Lower Palaeolithic small flakes and megafauna: the contribution of experimental approach and use-wear analysis to reveal the link

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/114218
Dokumentart: Buch (einzelnes Kapitel)
Date: 2021-04-14
Language: English
Other Keywords: Lower Palaeolithic
small flakes
use-wear analysis
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The recurrent appearance, in Lower Palaeolithic sites, of lithic industries characterized by the pro- duction and use of small flakes alongside butchered elephant remains is the focus of this paper. Recent technological, use-wear and residues analyses, as well as experimental protocols, have shed light on the relevant role lithic items of small dimensions played in the tasks performed by early human groups, especially in animal carcass processing. As small flakes are frequently found in association with processed megafauna remains at Lower Palae- olithic sites, this paper explores the potential of the use-wear analysis approach in recognizing the pos- sible nexus between small flakes and the processing of large animals, which is crucial for the behavior- al adaptation of early humans in the Palaeolithic. Here, we present some of the preliminary results of the study of small flakes found at two Middle Pleistocene, Lower Palaeolithic sites; Revadim (Is- rael) and Fontana Ranuccio (Central Italy). These sites are characterized by rich lithic and faunal as- semblages, rich in megafauna remains. The results of use-wear analysis clearly testify that in both sites small flakes were used especially for activities re- lated to the cutting of soft material. The experi- ments that we carried out with replicas of small flakes strongly suggest a link between the use-wear we observed on the archaeological items and spe- cific movements and actions related to butchering. These considerations support the hypothesis that small flakes might have played a specific role in the processing of carcasses of different prey animals, probably including megafauna.

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