Journal of Lithic Studies 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 Otis N. Crandell Open Journal Systems <p>The Journal of Lithic Studies is a peer-reviewed open access journal which focuses on archaeological research into the manufacture and use of stone tools, as well as the origin and properties of the raw materials used in their production. The journal does not focus on any specific geographic region or time period.</p> Ethnogrinding Database: A tool to collect and connect worldwide information on ethnological and ethnoarchaeological hand-milling systems 2020-11-06T13:47:41+00:00 Natàlia Alonso Georgina Prats Themis Roustanis Panos Tokmakides Soultana Maria Valamoti <p class="abstract"><span class="linkify"><span lang="EN-GB">This study advances research carried out during the creation of a bibliographic database of ethnological information regarding hand milling systems in the framework of the ERC-Project <em>PLANTCULT Identifying the Food Cultures of Ancient Europe: an interdisciplinary investigation of plant ingredients, culinary transformation and evolution through tim</em>e led by S.M. Valamoti. The main aims of the database are to collect information linked to the processes of plant grinding with handmills, basically driven with a back and forth motion, in different parts of the world and to connect this information to specific archaeological, textual and experimental data, in particular that associated with food preparation. The database is structured in various sections (basically publications, plants and other foodstuffs, milling processes, products, querns and use and social context), in order to facilitate systematic extraction of all relevant information from a wide range of publications that discuss or report on grinding tools in regions and societies of the recent past. The base records a wide range of activities ranging from tool manufacture to end products that include procurement of raw materials, the preparation sequence of tools (including tool-kits), spatial associations, gender issues, plant ingredients and end products. All aspects recorded in the database are interconnected as are the numerous economic and social relationships of the milling process.</span></span></p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Evolution and function of the Chinese carved horse hitching stone post 2020-10-21T10:24:08+01:00 Ke Bai <p>This article focuses on a typical artefact in Mainland China: carved stone horse hitching posts and their distribution, history, types, and cultural meaning. It tries to interpret their evolution and the relationship between their functional and social change. This type of post was made exclusively for tying horses, from the Han Dynasty to the Yuan Dynasty (approximately 1st-13th century CE). Initially, posts were a practical tool used for simply tying horses, with no added symbolism. Later, the stone posts were carved with many decorative patterns. In the 1980’s, tens of thousands of stone posts were rediscovered next to gates of rural residential houses and seldom in cities. Both archaeologists and artists try to organize this sequence and interpret the symbolism. Patterns used on the posts, originating from fairy tales, religion and life, have different meanings. Nowadays because of the beautiful patterns and implied meaning, the posts were transported to cities and collected by museums, universities, parks and artefact shops. A collection of stone posts was put together and merged into the roadside landscape. The posts are treated as an antiquity and as a symbol of culture, art and taste. The function and symbolism of Chinese carved stone hitching post changed with the development of agriculture and transportation. Some of its original functions vanished, and the value changed from a practical implement to a standard of wealth, good taste and culture.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Ground stone technology in context: Consumption of grinding tools and social practice at Neolithic Avgi, NW Greece 2020-09-24T09:22:10+01:00 Tasos Bekiaris <p>Excavations at the Neolithic site of Avgi (Middle-Late Neolithic, <em>circa</em> 5700-4500 cal. BCE) in the Kastoria region, 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.</p> <p>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 (<em>e.g.</em>, 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.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Processing plants for food: Experimental grinding within the ERC-project PLANTCULT 2020-09-24T22:01:56+01:00 Maria Bofill Danai Chondrou Antoni Palomo Hara Procopiou Soultana Maria Valamotti <p>PlantCult Project aims to explore the role of culinary traditions and innovations through their impact on shaping the social landscape in ancient Europe over long time periods (from the Neolithic period to the Iron Age) and large territories. The experimental program is part of an integrated study of food products and associated equipment focusing on whether the introduction of new species or changes in social and economic organisation brought about changes in the food grinding technologies of the area.</p> <p>The experiments include tools operated by back and forth reciprocal motion and circular motion, and manufactured from different raw materials, with different morphologies and sizes. The tools design and the list of plant ingredients (cereals, legumes, acorns and oil-seeds) ground in the experiments are all based on the archaeological record of the studied area. In this paper we present the experimental protocol, the multi-scale methodology applied to the use-wear analysis of grinding stone tools, and the results of the experimental processing of the main plant ingredients detected in prehistoric European cuisine.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Manufacture, use and management of macro-lithic resources in the Bronze Age settlement of Bruszczewo (Poland) 2020-09-24T17:36:00+01:00 Selina Delgado-Raack Jutta Kneisel Janusz Czebreszuk Johannes Müller <p>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 (municipality of Śmigiel, Poland). This fortified settlement was inhabited during the Early Bronze Age (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. Moreover, Bruszczewo comes out to be a central settlement managing and controlling exogenous ores, such as copper and gold, as shown by residues found on some macro-lithic forging anvils. All in all, 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.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Ground stone tools from the copper production site Al-Khashbah, Sultanate of Oman 2020-09-22T16:46:51+01:00 Stephanie Döpper <p>Archaeological research at Al-Khashbah, Sultanate of Oman, conducted by the University of Tübingen, revealed a large Early Bronze Age (3<sup>rd</sup> millennium BCE) site. During the intensive surface survey and excavations, several ground stone tools were found. Most of them came from the vicinity of monumental stone and mud-brick structures, so-called towers, and are clearly connected to copper-processing waste such as slag, furnace fragments and prills, <em>i.e.</em>, droplets of molten copper. Therefore, it is assumed that these ground stone tools were used within the operational procedures of copper-processing. Interestingly, only the monumental towers from the first half of the 3<sup>rd</sup> millennium BCE, <em>i.e.</em>, the Hafit period, feature large<span style="text-decoration: line-through;">r</span> quantities of ground stone tools as well as copper processing waste. Towers from the second half of the 3<sup>rd</sup> millennium BCE, <em>i.e.</em>, the Umm an-Nar period, have none. Within the scope of this paper, the distribution of the different types of ground stone tools in Al-Khashbah as well as their find context will be presented. They are illustrated with drawings generated from 3D models created using digital photography processed with the software Agisoft Photoscan. Comparisons with other 3<sup>rd</sup> millennium BCE sites in Eastern Arabia show that there as well, copper-processing remains are often associated with ground stone tools. The overall variety of types seems to be rather homogeneous in the region.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Olynthus mill in the Alps: New hypotheses from two unidentified millstones discovered in Veneto region (Italy) 2020-09-18T11:35:19+01:00 Denis Francisci <p class="abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The archaeological collection at the Museum of Feltre (province of Belluno, Veneto region, Italy) includes fragments of two ancient millstones of type known as “Olynthus mill” or “hopper rubber”. The first one (from San Donato, in the municipality of Lamón) is mentioned in a number of published and unpublished works; the other (generally from Feltre) is new to archaeological literature. Until now, they had never been identified as specimens of the Olynthus mill.</span></p> <p class="abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Following a brief introduction on this type of device (its technical features, origin and geographic distribution) and the main hypotheses concerning its diffusion in the Alps, the first part of this paper describes the two stones from Feltre: their dimensions, morphological features, raw material, <em>etc.</em> Consequently, this article will focus on the topographical areas where the stones were found and on their importance for understanding the diffusion of the Olynthus mill model in the Alpine region characterised by Raetic culture, which is still an unresolved problem. The sites of discovery of the two Olynthus mills (along with the places of origin of the other hopper rubbers found in the Veneto region and in the eastern part of the province of Trento) could suggest new working hypotheses about the provenance of this type of millstone and its introduction into the Raetic territory between 5<sup>th</sup> and 4<sup>th</sup> century BCE. More specifically, the Olynthus mill model might have been introduced into the Alps through the Piave and Brenta valleys and not the Adige valley as previously thought; the Olynthian-type mills from the Veneto region could therefore mark the stages of this south-north path rather than being mere outlying specimens of the Raetic area, or items exported from there.</span></p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Limestone millstones: Facies, provenance and use of sandy to pure limestones in France 2020-09-18T16:09:04+01:00 Gilles Fronteau François Boyer Luc Jaccottey Vincent Le Quellec Stéphanie Lepareux-Couturier Annabelle Milleville Cécile Monchablon Boris Robin Paul Picavet <p>Limestones are sedimentary rocks more commonly associated with building stones or sculptures than with millstones. Nevertheless, many examples of limestone saddle querns, rotary querns and millstones are spread across France, at times making up the bulk of the archaeological assemblages in various areas characterized by bedrocks rich of sedimentary stones. These limestone millstones are of different types, sources and geological origins: Eocene sandy or fossiliferous limestones, mainly from the various limestones layers from the Lutetian beds, Quaternary calcareous tufas, and fine Jurassic limestones. To explain the behaviour of these rocks, this study advances a classification of the rocks used for millstones, focused not only on the rock-type but mainly on the topological aspect of the stone surface. (empirical macroscopic surface roughness) This renders it possible to classify the rocks into categories by materials, rather than according to petrographic facies. The pure limestones in this study are essentially vacuolar, whereas sandy limestones or certain biodetritital limestones belong to either the granular rocks category, which also includes sandstones, or to the category of heterogeneous rocks. These limestones appear for the most part to have been used due to their availability. Moreover, they epitomise a very satisfactory compromise between their grinding properties and their ease of carving, even if the hardness of these limestones is lower than those of other rocks used as grindstone (basalts or sandstones).</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tool-use experiments to determine the function of an incised ground stone artefact with potential symbolic significance 2020-09-15T18:20:52+01:00 Elspeth Hayes Caroline Spry Richard Fullagar Anna Tuechler Petra Schell Megan Goulding <p>Ground stone implements are found across most Australian landscapes and are often regarded as Aboriginal tools that were used for processing or modifying other items such as plant foods, plant fibres, resins, bone points, pigments and ground-stone axes and knives. Less common are ground stones modified for non-utilitarian, symbolic purposes; for example, polished and carved stone ornaments; ritual implements such as <em>cylcons</em> and <em>tjuringa</em> sacred stones; and unused, well-crafted ground-stone axes. In this paper, we report on the function and potential significance of an unusual ground stone artefact from a site near Bannockburn, southwestern Australia. A set of regularly spaced, shallow grooves has been cut into the surface of each side of the stone. Use-wear, residues and experimental replica tools indicate that the grooves were probably made with a stone flake and then used to shape or sharpen wooden implements such as spear points or the edges of boomerangs or other weapons. The microscopic wear outside the grooves indicates contact with soft wood or other plant material, possibly a soft plant fibre bag. We suggest that the Bannockburn artefact primarily functioned as a woodworking tool, but the even spacing of the incisions suggests that they were intentionally placed, perhaps to convey a special meaning, perhaps as a tally system or other form of communication.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Rock procurement and use during the Middle Neolithic: The macrolithic tools of Dambach-la-Ville (Alsace, France) 2020-09-17T19:04:00+01:00 Florent Jodry Marion Delloul Christophe Croutsch Philippe Duringer Gilles Fronteau <p class="abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">A preventive archaeological excavation carried out in 2012 at Dambach-la-Ville (Bas-Rhin, France) uncovered a large Middle Neolithic settlement (Upper Rhine West Bischheim group) dating from the second half of the 5th millennium BCE. The site comprised a very large assemblage of well-dated macrolithic tools (more than 600). Grinding stones, including about roughouts, make up the bulk of the assemblage. Morphological analyses indicate that certain types of use-wear are linked directly to specific types of rock. The variety of rock types is unusual for this period. In fact, contrary to other assemblages from the same period mainly made up of Lower Triassic sandstone (Vosges sandstone; 43%), the tools fashioned on this settlement are mostly made from sedimentary rocks of the Permian and Lower Triassic (possible sources at 15 km), and more rarely from plutonic and metamorphic rocks (possible sources between 5 and 15 km). The use of rough textured rocks such as arkosic sandstone or microconglomerate largely dominating the assemblage. This one also includes a large group of hammerstones from different rock types (sedimentary, plutonic, volcanic and metamorphic). More than half are silicified micritic limestones, a rock that is extremely rare and can be unambiguously traced to a single outcrop about 15 kilometres from the site. This systematic interdisciplinary study of the tools and their petrography offers the opportunity to explore questions regarding provenance and procurement networks in Alsace around 4150 BCE.</span></p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Men at work: Grinding stone production by the experts and others in northern Ethiopia 2020-09-15T18:20:52+01:00 Laurie Nixon-Darcus Yemane Meresa <p>It is necessary to access the oral forms of local histories often held in traditional African communities to help us understand the African past and avoid framing interpretations solely in terms of Western epistemologies. Ethnoarchaeological fieldwork was carried out in villages in the Gulo Makeda region of northeastern Tigrai, northern Ethiopia, where access to mechanical mills has only been available in the last few decades. Individuals in this area still have knowledge and memory of manufacturing, using and discarding grinding stones. Interviews were held with male advisors who shared their knowledge and expertise about the entire process of manufacturing grinding stones. To move beyond understanding just the technical aspects of grinding stone manufacturing (what and how), the theory and methods associated with the <em>chaîne opératoire</em> and design theory were incorporated into the research to allow discovery of intricate socio-economic interrelationships (how and why) that exist through grinding manufacture within this culture. Manufacturing offers opportunities for socialization, cooperation and community engagement.</p> <p>Through ethnoarchaeology it became clear that the manufacturing of grinding stones in northeastern Tigrai is a complex process requiring design decisions, skills, knowledge, and social interaction that builds interpersonal relationships. By arranging two separate manufacturing sessions, one with experts and one with non-experts, comparisons were made of technological and social differences between experts and non-experts. The individuals who are experts in manufacturing grinding stones made higher quality grinding stones than the non-experts. The experts are also afforded a special respect by others, as they are the creators of the technology “necessary for life” in a culture traditionally dependent on cereal flours for sustenance. Potentially this respect for experts could be true for the past as well. Since the grinding stone artifacts from Mezber are large stones, likely meant to produce significant amounts of flour, they would have been important to daily life. Those who manufactured these tools important for subsistence would likely have been considered important individuals in the community.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Red sandstone as raw material of Baden culture (Late Copper Age) grinding stones (Balatonőszöd - Temetői dűlő site, Hungary), with a review of the red sandstone formations of SW Hungary 2020-09-15T18:20:52+01:00 Bálint Péterdi <p>Balatonőszöd - Temetői dűlő is one of the largest excavated and longest-lived sites of the Late Copper Age Baden Culture in Hungary, where 500 lithic finds were registered. In the site finds belonging to the late Middle Copper Age Balaton-Lasinja Culture and the Late Copper Age Boleraz Culture were found too.</p> <p>This paper presents petrographic and geochemical analyses of stone utensils, mostly of grinding stones, made of red, or discoloured white sandstones.</p> <p>Almost all sandstone artefacts are upper and lower stones of grinding equipment and polishers, as well as objects whose function is not known, worked and non-worked fragments; boulders of raw material are also in the studied set.</p> <p>The detailed petrographic and geochemical methods applied here are polarized light microscopy and a distribution study of the framework grains in thin section, and ICP-OES and ICP-MS as bulk rock chemical methods. The results were compared to published petrographic and geochemical data.</p> <p>Most of the studied artefacts were made of the rocks of the Red Sandstone and Siltstone Member of the Balaton Highland Sandstone Formation, especially from the mature type sandstone in which quartz is predominant, and which is almost free of feldspar. This type is characteristic of the confines of the Southern Balaton Highland and the lower part of the formation in the Northern Balaton Highland.</p> <p>A minor part of the studied artefacts - red or purple, purplish grey sandstones - originates from the sandstones of the Jakabhegy Sandstone Formation (Western Mecsek mountains).</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## From near and far: Stone procurement and exchange at Çukuriçi Höyük in Western Anatolia 2020-09-15T18:20:52+01:00 Christoph Schwall Michael Brandl Tatjana M. Gluhak Bogdana Milić Lisa Betina Lasse Sørensen Danilo Wolf Barbara Horejs <p>The focus of this paper are the stone tools of Çukuriçi Höyük, a prehistoric site situated at the central Aegean coast of Anatolia. The settlement was inhabited from the Neolithic, through the Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age 1 periods, a period lasting from the early 7th to the early 3rd millennium BCE. A long-term interdisciplinary study of the excavated lithics with different scientific methods on various stone materials (thin section analysis, pXRF, NAA, LA-ICP-MS) offer new primary data about the procurement strategies of prehistoric societies from a diachronic perspective. The results will be presented for the first time with an overview of all source materials and their distinct use through time.</p> <p>The lithic assemblages from Çukuriçi Höyük consist of a considerable variety of small finds, grinding stones and chipped stone tools. The high variability of raw materials within the different categories of tools is remarkable. In addition to stone tools manufactured from sources in the immediate vicinity of the settlement (<em>i.e.</em>, mica-schist, limestone, marble, amphibolite, serpentinite), others are of rock types such as chert, which indicate an origin within the broader region. Moreover, volcanic rocks, notably the exceptionally high amount of Melian obsidian found at Çukuriçi Höyük, attest to the supra-regional procurement of distinct rock types. Small stone axes made of jadeite presumably from the Greek island of Syros, also indicate these far-reaching procurement strategies.</p> <p>The systematic and diachronic analyses of the stone tools found at Çukuriçi Höyük has demonstrated that as early as the Neolithic period extensive efforts were made to supply the settlement with carefully selected raw materials or finished goods procured from distinct rock sources.</p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Plant foods, stone tools and food preparation in prehistoric Europe: an integrative approach in the context of ERC funded project PLANTCULT 2020-09-25T10:23:33+01:00 Soultana Maria Valamoti Danai Chondrou Tasos Bekiaris Ismini Ninou Natalia Alonso Maria Bofill Maria Ivanova Sofia Laparidou Calla McNamee Antoni Palomo Lambrini Papadopoulou Georgina Prats Hara Procopiou Georgia Tsartsidou <p class="abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The transformation of food ingredients into meals corresponds to complex choices resulting from the interplay of environmental and cultural factors: available ingredients, technologies of transformation, cultural perceptions of food, as well as taste and food taboos. Project PLANTCULT (ERC Consolidator Grant, GA 682529) aims to investigate prehistoric culinary cultures from the Aegean to Central Europe by focusing on plant foods and associated food preparation technologies spanning the Neolithic through to the Iron Age. Our paper offers an overview of the lines of investigation pursued within the project to address plant food preparation and related stone tool technologies. The wide range of plant foods from the area under investigation (ground cereals, breads, beer, pressed grapes, split pulses, etc.) suggests great variability of culinary preparations. Yet, little is known of the transformation technologies involved (e.g., pounding, grinding, and boiling). Changes in size and shape of grinding stones over time have been associated with efficiency of grinding, specific culinary practices and socioeconomic organisation. Informed by ethnography and experimental data, as well as ancient texts, PLANTCULT integrates archaeobotanical food remains and associated equipment to address these issues. We utilize a multifaceted approach including the study of both published archaeological data and original assemblages from key sites. We aim to develop methods for understanding the interaction of tool type, use-wear formation and associated plant micro- and macro- remains in the archaeological record. Our experimental program aims to generate (a) reference material for the identification of plant processing in the archaeological record and (b) ingredients for the preparation of experimental plant foods, which hold a key role to unlocking the recipes of prehistory. Plant processing technologies are thus investigated across space and through time, in an attempt to explore the dynamic role of culinary transformation of plant ingredients into shaping social and cultural identities in prehistoric Europe.</span></p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Lava rotary querns of ‘Iron Age type’ in Roman times 2020-09-15T18:20:52+01:00 Stefan Wenzel <p class="abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">In Mayen the production of lava rotary querns of ‘Iron Age type’ continued from the late La Tène period into Julio-Claudian times. The lower quernstone possessed a domed grinding face and the upper stone was double concave in section. While the surfaces of these querns are usually pecked, late examples show a segmented radial grooving on the grinding surfaces. Handle sockets with elbow-shaped (L-shaped) perforation were already an innovation of the late Iron Age.</span></p> <p class="abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Since Augustan times ‘typical Roman’ hand-mills were the main product of the Mayen quarries. They had a meta with a flat conical grinding surface and a catillus with a broad raised rim. The active surfaces were grooved for functional reasons. However, the upper side of the catillus and the sides of upper and lower stones were grooved for decoration, making these rotary querns a characteristic ‘branded’ product.</span></p> <p class="abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Most of the ‘Iron Age type’ quernstones of Early Imperial times are known from the Low Countries where they go under the name of Brillerij-type. A survey of these quernstones reveals several examples found to the southeast of this region. Even after the typical Roman hand mills became the dominant form, some ‘vintage’ Iron Age type querns were still produced for a special clientele. Though, so far, virtually no closely dated specimens are known from contexts after the Batavian revolt.</span></p> 2020-12-15T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##