Microwear analysis of small recycled flakes and recycling products from the Ein-Zippori site, Lower Galilee, Israel
A microwear analysis of recycled lithic artefacts from late Pottery Neolithic Wadi Rabah and Early Bronze Age layers at Ein-Zippori, Israel included cores-on-flakes (COFs) which are discarded blanks made into cores, and the flakes detached from them. COFs may have microwear traces that formed before they were recycled. The focus here is on how blanks removed from recycled COFs were used. Discarded flakes were not used as cores to produce small blanks at Ein-Zippori because lithic raw material was scarce, but were COFs recycled so that small tools could be produced for specific tasks? Visible wear traces were present on 19 of 44 blanks produced from COFs. Microwear traces were similar to use wear Lemorini et al. (2015) observed on much older Lower Paleolithic recycled flakes from Qesem Cave, Israel. Most flakes struck from COFs had been used to cut and scrape meat and fresh hide (42%, n=8), but four were used to work wood (21%) and four others were used to cut, scrape, or whittle bone and wood (21%), and two were used for butchering and wood working (11%). One flake only had generic weak microwear traces (5%). These were expedient flake tools, made and used in an ad hoc fashion. Specific blanks do not seem to have been used for distinct tasks.
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