Journal of Lithic Studies http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies <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> University of Edinburgh en-US Journal of Lithic Studies 2055-0472 <p><img src="//i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" alt="Creative Commons License"> <br> This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)</a> licence, unless otherwise stated.<br>Please read our <a href="/lithicstudies/about/policies#openAccessPolicy">Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies</a> for more information.</p> Bipolar flaking as a component of a supraregional lithic resource base: A comparative study of cores from the Pampean and Northcentral Patagonian Atlantic coasts (Argentina) http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2832 <p>Several authors argue that bipolar technology is an expeditious and versatile strategy, efficient for the reduction of small nodules. However, few studies analyze the use of bipolar reduction in relation to the lithic environmental supply. At the Pampean and Patagonian maritime coast, the technique has been widely recorded and seems to be conspicuous in indigenous populations that occupied coastal areas. With the aim of assessing and comparing the application of bipolar reduction, 196 nuclei recovered from sites of diverse chronologies in the Pampean and northcentral Patagonic coasts were analyzed. The use of the bipolar technique was observed in relation to the lithic environmental structure, the size of nodules and their raw material. The results revealed high frequencies of bipolar nuclei at the Pampean coast (87%) and moderate frequencies at the northcentral Patagonic coast (39%). It was determined that the variables that influenced the application of bipolar techniques the most were the small size of the nodules and their rounded shape, generally thick, and without flat surfaces. As for raw material quality, the technique was applied on good to medium quality rocks at the Pampean coast, while in the northcentral coast it was exclusively applied on pebbles and cobbles of superior qualities (very good to excellent). The differences observed are most likely linked with technological choices made by different coastal populations to make the best use of widely available local rocks.</p> Anahí Banegas Mariano Bonomo Julieta Gómez Otero ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-10 2019-06-10 5 2 First results of the hunter-gatherer weapon system studies in the middle basin of the Salado creek (Pampas Region, Argentina) http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2785 <p>In this paper we present the results of the study of 32 projectile points from Hangar site, located in the Salado creek basin (centre of the province of Buenos Aires). Archaeological materials recovered from the site include some isolated human remains, several potsherds, faunal materials, and lithic artefacts. The presence of pottery and small triangular points, together with the radiocarbon dating results, indicate that the main occupations occurred during the end of the Late Holocene. Methodology used included the techno-typological study of the lithic assemblage. Results showed that the outcrops of some rocks present in the sample are found in the Humid Pampas (100-190 km distant from the site) and the Dry Pampas (400-530 km distant from the site). The projectile points show variability in design and size, attributes that have implications for distinguishing different weapon systems (<em>e.g</em>., arrow and dart). In the Pampas region, the Late Holocene is a period characterized by an increasing complexity in hunter-gatherer societies, as it is indicated by long-distance exchange networks and different strategies of intensification and diversification on faunal resources. In accordance with this scenario, we propose that the variability that is observed in the lithic points is a reflex of an increase in the amount of the hunted species in relation with technological innovations such as the introduction of the bow and arrow.</p> Paula Barros Guillermo Heider María Clara Álvarez Cristian Kaufmann Jonathan Bellinzoni ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 Procurement and circulation of obsidian in the province of La Pampa, Argentina http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2993 <p>The goal of this study is to report the progress regarding the procurement and circulation of obsidian by hunter-gatherer populations during the Late Holocene in the province of La Pampa, Argentina. A total of 25 samples were analyzed in two stages; in the first stage neutron activation analysis (INAA) was used, while X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was employed in the second stage. This work adds nine archaeological samples from new sites and one from the Lihué Calel obsidian source. The results allow us to &nbsp;take into account the sourcing of the obsidian which was found in archeological sites of four areas of study located in the south and east of the province.</p> <p>Both, the results generated in this new stage, and those previously obtained are integrated and discussed in relation to the information produced by other researchers from the region, which are consistent with the existing ones for La Pampa. They indicate that the obsidian recovered was procured from sources located in the Argentinian and Chilean Andes, as well as the pre-cordillera in the provinces of Neuquén and Mendoza. New data expands the spatial perspective of our interpretations to four new research areas: Curacó basin, Lihué Calel hills, Valles Transversales (Transversal Valleys) and Bajos sin Salida (Endorheic low areas).</p> Monica Alejandra Berón ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 Grey zones of production: Discussing the technology of tools at the Lojanik quarry in west-central Serbia http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2804 <p>Flaked stone artefacts found on the quarry Lojanik in West-Central Serbia are good examples of how the function of non-diagnostic pieces could be determined through technological and use-wear analysis. This problem should be approached very cautiously since the mine has been extracted in a wider time range, from Palaeolithic, through the Neolithic to Chalcolithic. In this study, we present the examples of surface clusters and artefacts from stratigraphic layers. Our attention is focused on the prevailing category of fragmented raw materials in the initial phase of knapping, preforms, debris, shattered pieces of anthropogenic origin and an immense number of artefacts and geofacts.</p> <p>The study of mines and quarries, as well as distribution of the raw materials that come from the Central Balkans is an understudied phenomenon, and so far not much has been done in this field. Flaked stone artefacts found on the outcrops of the Lojanik hilltop is a good example of how we can apply technological, petrological and use-wear analysis on this type of site. Keeping in mind the loose context of the finds, as well as the lack of any datable material, this issue has to be approached with a lot of caution, since the locality itself seems to show human presence during Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic. The main focus of the study was put on the prevailing categories linked to the initial extraction of raw material on the site, as well as initial steps of shaping the raw material into cores. Samples were collected from several outcrops and so-called workshops from two localities of the hilltop: Lojanik 1 and Lojanik 2. The focal points of interest are categories that include waste, shatter, technical or shaping flakes. Worked pieces of raw material are now in the central position, and the study of these pieces have opened new grounds for this and similar occurrences - the study of so-called “grey zones“ of production.</p> Vera Bogosavljević Petrović Anđa Petrović Jovan Galfi Divna Jovanović Đorđe Radonjić ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 Phylogenetic analysis of stemmed points from Patagonia: Shape change and morphospace evolution http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2797 <p>This work is focused in the study of Patagonian lithic projectile points shape variation from a phylogenetic perspective pursuing three main aims: first, generate a model of projectile point shape diversification and morphospace evolution; second, estimate shape variation through time, and finally, assess the robustness of previous results using the same methods but in a larger sample with better spatial coverage. A previous work using geometric morphometric and cladistic methods suggested a pattern of general morphological diversification across Patagonia related, at least in part, to the spatial distance between cases, distinguishing two main clades in northern (43-45° S) and southern (50-52° S) Patagonia. In the present work to study this pattern in a more detailed level, a sample of ca. 1200 projectile points was used to obtain statistically different morphological classes performing unsupervised K-means searching. Shape characters were used to describe the different taxonomic units and to perform the phylogenetic analysis (through the Neighbor Joining and Maximun Parsimony methods) using as an ancestor the earliest point type known to the region (Fishtail point). The new results suggest that projectile points with longer and narrow blades and smaller stems evolved later in Patagonia and occupy a different sector of morphospace that could be related to the emergence of different technical systems, like the bow and arrow. However, these results do not support the previous ones of a projectile point diversification pattern mediated by spatial distance, maybe due to the reduction of contrast between the extreme north and south of Patagonia by the larger spatial coverage used in the present analysis.</p> Marcelo Cardillo Judith Charlin ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 The Study of lithic assemblages on deflation surfaces. The case study of Arroyo Verde, Northern Patagonia coast, Argentina http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/3030 <p>This paper focuses on surface lithic artefacts from Holocene coastal hunter gatherer occupations of Arroyo Verde archaeological locality (Rio Negro province, Northern Patagonia, Argentina). The study of lithic assemblages collected at a deflation surface surrounded by stabilised sand dunes near the coastline, shows that wind produce significant corrasion (wind abrasion) of artefacts and affects preservation of small and medium size artefacts. The sample is mainly composed of chert knapping debitage with abraded and polished edges and surfaces. The artefact size distribution suggests that a subset of the assemblage exhibits good preservation, possibly due to the recent subaerial exposure. Furthermore, carbonate and mould coatings were recorded over the artefacts surface in contact with the ground, which indicates the presence of humid conditions in the sand dunes deflation area. In order to explore the factors that affected assemblage stability conditions in the locus, a machine learning based decision tree was applied. The model predicts and defines a threshold at which the occurrence of instability conditions may appear. Also, it suggests that relative altitude of artefacts within the deflation hollow is the primary variable explaining the exposure conditions recorded in the artefacts and it points out processes of differential deflation over time. The data presented here illustrates how wind alters local surface materials and emphasizes that a taphonomic perspective is needed to assess the formation processes within northern Patagonia coastal archaeological assemblages.</p> Eugenia Carranza ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 The introduction of the bow and arrow in the Argentine Andes (29–34º S): A preliminary metric approximation http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2969 <p>The study size patterns in projectile points (n=39) from six sites in the Argentine Andes (29–34°S) associated with 17 radiocarbon dates with medians spanning 3080–470 cal BP. This is the region’s first attempt to metrically distinguish arrows and darts, which is based on shoulder or maximum width, following Shott. The northern part of the study area (29°S) includes the earliest arrow point, slightly after 3080 cal BP. This suggests a rapid spread of this technology from the central Andes 16–26°S, where early arrows are dated ~3500–3000 cal BP. However, at 32 and 34°S, arrows are not clearly present until 1280 cal BP. For 1280–400 cal BP (European contact), 96% of points were identified as arrows, suggesting the bow and arrow replaced spear-based weapon systems. A single late dart from 34°S may reflect a late use of this space by hunter-gatherers. The predominance of arrows beginning at 1280 cal BP is associated with broader changes such as demographic growth, reduced mobility, low-level food production, and herding economies, following similar trends in other regions.</p> Silvina Celeste Castro Lucía Yebra Erik Marsh Valeria Cortegoso Gustavo Lucero ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 Grand-Pressigny was not alone: Acquiring and sharing data about raw materials in the collective research project “Réseau de lithothèques en région Centre-Val de Loire” (France) http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2798 <p>In the wake of the discovery of numerous large blade workshops at Le Grand-Pressigny site (Indre-et-Loire, France), which initially aroused great interest, the mid-Loire Valley region became central to studies of flint diffusion. Despite the quality of the initial work, the widely shared view now is that the capacity for this concept to continue to provide useful archaeological modelling has diminished. Establishing real and actual correlations between archaeological objects and geological samples remains difficult, making it almost impossible to determine the source of certain materials represented in an archaeological series. In response to this problem, the French collective research project "Réseau de lithothèque en région Centre-Val de Loire" assembled about 30 amateur and professional researchers from various European institutions to work on three strategic missions:</p> <ul> <li class="show">Mission 1: establish a list of current lithotheques (“rock-libraries” or comparative collections), verify their contents and complete them if necessary;</li> <li class="show">Mission 2: link the major types of depositional environments with the properties acquired by flint through its life;</li> <li class="show">Mission 3: spread knowledge and information both within the project and to all interested persons.</li> </ul> <p>The project is closely associated with similar French programs already in place in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Aquitaine regions. The ultimate objective is to build a national and international community around a common project, bringing participants together regularly to share knowledge and technical expertise.</p> Vincent Delvigne Paul Fernandes Christophe Tuffery ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 LegioLit: Knappable material lithotheque in the Prehistory Laboratory at the University of León, Spain http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2926 <p class="abstract" style="text-indent: 0cm;">This work introduces a comparative collection specialised in knappable raw materials, mainly comprising radiolarite and black chert, from the western Cantabrian Mountains (north of Iberian Peninsula). A standardised protocol of sample collection and data organisation was developed, which includes the use of several methodologies. First, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for referencing lithic sources. Second, direct observation of the sample for the macroscopic characterization. Third, petrographic microscopy for a petrological, palaeontological and mineralogical characterization. Forth, X-Ray Fluorescence, Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry and Thermogravimetry – Differential Scanning Calorimetry for geochemical and thermal features of the samples. Finally, the results of these analysis were entered in a database. All this information is contributing towards the creation of a physical reference collection specialised in local Palaeozoic formations that outcrop in the western Cantabrian Mountains, a region whose potential resource base was previously not very well known. This collection would allow to compare archaeological lithic remains from different sites inside and outside the Cantabrian Mountains.</p> Diego Herrero-Alonso M. Natividad Fuertes-Prieto Esperanza Fernández-Martínez Fernando Gómez-Fernández Eduardo Alonso-Herrero Ana M. Matero-Pellitero ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-25 2019-01-25 5 2 Technological change during final Mid-Holocene and early Late Holocene (ca. 5000-2000 years BP) in Barrancas (Jujuy province, Argentina) http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2801 <p>Technological change during final Mid-Holocene and early Late Holocene (ca. 5000-2000 years BP) in Barrancas (Jujuy province, Argentina)</p> Rodolphe Hoguin Patricio Kohan ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 Middle Palaeolithic lithic tools: Techno-functional and use-wear analysis of target objects from SU 13 at the Oscurusciuto rock shelter, Southern Italy http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2745 <p>The Oscurusciuto rock shelter (Ginosa, Puglia, southern Italy) is a Middle Palaeolithic site characterized by a significant stratigraphy made up by several anthropic levels. The stratigraphic unit 13, consisting of a sandy compact deposit mixed with pyroclastic sediment, is a short palimpsest situated on a layer of tephra, identified as Mt. Epomeo green tuff (dated Ar/Ar ~ 55 ka BP).</p> <p>From a technological point of view, the aims of the production were backed flakes, convergent flakes, and other flakes obtained by means of a Levallois debitage, plus (less represented) bladelets produced by an additional volumetric reduction system.</p> <p>Our aim in this research was to examine a selection of the above-mentioned target objects produced by debitage in order to understand the manufacture and life-cycle of each single tool from a dynamic perspective.</p> <p>We integrated techno-functional and use-wear analyses: the first was implemented to globally comprehend each tool, identifying each single techno-functional unity (prehensile and transformative portions), whereas the second revealed the way in which these tools had been used, proceeding to identify the activity involved (<em>e.g.</em>, piercing, cutting and/or scraping), and the type of material (vegetable/animal, soft/hard) on which these activities had been carried out.</p> <p>The combined use of these two approaches allows us to ascertain the intention of the prehistoric craftsmen, the gestures and procedures involved in making the tools, and the way they had been used. From one single object we are thus able to reconstruct a series of complex behaviours, encompassing the creation, the life-cycle and finally the ‘death’ or repurposing of the tool in question.</p> Giulia Marciani Simona Arrighi Daniele Aureli Vincenzo Spagnolo Paolo Boscato Annamaria Ronchitelli ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-17 2018-07-17 5 2 Experimental flintknapping with sandstones and prospection of lithic raw material sources from Cabra Corral area, Salta, Argentina http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/3029 <p>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.<br>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.</p> Cecilia Mercuri ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 First technological and provenance analysis on obsidian artifacts from Tafí Valley (Tucumán Province, Argentine Republic) http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2787 <p>The aim of this paper is to report the first analyses carried out on obsidian artifacts recovered from two archaeological sites of the Tafí valley (Tucumán, Argentina), dating to the first and second millennium C.E. The study addresses the sourcing and use of this raw material in their contexts, as well as the inclusion of the study area within the obsidian distribution circuits in the Northwest of Argentina. The methodology included techno-morphological and morphological-functional analyses as well as chemical provenance studies (XRF). The results enabled us to detect, so far, the use of the Ona-Las Cuevas source, located approximately 240 km far from the sites, and to suggest the implementation of indirect procurement practices within complex distribution circuits. We have also established that the obsidian artifacts would have been used intensively in daily activities which were part of household organization, such as long-distance relationships, hunting and processing food. Based on this information, we discuss the practical uses of obsidian, as well as other possible roles of this raw material in pre-Hispanic contexts which contribute to broaden knowledge about the cultural developments of Tafí valley.</p> Juan Manuel Montegú Valeria Leticia Franco Salvi Julián Salazar ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 Andesite and obsidian accessibility and distribution during the Holocene in north-west Santa Cruz province (south-central Patagonia), Argentina http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2800 <p>This paper discusses different aspects related to the andesite and obsidian availability and circulation routes in different moments of the occupation sequence in the Pueyrredón-Posadas-Salitroso (PPS) Lake Basin in the North, and the Burmeister-Belgrano (BB) Lake Basin to the South (North-West Santa Cruz province, Argentinian Patagonia).<br>The distribution of raw materials - both in space and time - allows us to assert that potential regional circulation routes would have been affected differentially by the palaeolakes present from the Pleistocene up until the mid-Holocene. We are taking into account three sites: Cueva Milodón Norte 1 (CMN1), located in the northeast coast of the Pueyrredón Lake, Cerro de los Indios 1 (CI1) (central portion of the PPS Basin) and Cerro Casa de Piedra 7 (CCP7) (near to the Burmeister Lake). This investigation considers six periods, based on the calibrated ranges from 73 radiocarbon dates: 17 from CI1, 14 from CMN1 and 42 radiocarbon dates from CCP7. <br>As a result of this analysis we can conclude that, in sites with a higher density of occupation such as CI1 and CCP7, the use of obsidian (non-local rock) and andesite/basalt did not vary over time. In the case of CMN1, access to the sources of these raw materials varied according to the presence of large bodies of water, although it does not seem to have influenced the procurement of these rocks.</p> Mariana Sacchi Damián Leandro Bozzuto Ana Gabriela Guraieb María Teresa Civalero Nicolás Maveroff ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2 Cultural transmission and correlational selection in Late Period projectile points from the Puna of Salta, Argentina (AD 900 – 1500) http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2784 <p>This work proposes a methodology for documenting metric patterns of trait correlation in Late Period (ca. AD 900-1500) projectile points from the Puna and pre-Puna of Salta, Argentina. In so doing, our main goal is to explain the patterns observed in terms of mechanisms of cultural evolution and selection. We apply this methodology to assemblages from four archaeological sites whose chronologies are well established. As a result, we were able to document low degrees of variation, as well as high co-variation between metrical traits, suggesting a process of correlational selection that preserved an artefact design with a structure of highly integrated traits. This lends support to the hypothesis where replication of these projectile points ocurred within a process of stabilizing cultural selection through biased transmission mechanisms, which in turn favoured the selection of artefacts suitable for effective weapons.</p> María Varde Hernán Juan Muscio ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-12-15 2018-12-15 5 2