Ground stone technology in context: Consumption of grinding tools and social practice at Neolithic Avgi, NW Greece
Excavations at Neolithic Avgi (Middle-Late Neolithic, circa 5700-4500 cal. BCE) at the region of Kastoria, northwestern Greece, brought to light one of the largest ground stone assemblages known from Neolithic Greece. More than 8000 ground stone tools and objects, raw materials and by-products comprise a valuable record for investigating various aspects of ground stone technology (production, consumption, discard), while their rich contextual information provides an ideal opportunity for addressing its significance for Neolithic societies.
This paper examines the presence of grinding tools (stable grinding slabs and mobile grinders, their raw materials and by-products) within different spatiotemporal contexts (habitational phases, buildings, open areas, pits). Through the detailed technological and contextual analysis of the grinding artifacts we seek to explore different aspects of their biographies, related to their manufacture, use, maintenance, destruction and discard, within the context of a single Neolithic community. The goal is to shed light on the multiple ways through which the Neolithic society of Avgi consumed those technological products in various social occasions, practices and places (e.g. daily routine activities, special events of communal or symbolic character, individual houses and communal activity areas) and explore their role in the formation of social identities and the production of social meaning.
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