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Title: Identifying the signs: the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in northern Iberia from the perspective of the lithic record
Authors: Arrizabalaga, Álvaro
Ríos Garaizar, Joseba
Maíllo Fernández, José Manuel
Iriarte Chiapusso, María José
Keywords: Lithic studies;Historiography;Palaeolithic;Mousterian;Aurignacian
Issue Date: Sep-2014
Publisher: University of Edinburgh
Citation: Journal of Lithic Studies, 2014, 1 (2), 151-166
Abstract: The lithic record, together with archaeozoological remains, makes up the most abundant assemblages at European Palaeolithic sites. During many decades in the twentieth century, the classical typological analysis (the Bordesian paradigm) has been used to articulate the sequencing of the different cultural and chronostratigraphic units. At the same time, since the 1960s an alternative methodology known as Analytical Typology, proposed by Georges Laplace, has been available. The sophistication of the statistical procedures used by Analytical Typology is the reason given by many prehistorians for avoiding this approach, in the same way that the limitations in the quantification of the results ended up discrediting Bordes and Sonneville-Bordes’ method. As a first paradox, the same reasoning (in the opposite direction) rules out both methodologies. In addition, by ignoring the typological approach, we give new life to technological analysis, where qualitative information is provisionally prioritised over quantitative data. If we aim to describe the process of transition or change, then, as we have said on various occasions, the reading of the lithic record should be holistic, and cover typometrical features, the raw materials, technology, function and certainly typological traits. The alleged difficulties about the description of the different variables, their quantification and statistical analysis have been solved for some time in Laplace’s methodological proposal. Ignorance of this methodology cannot be given as an excuse, fifty years after it was first formulated.
ISSN: 2055-0472
DOI: 10.2218/jls.v1i2.1064
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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