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Title: Las Portillas Formation: a new variety of chert used by prehistoric groups in the cantabrian mountains?
Authors: Herrero Alonso, Diego
Tarriño Vinagre, Antonio
Fuertes Prieto, María Natividad
Neira Campos, Ana
Keywords: Raw materials management;Cantabrian mountains;Mesolithic;Paleozoic chert
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: ICArEHB ; Universidade do Algarve ; CSIC
Citation: Raw materials exploitation in Prehistory: sourcing, processing and distribution, 2016, p. 39
Abstract: Studies developed in order to characterize lithic raw materials in the prehistoric sites WestCentral section of the Cantabrian Mountains (NW Spain),near Picos de Europa, highlight the importance of locating geological formations containing nodules of chert. Las Portillas is a limestone Formation where nodules of chert appear. It is poorly known because of its geographical distribution, quite restricted in the southern slope of Picos de Europa Unit, near to Espinama and Jou de los Boches (Naranjo del Bulnes, Cabrales, Asturias). The macroscopic features of this chert, presenting a very shiny black colour with abundant fractures filling (by quartz, possibly) are macroscopically consistent with certain samples of the so-called 'black chert' in Mesolithic sites of the region, such as those found in El Espertín and La Uña caves (León, Spain). Therefore, we think suitable to make a more accurate approach of this silicifications. The age of Las Portillas Formation is from Famenian (Late Devonian) to Tournaisian (Early Carboniferous). According to the bibliography, it is a bioclastic limestone with abundant fragments of crinoids, coarsed grain and lighter colours, sometimes pinkish. Inside this limestone appears the nodules of cherts (between 5-20cm). The aim of this work is to define this type of raw material. For this purpose, we will provide a characterization from various points of view, such as textural and mineralogic, through X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). Thermogravimetric and geochemistry analyses, such as X-Ray Fluorescence, will be carried out. They will be applied to samples from geologic outcrops and, subsequently, contrasted with similar analyses of archaeological samples from La Uña and El Espertin sites. This will allow us to check the exploitation of this kind of raw material during Prehistory in the southern Cantabrian Mountains, although the results can be extrapolated to the northern area.
ISBN: 978-989-8472-79-3
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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