Chert exploitation and production in Sardinia during the Neolithic
This research deals with the modes of chert exploitation in Sardinia during the Neolithic, combining information on major chert sources identified across the island with the technological analysis on several stratigraphic reliable series. It focuses on the changes in raw material selection and on the evolution of technological behaviours between the 6th and the 4th millennium BCE. The data collected in this work allowed us either to shed a light on the role this lithic resource played in the production systems of Neolithic communities in Sardinia, and to catch differences in the modes of procurement, depending on the chronology and location of the sites. During the Early Neolithic, lithic raw material circulation in Sardinia did not occur through organized networks, but it seems to have relied on the high mobility of the local groups. It is only at the end of the 5th millennium BCE that well-organized exchange circuits started operating. These involved mainly obsidian and this raw material apparently consolidated in time, due to the role carried out by San Ciriaco and Ozieri Middle to Late Neolithic cultures in the control and development of the Monte Arci obsidian supply. Chert was never involved in these networks and was mainly exploited locally and opportunistically. However, from the end of the Neolithic, some outcrop in the Oligo-Miocene basin of Perfugas was exploited on a supra-local scale and for a relatively short period.
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