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Title: Relationship between size and precision of flake technology in the Middle Paleolithic. An experimental study
Authors: Bilbao Malavé, Irantzu
Ríos Garaizar, Joseba
Arrizabalaga, Álvaro
Keywords: Micro-flake;Neanderthal;Middle Paleolithic;Levallois;Precision;Experimental archaeology
Issue Date: Jun-2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2019, 25, 530-547
Abstract: Microlithization in the Middle Paleolithic is an important aspect to consider as a means to understand Neanderthal technology, economic organization and cognitive and psychomotor capacities. Small tool production has been related to the economy of high-quality raw materials or to the planned production of tools for precision tasks. The objective of this investigation is to evaluate if there are differences in precision depending on the size of the flake used. To achieve this, we carried out an experimental test in a group of 50 individuals to measure the relationship between the size of the tool and the precision achieved. The experiment consisted of tracing different lines using standard Levallois (>4 cm) and micro-Levallois (<3 cm) flakes. Then, the error of each tracing was measured using GIS software, to analyze statistically the relationship between variables. The results show that there are no significant differences in precision between standard flakes and small flakes. Therefore, we reject the hypothesis that the production of small flakes was driven by a specific need for precision tools, and accordingly, we propose alternative scenarios to explain the relevance of their production in certain assemblages.
ISSN: 2352-409X
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.05.006
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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