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Title: Using lithic assemblage formation to approach Middle Palaeolithic settlement dynamics: El Salt Stratigraphic Unit X (Alicante, Spain)
Authors: Machado, Jorge
Molina Hernández, Francisco Javier
Hernández Gómez, Cristo Manuel
Tarriño Vinagre, Antonio
Galván Santos, Bertila
Keywords: Middle Palaeolithic;Neanderthals;El Salt;Settlement dynamics;Palimpsest;Lithic assemblage formation
Issue Date: Dec-2017
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Citation: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 2017, 9 (8), 1715-1743
Abstract: The superposition of anthropogenic remains usually results in archaeological palimpsests, hindering an accurate characterization of the behavior underlying such remains. Aimed at facing this methodological constraint in the study of Palaeolithic contexts, we present a contextual approach to Neanderthal settlement dynamics based on an understanding of lithic assemblage formation processes. We focused on a set of lithic artifacts from the Middle Palaeolithic site of El Salt. With the goal of isolating temporally constrained units of behavioral analysis, we analyzed the spatial distribution of lithic, faunal and combustion remains. Then, the lithic records from each of the resulting units were analyzed from a genetic and technical perspective. This goal was achieved by identifying lithic Raw Material Units (RMU) through observations on reduction processes, refits and their spatial distribution. Our results suggest that El Salt SU X lithic remains represent several diachronic human occupation episodes and different site functions. This study illustrates the benefit of investigating lithic assemblage formation processes to alleviate the palimpsest problem in Palaeolithic contexts.
ISSN: 1866-9557
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-016-0318-z
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Geocronología y Geología

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