Manufacture, use and management of macro-lithic resources in the Bronze Age settlement of Bruszczewo (Poland)
Contrary to pottery or metal artefacts, macro-lithic tools are still not fully integrated into the archaeological research programs concerning the Early Bronze Age of Central Europe. While such kind of archaeological materials usually do not easily allow typological approaches, their constant participation in several productive spheres makes them a crucial element for understanding the economic processes and the organisation of past societies. This paper presents the general results of the investigation carried out on an assemblage of 1073 macro-lithic items recovered in the wet soil area of the site of Bruszczewo (Gmina Śmigiel, Poland). This fortified settlement was inhabited during the Early Bronze Age period (2100-1650 BCE) and later on in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (1100-800 BCE), with minor archaeological evidences from Middle Ages. The methodology applied in this assessment is a holistic one, which combines manufacturing (petrography and morphometry), functional (use-wear and residues) and spatial analyses. This approach has allowed recording a mainly local raw material supplying system, based on the gathering of pebbles in the vicinity of the site and a minimal transformation of raw pieces previous to use. The recognition in the macro-lithic tool assemblage of different tasks related to subsistence (food preparation) as well as to manufacture (metallurgy, probably bone working) processes contributes to (a) defining the settlement's organisation and the management of resources in the site and (b) improving our understanding of the role played by central settlements in the socio-economic networks, at a time when the first class societies emerged in Central Europe.
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