Presenting LusoLit: A lithotheque of knappable raw materials from central and southern Portugal

  • Telmo Pereira Universidade do Algarve
  • Anne Farias Universidade do Algarve
  • Eduardo Paixão Universidade do Algarve
Keywords: LusoLit, lithotheque, knappable raw materials, abiotic resources, Portugal


The knowledge of where past human populations collected their raw materials to produce stone-tools is crucial to understand subjects such as their territoriality, mobility, decision-making, range of acquisition, networks and, eventually, to infer their cognitive abilities and the adaptations to new environments, landscapes and territories. Therefore, the creation of lithic reference collections (lithotheque) is of utmost importance.

In geological terms, Portugal is a highly complex and diversified region, with a plethora of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks dated from Proterozoic to present days. Such diversity might have influenced considerably the human decision-making on the choices of raw material and it might be one of the major reasons for the diversity seen throughout the diachrony of its archaeological record. Thus, sampling, cataloguing and mapping the raw material diversity in a territory with such variability allows to enrich the knowledge about it and, consequently to build stronger inferences about past human behaviour with more detail and less bias.

In order to help the archaeological and anthropological research to better understand such archaeological record and past human behaviour in this territory, we started a reference collection for this region host in the University of Algarve: the LusoLit. Though in its early stages, this collection has already several hundred chert samples from Central and Southern Portugal. In this early stage, the raw material that we start collecting was chert because it is the least ubiquitous through the landscape and, consequently, that can provide better information.


Author Biographies

Telmo Pereira, Universidade do Algarve


Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais, Universidade do Algarve

ICArEHB - Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behavior
Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais
Universidade do Algarve
Campus Gambelas, 8005-139

Anne Farias, Universidade do Algarve
Núcleo dos Alunos de Arqueologia e Paleoecologia
Universidade do Algarve
Campus Gambelas 8005-139
Eduardo Paixão, Universidade do Algarve

ICArEHB - Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behavior
Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais
Universidade do Algarve
Campus Gambelas 8005-139

NAP - Núcleo dos Alunos de Arqueologia e Paleoecologia
Universidade do Algarve
Campus Gambelas 8005-139


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How to Cite
Pereira, T., Farias, A., & Paixão, E. (2016). Presenting LusoLit: A lithotheque of knappable raw materials from central and southern Portugal. Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(2).
ISKM 2015 - Barcelona