Use wear analysis of quartzite lithic implements from the Middle Palaeolithic site of Lagoa do Bando (Central Portugal)

  • Gabriele Luigi Francesco Berruti Associazione culturale 3P (Progetto Preistoria Piemonte)
  • Sara Cura Earth and Memory Institute, Portugal
Keywords: Middle Palaeolithic, quartzite, use-wear analysis, Central Portugal, Neanderthal behaviour


The Middle Palaeolithic site of Lagoa do Bando is an open air site in a lacustrian context located at 570 m a.s.l. in the municipality of Mação in the center of Portugal. The site was discovered in 2011, during an emergency excavation, and resulted on the recovery of a Middle Palaeolithic lithic assemblage mainly composed of fine grained quartzite implements of expedient, discoid and Levallois technology. Use wear analysis was conducted on 41 artifacts formed through discoid and Levallois technology. Twenty one of these artifacts revealed use wear traces. Ten of them show traces of wood work, five have traces of butchering activities, three present traces of meat processing and two present undetermined traces. The site is located at an atypically high elevation for an open air site and there is evidence of a high rate of woodworking activity, rare in the Middle Palaeolithic occupations. The woodworking activities are possibly linked to the exploitation of woody local resources (maybe for the construction of hunting blinds) and not only with to the manufacture and maintenance of spears and shafts. These results converge with the interpretation of this site as a temporary hunting site integrated in a complex pattern of occupation of the area between the river valleys and the top of low mountains.

Author Biographies

Gabriele Luigi Francesco Berruti, Associazione culturale 3P (Progetto Preistoria Piemonte)

Associazione culturale 3P (Progetto Preistoria Piemonte)
Via Lunga 38, San Mauro, Torino

Department of Geology
Universidade de Tras-os- Montes e Alto Douro
Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real

Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES)
C/ Marcelli Domingo s/n, Campus Sescelades URV (Edifici W3), 43007 Tarragona

Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
Sezione di Scienze Preistoriche e Antropologiche
Università degli Studi di Ferrara


Sara Cura, Earth and Memory Institute, Portugal

Earth and Memory Institute

Quaternary and Prehistory Group of Geosciences Center Unit (uID73 - FCT)


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How to Cite
Berruti, G. L. F., & Cura, S. (2016). Use wear analysis of quartzite lithic implements from the Middle Palaeolithic site of Lagoa do Bando (Central Portugal). Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(2), 29-52.