Experimental flintknapping with sandstones and prospection of lithic raw material sources from Cabra Corral area, Salta, Argentina
Within the framework of the project named Technological Variability and Social Interaction Networks in Northwest Argentina through the study of lithic technology strategies throughout the Formative period (Mercuri 2012) we collected samples of lithic raw materials in different portions of Las Conchas- Guachipas river area (Salta, Argentina) in order to create a reference collection. With part of this material we performed experimental lithic flintknapping with the aim to observe fractures and other characteristics that allow determining flintknapping quality so that we can understand and give a first reading to the selection of raw materials for making artifacts using local rocks.
We present the results of these experiments conducted on sandstone, as it was the predominant raw material in the archaeological record. First results allow us to affirm that sandstone, given the availability and quality for flintknapping tasks constitutes an optimal raw material for the production of artifacts. We also note that the obtained edges are suitable for cutting work and the notches recorded in the artifacts are due probably to the characteristics of rock fracture.
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