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> en-US <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> journaloflithicstudies@gmail.com (Otis Crandell) Library.Learning@ed.ac.uk (Library Learning Services, University of Edinburgh) Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 3.1.1.2 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Editorial: Lithic studies in Portuguese speaking countries [Editorial: Os estudos líticos em países lusófonos] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2535 <p>Organizing a collection of articles on lithic studies in Portuguese does not seem, at first, a challenging task. After all, Portugal already has a tradition of decades of research on the subject, which has also increased in Brazil in recent years. Therefore, it was expected that most of the articles published in this edition would come from these two countries. The challenge was to include articles on research carried out in other Portuguese-speaking countries, as they have few or no archaeological research institutions. And of the studies on the lithic industries in these countries, most are carried out by researchers from North America or Europe, especially Portuguese archaeologists.</p> João Carlos Moreno de Sousa, Astolfo Gomes de Mello Araujo ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2535 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Informative potential of two rockshleter sites in São Paulo state: Abrigo do Alvo and Abrigo de Itapeva [Potencial informativo dos sítios abrigados do Estado de São Paulo: Abrigo do Alvo e Abrigo de Itapeva] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1626 <p>The state of São Paulo is a favorable area for karst formation. This occurs due to its geomorphology that presents lithological characteristics that favor the formation of caves and shelters in sandstone and limestone. Whether by speleologists or archaeologists, many archaeological sites in sheltered contexts have been discovered in the interior of São Paulo, however, their studies have not yet been developed in this state. This article presents preliminary results of research at two sites in shelter contexts - that is, the Alvo Shelter [<em>Abrigo do Alvo</em>], locating in Analândia (SP), with the most recent chronology established at 970 cal. years BP and the oldest at 7,500 cal. years BP; and the Itapeva Shelter [<em>Abrigo de Itapeva</em>], located in the municipality of the same name, with a more recent occupation around 585 cal. years BP and the oldest being around 5,858 cal. years BP. Both sites have similar archaeological remains which are usually found in sheltered contexts: rock art, faunal material, and lithics artifacts. In this case, we have an exception in the Itapeva Shelter, which in addition also contains some fragments of human bones and ceramic material that was originally associated with the Itararé tradition, being comprised of small, thin vessels with little variation in shape, usually without decoration, and presenting colors between dark brown, gray and black. Although the diversity of remains is remarkable, this paper will deal only with the lithic industries which are in the process of analysis at both sites. In order to establish comparisons between the sites, the research team initially sought to recognize generic characteristics such as raw material, support, dimensions, and others. In addition to this, technological attributes were observed in order to extract information about the kind of flintknapping, use-wear traces and retouching. We do not disregard the other evidence, such as rock art as a clue that possibly indicates cultural difference, nor the presence of pottery in the Itapeva Shelter site which is an indication that the inhabitants of this area already had other technology that went beyond the use of stone tools. Although the analysis is not over, some differences already stand out, for example, different raw materials used in the manufacture of stone artifacts have been observed at both sites, as well as the techniques of flaking, which in the Alvo Shelter were much more simplistic and absent of any retouching, and in the Itapeva Shelter where materials associated with several stages of reduction have been noticed along with with the presence of some retouched artifacts. Despite the noted differences, one cannot disregard the fact that the sample of the first site is much smaller when compared to the second one. This is due to the fact that a single fieldwork season was carried out at the first site while&nbsp; three excavations were made at the second. Although this is one reason, one must also consider that the material density in the Itapeva Shelter is much higher when comparing the number of pieces per excavation unit. Lastly, the analysis of the lithic assemblages will continue but already they exhibit little similarity, thus supporting the hypothesis that we are not dealing with similar groups.</p> Letícia Cristina Correa, Tatiane de Souza ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1626 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The Lower and Middle Palaeolithic industries associated with the T4 Terrace of the Lower Tejo River (Central Portugal); Archives of the earliest human occupation on western Iberia, during ca. 340 ka to 155 ka ago [As indústrias do Paleolítico Inferior...] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2531 <p>Because of their geomorphological and sedimentary records, rivers provide relevant archives of palaeoenvironmental change, namely palaeoclimatic and palaeogeographic. Well-dated long-term sedimentary successions sequences are of the most value, with the ages of sedimentary events, included fossils and archaeological materials provided by a range of numerical dating techniques. The Quaternary fluvial archives of the Tejo River in Portugal (the Lower Tejo) can provide important data for studies of landscape and sedimentary evolution, but also of the early human occupation. The present state of art achieved by using methods of geomorphology, lithostratigraphy, sedimentology, archaeology and absolute dating in the study of the Lower Tejo River T4 terrace is here summarized.</p> <p>The Lower Tejo has staircases that comprise a culminant sedimentary unit (the ancestral Tejo River, before the beginning of the fluvial incision stage) and six terraces (T1 to T6) located above the modern alluvial plain, with details as follows: T6 at +7-10 m (above river level), 64-32 ka, with Late Middle Palaeolithic (late Mousterian); T5 at +18-26 m, 136-75 ka, with Middle Palaeolithic industries and Mousterian knapping (Levallois); T4 at +34-48 m, ∼340-155 ka, with Lower Palaeolithic (Early to Late Acheulian) to early Middle Palaeolithic; T3, T2 and T1 do not contain archaeological materials and only from the T3 (+43-78 m) and T1 (+84-164 m) finite absolute ages were obtained. The prehistoric human occupation of this area is of renewed interest because it contains evidence for an extensive Palaeolithic occupation. Related archaeological sites are present on both sides of the river, from the vicinity of the Spanish border (Vila Velha de Ródão; upstream) to the Lisboa area (near the river mouth).</p> <p>This work focuses on the Palaeolithic sites that were found on the T4 terrace, which is made of a basal Lower Gravels unit and an overlying Upper Sands unit.</p> <p>The oldest artefacts previously found in the Lower Gravels unit of the T4 terrace, display crude bifacial forms that can be attributed to the Acheulian, with a probable age of ca. 340 to 325 ka.</p> <p>In contrast, the lower and middle stratigraphic levels of the T4 Upper Sands unit has archaeological sites stratigraphically documenting successive phases of an evolved Acheulian, that were dated as ca. 325 to 200 ka. Notably, these Lower Paleolithic artisans were able to produce tools with different levels of sophistication, simply by applying different strategies. More elaborated reduction sequences were used in case of bifaces, and simpler reduction sequences to obtain cleavers. The differences observed in the lithic assemblages documented at each of these sites can be attributed to a certain degree to particular economic functionalities. But, simultaneously, taking into account the stratigraphic position of these sites and the global technological and typological characteristics of the most relevant tools types (bifaces, cleavers, side-scrapers) we are also impelled to consider the occurrence of local evolutionary chronological trends.</p> <p>In stratigraphic levels at the top deposits of T4, Middle Paleolithic industries have been found and probably date as ca. 165 to 155 ka.</p> <p>In the context of the human settlements of the Middle Pleistocene recognized on the terraces of the Tagus River in Portugal, most of the sites mentioned here in detail, contained in sedimentary deposits of the T4 Terrace and with a chronology of ca. 340 ka to ca. 180 ka, belong to the Lower Paleolithic. The data currently available seem to suggest the possibility of some variability in the lithic industries, if we consider sites with bifaces and hand axes, such as those of Monte Famaco and Vale do Forno (VF1 and VF8), with bifaces, but without axes as in Castelo Velho, to the sites of Fonte da Moita and Ribeira da Ponte da Pedra, where there are industries rich in fine pebbles and rare bifacial pieces. However, it should be pointed out that the specific reality of each of these sites is not comparable with the rest. In fact, this variability is further accentuated when the cave sites of the Almonda spring are introduced into the equation.</p> <p>The correlation of the already known results and the ones to be obtained in the future with the reality of other regions and with other contexts also already identified in the region, as is the case of the recent findings in karst cavities will not fail to enrich the discussion about the variability of the data known.</p> Pedro P. Cunha, Sara Cura, João Pedro Cunha Ribeiro, Silvério Figueiredo, António A. Martins, Luis Raposo, Telmo Pereira, Nelson Almeida ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2531 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Soft hammerstone percussion use in bladelet debitage during the Magdalenian at Portuguese Estremadura [A utilização do percutor em pedra branda na debitagem lamelar durante o Magdalenense na Estremadura portuguesa] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2532 <p>The development of experimental flint knapping programs allowed for the identification of stigmas related to the use of soft hammerstone percussion. Pelegrin (2000) explored the limits and constraints of the use of this type of percussion and since the first publication of these distinctive stigmas this technique was identified in assemblages from different chronologies in Europe and the Near East. The random identification of stigmata evoking the use of soft hammerstone in the lithic collection of layer 3 of Lapa dos Coelhos led to a systematic registration of certain attributes during the study of other Magdalenian collections of Portuguese Estremadura (Abrigo 1 de Vale de Covões, Cabeço de Porto Marinho). A total of 1303 pieces (complete or proximal fragments) was studied. In terms of methodology, theoretical data and confrontation with experimental knapped series supported our analyses and therefore we systematically recorded the following attributes: butt type (cortical, flat, dihedral, faceted, microfaced, linear, punctiform, crushed and retouched), presence of lip, traces of abrasion (slight or marked), presence of cracking in the percussion cone, existence of fine concentric wrinkles from the percussion bulb and presence of an irregular butt line. The analysis and quantification of these percussion stigmas allowed us to identify a significant number of pieces with evidence of soft hammer (organic and mineral) for bladelet production: the percentage of abrasion (slight or marked) and lip is 40%. In variable proportions, but always present, we identified diagnostic stigmas associated with the use of soft hammerstone percussion: cracking of the percussion cone, scabbing of the bulb, irregular butt line and fine and concentric wrinkles from the percussion cone. According to Pelegrin (2000) the occurrence of these stigmas is reduced (in the order of 20%) and variable. We conclude that the recurrent association of distinctive characters suggests that the use of soft hammerstone would have been significant. The absence of data from other chronologies doesn’t allow for an effective comparison of the Upper Palaeolithic sequence: In the sample observed, however, the use of a soft hammerstone seems to have increased during Final Magdalenian. What advantage in the use of a soft hammerstone justifies an increase of its use during the final Magdalenense? According to Pelegrin (2000) there are no advantages compared to the use of an organic hammer: technical execution is no longer easy, abrasion is almost mandatory, therefore it is necessary to prepare the volume prior to debitage. In this case, could there be any economic motivation? The lithological environment of Estremadura makes it easy to obtain hammers of limestone, flint, or thick sandstone. On the other hand, we know that during the Tardiglacial there was a reduction in the catch and consumption of medium and large animals and an increase in the consumption of small animals (Bicho <em>et al.</em> 2000; Bicho <em>et al.</em> 2011; Davis 2002; Gameiro <em>et al.</em> 2017). Could this explain the difficulty in obtaining, and use as a hammer, cervid rods, for example? Pelegrin (2000) hypothesized an eventual relationship with alterations in hunting strategies: during the Tardiglacial the weapons are equipped with lithic tips, causing a need to produce more lithic barbs. Throughout the Tardiglacial, in Portuguese Estremadura we know that, not only increases the typological diversity, but also the amount of armatures (Zilhão 1997; Bicho 1997; 2000; Gameiro 2012). It seems plausible, but impossible to demonstrate, that these economic data are linked to the preferential choice of a type of hammer. The fortuitous and expeditious use of a natural resource easily accessible may have motivated and conditioned a cultural option. Although the evidence presented is still scarce these data should be considered because it is essential for the reconstitution of the spectrum of technical choices made in the past.</p> Cristina Gameiro ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2532 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The shell-midden of Meu Jardim (Nazaré) in the context of the production and exchange of blade or bladelet blanks in Middle Neolithic Portuguese Estremadura [O concheiro do Meu Jardim (Nazaré) no contexto das estratégias de produção e circulação de...] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2533 <p>The archaeological site of Meu Jardim (municipality of Nazaré) is a shell-midden with several phases of occupation dated to the Middle Neolithic period. It is located near flint deposits, on the Atlantic seaboard of the Portuguese Estremadura. Its excavation, that took place in the context of salvage archaeology, was due to the building of a bridge. The fieldwork consisted of the excavation of three tests, comprising a total area of 102 m<sup>2</sup>.</p> <p>Given the gap in knowledge that dominates the lithic studies of the Middle Neolithic period, it was decided to analyse its blade and bladelet productions (from Tests 1 and 3, where the lithic assemblages are more abundant) and integrate them in their regional context. In order to allow for the establishment of systematic inter-site comparisons, an explicit methodological option was the use of the same analytical protocols as employed elsewhere in the study of coeval sites in the region. These protocols consist mainly of the adoption of the proposals initially put forward by Tixier <em>et al.</em> (1980), which were adapted by Carvalho (1998a; 2008) to the Early and Middle Neolithic periods in Portugal.</p> <p>Overall, the knapped stone assemblage from Meu Jardim totals 639 artefacts of locally available raw materials (flint, quartz and quartzite), which form an assemblage composed of cores and core maintenance products, flakes and debris, blades and bladelets and retouched tools. Flint is the most used raw material, which is due to its availability in the area surrounding the shell-midden. It should be noted that flint is an abiotic resource that can be found almost everywhere in Estremadura but it may be absent from more restricted areas within the region. This fact impacted the acquisition strategies during the period. In the case of Meu Jardim, this implied an expedient exploitation of the nearest flint sources to face the needs of short stays at the site, and the abandonment of nodules and cores in their early stages of reduction. The so-called “prismatic method” (see definition in Carvalho 1998a) was employed for the production of elongated blanks. On average, these ranged in 1.8-7.0 cm in length, 0.5-1.4 cm in width and 0.2-0.9 cm thick, thus forming a bladelet-sized assemblage. The knapping techniques may have been comprised of pressure and indirect percussion; however, according to published experimental evidence, the former technique seems to have been dominant. Indeed, the overwhelming presence of overhanging accidents, regular edges and ridges and faceted butts along with the small sizes evidenced by these blanks strongly points to this conclusion and suggests the presence of hand-knapping procedures (<em>i.e.</em>, without the use of levers or similar devices). Tools types are composed mostly of side-retouched blades and bladelets; notches, denticulates, perforators and truncations are less well represented. Microliths were not found.</p> <p>Contrasting with the relatively robust evidence available for the Early Neolithic period in Estremadura, little is known regarding the later stages of the period. The most evident feature is likely the increase in sizes of elongated blanks that is recognized in many assemblages dated to the Middle and Late Neolithic. The morphometric and technological study of blanks from Middle Neolithic cemeteries in the region have reveal two main size groups: one of smaller sizes (2.5-10.0 cm in length, 0.8-2.0 cm in width) and a more robust one (12.0-18.0 cm in length, 1.8-2.8 cm in width). One attribute also marks the difference between the two: the absence of heat treatment in the latter group. Up to now, the evidence from habitation contexts is less clear due to the lack of studies. However, all seem to indicate that at other habitation sites the elongated pieces are similar to those identified at Meu Jardim. A factor that introduces more variability in morphotechnic features is the presence at some sites of bipolar knapping for the production of very small and irregular bladelets, the so-called “bipolar method” (see definition in Carvalho 1998a). In these cases, larger blanks likely imported as finished products from sites located near flint sources are found along with the locally produced smaller, irregular ones. This strategy was not observed at Meu Jardim; indeed, this site is testimony of the opposite situation.</p> <p>Overall, these inferences reveal a pattern of highly diversified economic and technological behaviours regarding flint exploitation and exchange in Middle Neolithic Estremadura.</p> Eliana Goufa, António Carlos Valera, António Faustino Carvalho ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2533 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Weapons of war or hunting? Functionality and provenance of the Zambujal’s arrowheads (Torres Vedras, Portugal) [Armas de guerra ou de caça? Funcionalidade e proveniência das pontas de seta do Zambujal (Torres Vedras, Portugal)] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1760 <p>This contribution is part of a larger work developed since 2014 on Zambujal’s flaked stone mainly focusing on siliceous resources’ petrographic characterization, strategies of management and procurement. The enclosure of Zambujal distinguishes itself, in the Portuguese Estremadura, by the larger number of flint artefacts recovered within a chronological context. As well, the Sizandro’s valley was recently studied through a geoarchaeological approach - Holocene floodplain evolution of the Sizandro valley (Portugal) - in which it was proposed a calcolithic territory model. So the enclosure of Zambujal is privileged for being a case study. Although if compared to other Chalcolithic settlements, have a high number of arrowheads (1037) stands out in absolute contrast, as in proportion with the remained lithic tools available. This particular issue, moreover connected to the fact of having been removed inside the barbican of the hillfort (between first and second lines of defence), is a very important element that suggests the possibility of armed conflicts among these populations over Chalcolithic (3<sup>rd</sup> millennium BCE). The present paper proposes to test the hypothesis of the evidences of war in Chalcolithic, based on functional and petrographic analysis of Zambujal´s arrowheads.</p> <p>So, on one hand, we proceed to a techno-typological classification with the particular purpose of gathering materials from all Zambujal’s archaeological campaigns (1964-2012). Than we applying to every measurable arrowhead a drilling index (Ipn) to find the “stopping power”, that reflects a level of damage.</p> <p>The methodology employed for the petrographic analysis was a classical compositional and textural, and we also established flint types according to its genesis (genetic type) and provision sites (gytologic type), through a dynamic perspective of an ‘evolutive chain’. A Motic SMZ-140 binocular magnifying glass was used in the mesoscopic observation, with an 80x augmentation and, whenever needed, particular images were taken with an Olympus E-620 camera, providing thus a maximal visual augmentation of up to 40x.</p> <p>This paper presents the results obtained for the different types of analysis – techno-typological and petrographic - trying to find the arrowheads functionality. As well, by comparing the arrowheads typologies associated with the drilling rate index (DRI) from Portuguese Estremadura’s settlements we obtained the capability of answer the question of functionality – war or hunting weapons?</p> <p>In the petrographic analysis we tried to recognize the "history" of the flint, however, due to the natural absence of the cortical part in these artefacts, was privileged the genetic characterization of the lithologies. From the above, it is suggested that the main source of the siliceous materials used to produce arrowheads has been the closest, easiest and most abundant source. But at this point the study needs a more detailed characterization of the regional source areas with some textural affinities with these archaeological samples. For now, we use these results of raw materials’ provenance to beginning to identify the supplying strategies and the early stages of operative chains of these artefacts. The extension of the petroarchaeologic study to all the operative chains of the Zambujal’s arrowheads is a key for the understanding of the techniques in their manufacture and therefore the type of circulating materials - raw materials or final products?</p> <p>In conclusion, with these new data we can also begin to recognize the existence of complex goods’ circulation networks in the Chalcolithic, which probably includes regional and inter-regional strategies control reflecting the stability or instability’s relationships of among prehistoric communities.</p> Patrícia Poeira Jordão ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1760 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Blade debitage in Southern Brazil: We have cores! [Debitagem laminar no Sul do Brasil: Habemus nucleos!] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2530 <p>Blade <em>debitage</em> is a characteristic production pattern of specific periods and regions during Prehistory. In South America, it is well documented in Argentina, in contexts dating back to early Holocene. In Brazil, it was unknown until 2006, when it was found in three archaeological sites (ACH-LP-01, ACH-LP-03, ALP-AA-03) in the Foz do Chapecó area, upper Uruguay River, South Brazil, in layers from early Holocene. It was associated there with a great variety of other production systems: bifacial shaping of projectile points and large tools, unipolar <em>debitage</em> of large flakes, bipolar <em>debitage</em> of tiny flakes. Silicified sandstone, chalcedony and hyaline quartz are the main used raw materials. To this day, only the products of this <em>debitage</em>, the blades, had been discovered. Cores were lacking, which prevented a complete understanding of the flaking process. Due to the resumption of research in the region from 2013, it was possible to find those cores during surveys in the two following archaeological sites: ACH-LP-07 and RS-URG-01, located on both sides of the Uruguay river, near the mouth of the Chapecó river. We describe in this article five of these cores (4 from ACH-LP-07 and 1 from RS-URG-01). Their analyses demonstrate that this blade <em>debitage</em> complies with only one concept. The core volumetric structure that is the result of this concept displays the following features: 1) Cores have two surfaces: a flat back and a convex but relatively flattened flaking surface, so that they have a general “D” shaped transversal section. At one end, a small surface acts as striking platform during the production of the blades; 2) <em>Debitage</em> begins with a initialization phase of the core during which the striking platform is produced by a large removal. According to the natural properties of the initial volume, the back of the core is obtained either during the selection of the blank, and then it is left in his natural state, or by a preparation by one or more large transversal removals. When present, the scars of the initialization phase of the flaking surface indicate the use of a centripetal method. This preparation is made possible by the acute angle of the peripheral ridge formed by the intersection of the back and the flaking surface ; 3) Blades are always produced by a unidirectional parallel method. Production variability is mainly related to the flaking technique: both internal percussion by stone and marginal percussion by organic percussor were used to get the blades. Technical information provided by the cores are complementary and in accordance with those from the previous analyses of the blades from the same area. With these two studies it was possible to reach a relatively exhaustive understanding of this production system in the upper Uruguay River during early Holocene, the only well documented blade <em>debitage</em> in Brazil known until now. Future research will explore the interactions between this production and the other <em>debitage</em> and shaping methods inside this early Holocene technological system. To do this, we will develop a comprehensive study of all lithic artefacts from the archaeological layers in which blade production was identified. In a wider scale, a comparative approach with Argentinian and Uruguayan prehistoric blade productions will allow to better understand the development of the blade phenomenon in the southern cone of South America.</p> Antoine Lourdeau, Mirian Carbonera, Sirlei Hoeltz, Marcos C. Pereira Santos, Lívia de Oliveira e Lucas, Amélie Da Costa, Sibeli Viana ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2530 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sourcing river rock and Middle Stone Age artifacts discovered along the Cunene River, Angola-Namibia border [Prospectando rochas fluviais e artefatos do Paleolítico Médio Africano descobertos ao longo do Rio Cunene, fronteira entre Angola e Namíbia] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1645 <p>Although many important prehistoric sites are known from South Africa, few comparable contexts have been discovered and documented in the northern Namibia and southern Angola borderlands. During a geomorphic assessment of riparian corridors in Namibia’s Kaokoveld region, Middle Stone Age (MSA in Africa; broadly correlative with European Paleolithic) lithic artifacts were found preserved in unstratified <em>plein air</em> sites located atop a terrace adjacent to the perennial Cunene River. These remains attest to <em>hominin</em> activities along the northern edge of the modern hyperarid Namib Desert, which receives less than 100 mm of rainfall in a year. The location of the archaeological site is quite remote, and is along the eastern perimeter of the hyperarid Cunene erg (sandsea), and downstream of the Marienfluss–Hartmann Valley near Serra Cafema, At the Cafema site (as it is known), more than 30 lithic artifacts are preserved in the Cunene River valley, in context of a former river terrace. The artifacts discovered by a walking survey include quartzite flakes, cores, and points with some edge abrasion and varnish, including the first Levallois-Mousterian points found in this region of Africa. Since the archaeology of this area is poorly known, these cultural assemblages enable initial correlations across the continent, and provide a basis for reconstructing provenience, procurement and tool manufacture during the Middle Pleistocene, the time frame marked by the first appearance and the dispersal of the modern human species <em>Homo sapiens</em>.</p> <p>To assess the potential source areas for lithic raw materials in this region, pebble counting methods and compositional assessment were conducted on the artifacts and Quaternary alluvium (Qal) of the relict river terrace at Cafema. Based on the composition of the artifacts found on the surface, siliceous rock was an important resource for lithic manufacture during the MSA; this is reflected in the observation that quartzite was overwhelmingly the dominant material used in the stone tool manufacture. Quartzite is generally known to be a preferred material for making tools of consistent size, ease of knapping, quality of form-shape, and persistence of edge retention.</p> <p>To define regional procurement areas where <em>hominin</em> may have acquired quartzite raw materials at local (0-5 km), regional (6-20 km) and supra-regional (21-100 km) scales, we examined the geological outcrops in the region to identify potential sources. Due to its remoteness, the geology of this region of southern Africa is not well known, and the available maps are only available at coarse scales of resolution. Geologic outcrops along the Cunene River include some of the world’s oldest rocks dating to the Vaalian ~1760 Ma, and comprise part of a Large Igneous Province (LIP) that stretches across the African continent. The local bedrock outcrops near Cafema include a medium-to-high grade metamorphic complex, granitoids, and surrounding country rock -- these rocks comprise the rugged mountainous terrain incised by the Cunene River.</p> <p>Since quartzite is the dominant clast type occurring as raw material in the river terrace where the MSA artifacts themselves were found, we can conclude that river terrace materials (Qal) themselves were among the likely raw material sources exploited during antiquity. Rounded quartzite boulders and cobbles are present as surface lag, along with the artifacts in the Qal within the relict river terrace at the <em>plein air</em> site. The river terrace itself is the closest source to the observed artifacts.&nbsp; If the raw material source was alluvial (i.e., within the Qal unit), quartzite river cobbles may have been derived from outcrops located further upstream the Cunene system, which is a large river network that drains a diversity of geologic units. Although it is not possible to identify the precise formation and procurement area of origin, we offer some relative assessments about likely source areas within the region, based on the geology. The specific geologic units that may have contributed quartzite clasts to the Qal river terrace include the (1) Damara Sequence (Nda); and (2) lithologies within the undifferentiated Mokolian unit, which are not well mapped in detail. The closest potential primary sources of quartzite raw materials in Nda rock outcrops (i.e., not alluvium within the Qal terrace at the site) are located within 2 km of the Cafema site. However, confirmed source locales in the past could not be specifically identified in the field.</p> <p>The hypothesis offered is that the Qal alluvial components within the relict terrace of the Cunene River was a preferred source for quartzite lithic raw materials used by mobile hunter-gatherers to make tools during the MSA, sometime after ~225 kya. Cafema is the first MSA site in northern Namibia that is in direct stratigraphic context with a securely dated unit. A replicate OSL-SAR date ~220 kyr has provided initial age constraints on a sandy unit preserved within the cobble-boulder Qal terrace fill, and constrains the maximum age for the overlying archaeological assemblage. These findings advance the reconstruction of this cultural landscape through a geoarchaeological lens, and form a basis for understanding the relict Pleistocene landscape and environment, its plant resources, and proximity to raw material sources within the riparian corridor of the perennial Cunene River.&nbsp;</p> Kathleen Nicoll ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1645 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Southern and southeastern boundaries: A geometric morphometric analysis of bifacial points from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, and Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) [Fronteiras sul e sudeste: Uma análise morfométrica de pontas bifaciais de Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná e Rio Grande do Sul (Brasil)] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1619 <p><span><span lang="en-US">Style and function in archaeological or ethnographic artifacts have been studied by a myriad of researchers through the most diverse theoretical approaches. In this context, the study of projectile points has been particularly useful in generating a greater knowledge of these artifacts as markers of identity, reflecting potential boundaries between groups. This work aims at exploring the differences in the morphology of Holocene bifacial points from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul in light of the concepts of style and function set out by evolutionary archaeology. In this study, 248 points were analyzed by two dimensional geometric morphometrics. Although the analysis involves geometric morphometrics data of the complete point, the shape of the stem was considered to be of particular importance. According to the theoretical expectations and the heuristic models of style and function proposed by Dunnell (1978a), differences in the shape of the stem of the points can be considered a stylistic resource whose aspect and differential replication among groups was most likely due to stochastic processes. Thus, the theoretical expectation in this study is that the shape of the stem reflects the choices of the groups and, ultimately, is a reflection of potential ancient cultural boundaries. The results point to the presence of important differences in the size and general shape of the points from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Paraná in relation to the points from Rio Grande do Sul. These differences can also be observed in the stem morphology, showing the benefit of the application of the heuristic dichotomy between style and function (</span><span lang="en-US"><em>sensu</em></span><span lang="en-US"> Dunnell 1978a) to better understand the presence of potential past cultural boundaries.</span></span></p> Mercedes Okumura, Astolfo G. M. Araujo ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1619 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Brazilian lithic raw materials occurrences: A geological approach [Jazidas de matérias-primas líticas brasileiras: Uma visão geológica] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1624 <p>The main purpose of the current study is to help researchers and students studying lithics in Brazilian archaeology to understand, through a macro-regional scale, the potential sources of the main occurrences of lithic raw materials in Brazil. This potential is presented from a qualitative point of view and has been divided along two perspectives. The first approach recalls the geological areas known as shields. These are the Guianas, Central Brazil, and Atlantic, and together, they account for 57.3% of the national territory. The sedimentary basins, more significant in size, are the Amazonas, Foz do Amazonas, Parnaíba, Sanfranciscana, Pantanal and Paraná, and account for the remaining 42.7% of the terrain. The second approach presents the lithic potential according to the major geomorphologic domains called the Amazonian, Cerrado, Mares de Morros, Caatinga, Mata de Araucárias, Prairies and Transition Zones, although this paper focuses only on the first four mentioned. Properly defining the nature of the lithic raw materials has been an issue for archaeologists, particularly those materials whose macroscopic features are similar and very fine grained, such as flint, chert, chalcedony, silcrete, silicified sandstone and fine sandstone. The lack of field activities in Brazilian archaeology courses results in not providing a minimum basis in mineralogy, geology and geomorphology for archaeology works to be carried out properly. In cases where the archaeological lithic studies are the main subject of the work or research, the scenario may be even worse due to the lack of availability of public domain geological maps at appropriate scale, in such a way that the small rock bodies, often classified as potential lithic occurrences, are not represented. To be used both in reference work, field research and laboratory stages, this paper provides simplified schemes of classification and identification for the most common rocks and minerals found at archaeological sites in Brazil, also mentioning the basic processes of rocks formation. Aging more than 541 million years, the shields are formed mainly by igneous intrusive and metamorphic rocks and their height ranges from 300 to 3000 meters. Their main raw materials, potentially useful for the lithic industries, are the granites, granodiorites, gabbros, diabases, amphibolites, quartzites, gneisses, iron formations, metamorphosed limestones, soapstones, jaspilites, laterites, quartz, hematite, manganese oxides and, more rarely, sillimanite and amazonite. Constituted by sedimentary and extrusive rocks as well as sediments, and located in regions whose altitude is below 300 meters high, the sedimentary basins age less than 541 million years. The most frequent sedimentary rocks, which are useful for the lithic industry, are sandstones, siltstones, arkoses, limestones and less commonly silexites and cherts; the main volcanic rocks are basalts, less frequently rhyolites and rhyodacites and very rare obsidians; among the minerals, can be mentioned agate, chalcedony and quartz; and gravel pebbles, laterites and silcretes as Tertiary-Quaternary sediments.&nbsp;The pebbles of fluvial and coastal gravels can contain certain rocks and minerals from practically all examples mentioned in the shields and sedimentary basins. The Brazilian river system, constituted by abundant water bodies, most of them draining shield areas and rugged terrains in basins, provided in the archaeological past a significant lithologic variety for those human populations, and such condition must be considered in the lithic studies in Brazil.</p> Ulisses Cyrino Penha ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1624 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Book review: Introduction to the study of knapped stone [Resenha de livro: Introdução ao Estudo da Pedra Lascada] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1932 <p>De acordo com os organizadores do livro, as universidades de Portugal usufruem muito de manuais de análise de vestígios líticos escritos em língua estrangeira. Isto se justifica pela falta destes manuais em língua portuguesa, e este livro se apresenta com a pretensão de preencher esta lacuna. O livro é dividido em duas partes. A primeira parte trata de “metodologias”, e possui quatro capítulos; enquanto a segunda parte trata da “perspectiva diacrônica”, e possui três capítulos que realizam um apanhado geral das indústrias líticas Europeias.</p> João Carlos Moreno de Sousa ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/1932 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Book review: Lithic Technology in Brazilian Archaeology. Collection of (re)publications [Resenha de livro: Tecnologia Lítica na Arqueologia Brasileira. Coletânea de (re)publicações] http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2534 <p><strong>Tecnologia lítica na arqueologia brasileira. Coletânea de (re)publicações</strong></p> <p>Organizado por Luydy Fernandes e Déborah Duarte-Talim</p> <p>Museu de História Natural e Jardim Botânico, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2017, pp. 237. ISBN 978-85-62164-11-8</p> Juliana de Resende Machado ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2534 Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000