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From flint to quartz: Organization of lithic technology in relation to raw material availability during the pioneer process of Scandinavia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
Statens historiska museum.
Statens historiska museum.
2015 (English)In: Quaternary International, ISSN 1040-6182, E-ISSN 1873-4553, ISSN 1040-6182Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Formal technologies and intensified reduction are often seen as responces to increased mobility and low abundance of lithic raw material of good flakeability and controllability. In this paper we discuss an alternative explanation to this hypothesis using the change in tool raw material experienced by flint using pioneers as they had to go from a formal blade technology to a simple flake technology as they settled in Scandinavia. The region is dominated by quartz and we used use-wear data as a means to evaluate the role of this type of raw material compared to the use profile of flint assemblages in the home territories of the pioneers. Although the technology changed through simplification and loss of formal production rules due to the low workability of quartz, we conclude that changes in the foraging range into areas of bad quality tool raw materials, does not need formalization of the technology. The quartz in our sample was used for a wide variety of activities in every aspect comparable to the range of uses identified in the contemporaneous blade assemblages based on flint. Instead of formalization of the lithic technology to cope with bad quality raw materials, it was diversified and simplified but without interfering with the organisational dimensions and design criteria of the bone technology.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015.
Keyword [en]
Pioneer settlement, Scandinavia, lithic technology, use-wear, quartz, diversification, technological organization
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-263561DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.10.062OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-263561DiVA: diva2:858645
Available from: 2015-10-02 Created: 2015-10-02 Last updated: 2016-07-22Bibliographically approved

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