2 1 45-63 2015

The chert quarrying and processing industry at the Piatra Tomii site, Romania

Otis Norman Crandell, Cristian Ioan Popa

Abstract


Fieldwalking surveys in 2007 and 2008 revealed a moderate sized settlement on Piatra Tomii Hill (Alba County, Romania) which was considered of interest because of its location on top of a natural source of chert, and the large amount of chert artefacts found on the surface. In 2009 the site was excavated during which one of the objectives was to learn more about the chert mining and processing at the site. The ratio of artefact types and lack of use-wear suggests that not only was raw material being extracted at the site, but tools were also being produced locally before being exported. The 2009 excavations also revealed what appear to be the remains of pit quarrying and possibly fire cracked limestone and debris. These finds provide technical insight into potential chert extraction techniques utilised in the Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age. As well, this is as yet the only reported settlement in the Transylvanian basin involved in chert extraction (either quarrying or mining). Given the settlement’s affluence, especially considering its relative isolation, it is likely that the chert industry here was important to communities in the vicinity. Indeed artefacts found at contemporary sites in the Mureș Valley appear to have been made from the same or a similar chert. This paper gives an introductions to the site, describes the artefacts and features found there and provides possible interpretations  regarding the processing and export industry, as well as the methods of extracting the raw material during this period.


Keywords


chert; quarrying; lithic artefacts; Chalcolithic; Romania

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.v2i1.1154

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