Abstract: The Shertukpens are an Indigenous tribal group inhabiting the western and southern parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. They are accomplished carvers of carving wood and stone. This paper reports on the use of traditional grinding stone implements, ran-thok (grinding stone) and ling-chhom (nutting stone) for the grinding and nutting of grains, fruits, rhizomes, and other food products. These grinding implements are examples of endangered material culture, the use of which may produce better quality flour from both nutritional and gustatory perspectives.
      PubDate: Mon, 16 May 2022 00:00:00 +010
       
  • Rock Mortars of Sar Pol-e Zahab in their Archaeological Contexts: Evidence
           of third and second Millennium BCE Nomads Camp Sites in Western Foothills
           of Zagros Mountain, Iran

    • Authors: Sajjad Alibaigi; John MacGinnis
      Abstract: During the 2016 archaeological survey in the Sar Pol-e Zahab region, in the border zone between Mesopotamia lowland and Iranian highland, a number of rock mortars were discovered on the edges of seven ancient sites. Owing to its climate and topography and its winter pastures, this region has long been favoured by nomads, and numerous remains of nomadic activities survive. The sites in question are small settlements that have been attributed to nomadic occupation owing to their small area, thin occupational deposits and extremely limited finds. Most of these sites are located near water sources such as springs and rivers. Furthermore, the associated cultural materials are not of high quality. This is in stark contrast to the settlements of farmers and sedentary settlers in the central range and western foothills of the Zagros, the remains of which formed relatively large mounds with complex stratigraphy representing extended occupations accompanied by cultural materials showing a higher degree of workmanship and artistry. In many cases, these characteristics are enough to distinguish the settlements of sedentary farmers from those of herdsmen and nomads. It appears that the nomads of the region, particularly in the third-second millennium BCE and in the Parthian period, used these permanently located rock mortars to grind grains and cereals during their seasonal occupation of these sites. These mortars are not out of context, they are related to the ancient settlements on whose periphery they are found.
      PubDate: Wed, 06 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +010
       
  • Tiempo, memoria y alteridad en tecnología lítica: síntesis y
           perspectivas del enfoque tecnogenético francés

    • Authors: Louis De Weyer; Antonio Pérez, Rodolphe Hoguin, Hubert Forestier, Eric Boëda
      Abstract: En el campo de los estudios en tecnología lítica prehistórica, el enfoque tecnogenético tiene su origen a fines de los años 1980. Los enfoques tradicionales, de la tipología a la tecnología de producción, tienden a abordar los objetos líticos de la prehistoria a través de sus dimensiones sociocultural y económica, sin realmente considerar la existencia de una tecnogénesis anterior a estas contingencias. La aprehensión de esta dimensión tecnogenética en prehistoria requerirá tanto de la filosofía como de la antropología de las técnicas para conducir a un enfoque dual de los artefactos: un enfoque tecnogenético del objeto lítico según los criterios técnicos relativos a su génesis; y un enfoque psicosocial del objeto según los criterios propios de su producción artesanal, en el seno de un sistema técnico mayor. El objetivo de este artículo es identificar dos existencias fundamentales constituyentes del objeto técnico, una interna (tecnogenética) con linajes técnicos y otra externa (psicosocial) con trayectorias técnicas. La distribución espacio-temporal de la alteridad técnica prehistórica en diferentes continentes ha conducido lógicamente a nuevas preguntas, constataciones y nuevos criterios de análisis. Sobre esta base, nuestro trabajo tendrá como objetivo revisar los principales ejes conceptuales de los fundamentos del enfoque tecnológico, así como aclarar viejas preguntas y desarrollar nuevos criterios de estudio. Mediante la aplicación de conceptos clave como tiempo, memoria y alteridad, se volverá también a discutir una metodología global que propondrá una línea de fuga epistemológica.
      PubDate: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 15:24:41 +010
       
  • Time, memory and alterity in prehistoric lithic technology: Synthesis and
           perspectives of the French technogenetic approach

    • Authors: Louis De Weyer; Antonio Pérez, Rodolphe Hoguin, Hubert Forestier, Eric Boëda
      Abstract: The technogenetic approach in the field of prehistoric lithic technology studies originated in the late 1980s. Traditional approaches, such as typology and production technology, have tended to approach prehistoric lithic objects through their socio-cultural and economic dimensions, without really considering the existence of a technogenesis prior to these contingencies. The apprehension of this technogenetic dimension in prehistory will call upon both the philosophy and the anthropology of techniques to lead to a double approach of the artefacts: a technogenetic approach of the lithic object according to the technical criteria of its genesis; and a psychosocial approach of the object according to the criteria proper to its artisanal production within a major technical system. The objective of this article is to identify two fundamental existences constituting the technical object, one internal (technogenetic) with technical lineages and the other external (psychosocial) with technical trajectories. The spatio-temporal distribution of prehistoric technical otherness on different continents has logically led to new questions, findings and new criteria of analysis. On this basis, our approach will aim to revisit the main conceptual axes of the foundations of the technological approach, to clarify old questions while developing new expertise. Through the application of key concepts such as time, memory and otherness, an overall methodology will also be discussed and will help proposing its epistemological line.
      PubDate: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +010
       
  • Temps, mémoire et altérité en technologie lithique: synthèse et
           perspectives de l’approche technogénétique française

    • Authors: Louis De Weyer; Antonio Pérez, Rodolphe Hoguin, Hubert Forestier, Eric Boëda
      Abstract: L'approche technogénétique dans le domaine des études en technologie lithique préhistorique trouve son origine à la fin des années 1980. Les approches traditionnelles comme de la typologie à la technologie productionnelle ont eu tendance à aborder les objets de la préhistoire à travers leurs dimensions socioculturelle et économique, sans vraiment considérer l’existence d’une technogenèse antérieure à ces contingences. L’appréhension de cette dimension technogénétique en préhistoire convoquera à la fois la philosophie et l’anthropologie des techniques pour amener à une double approche des artefacts: une approche technogénétique de l’objet lithique selon les critères techniques de sa genèse; et une approche psychosociale de l’objet selon les critères propres à sa production artisanale au sein d’un système technique majeur. L’objectif de cet article est d’identifier deux existences fondamentales constituantes de l’objet technique, l’une interne (technogénétique) avec des lignées techniques et l’autre externe (psychosociale) avec des trajectoires techniques. La distribution spatio-temporelle de l’altérité technique préhistorique sur différents continents a logiquement amené à de nouvelles questions, constats et de nouveaux critères d’analyse. Sur cette base, notre démarche visera à revisiter les principaux axes conceptuels des fondements de l’approche technologique, à préciser les anciennes questions tout en développant de nouvelles expertises. À travers l’application de concepts clés comme celui de temps, de mémoire et d’altérité, une méthodologie d’ensemble sera également rediscutée et proposera une ligne de fuite épistémologique.
      PubDate: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +010
       
  • The function of small tools in Europe during the Middle Pleistocene: The
           case of Marathousa 1 (Megalopolis, Greece)

    • Authors: Juliette Guibert-Cardin; Vangelis Tourloukis, Nicholas Thompson, Eleni Panagopoulou, Katerina Harvati, Elisa Nicoud, Sylvie Beyries
      Abstract: Small flake industries are a commonly identified component of Lower Paleolithic archaeological assemblages in Eurasia. Utilized as blanks for tools, at many sites, their functions are often poorly understood. Here we present a preliminary traceological analysis of lithics from Marathousa 1 (MAR-1; Megalopolis, Greece). MAR-1 dates to ca. 400-500 ka BP and is one of the oldest open-air sites in South-Eastern Europe. It has yielded a lithic assemblage made almost exclusively of small-sized flakes found in direct association with diverse megafauna including elephants, hippo and deer. For this preliminary study, a total of 223 artifacts were sampled for a taphonomical analysis and 13 for a functional analysis. The lithic artifacts from MAR-1 are exceptionally well-preserved and are only slightly affected by chemical alterations. They are therefore ideal for a techno-morpho-functional analysis. Use-wear traces confirm on-site butchery. Our results also confirm that plants were worked at the site, whereas technological traces, rarely observed on lithics from this age, can also be seen on a number of specimens. Whereas both retouched and unretouched tools contribute significantly to the MAR-1 toolkit, shapes are varied, and at this phase of the study do not appear morphologically or technologically standardized. However, backing (natural or retouched) opposite to a sharp edge can be observed on numerous specimens. When compared to the sparse functional data available on small tools from Lower Paleolithic Europe and the Levant, small flake tools include a wide variety of techno-functional types. To fully begin to understand this diversity, lithic toolkits must be considered in relation to the rest of the assemblage and the accompanying contextual data, including information from technological, archaeozoological, and palaeoenvironmental datasets.
      PubDate: Tue, 15 Mar 2022 00:00:00 +000
       
 
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