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Utilisation de la pierre par l'homme.

Abstract : The lithic material in the site that is attributable to human activity includes worked and unworked objects. The former are either flaked or fashioned by some other technique. The latter either show use stigmata or are devoid of such traces. The material that is unmodified but nevertheless purposely transported by humans to their campsite includes blocks destined to form pavements, walls and structured fireplaces, as well as curiosa. Materials that were unmodified before being used by humans (primarily stone blocks and cobbles consisting of a wide array of tools), show traces of that use. Flaked lithic material consists of cores, débitage, unretouched flakes showing use-wear, and bi-products of tool-shaping. Lithic materials worked by techniques other than flaking include tools formed by pecking, hammering, sawing, scraping and polishing. Source of raw material. After establishing that materials were the product of human action it is important to determine the geographic source(s) of those that are exotic to the site, in order to gain an idea of the territory frequented by the site's occupants. Typology. Today we combine typological analysis with direct dating techniques, complementing this combination with technological analysis. Refitting. The refitting of broken lithics and flaked blocks of flint allow a rough evaluation as to whether different zones of the site were occupied simultaneously. The refitting of flaked stone allows a reconstruction of reduction sequences and decision making. Experimentation. The goal of experiments is to rediscover fabrication techniques and the functions of objects. Experimental flint working is especially well developed, although the manufacture of artifacts by techniques other than flaking is also the subject of systematic experiments. In addition, experimentation permits a reconstruction of the ways in which tools were used. Even if experimentation is not proof in itself it serves as a test of certain functional hypotheses. Use-wear analysis. Use-wear is observed with the aid of various optical devices. Such analysis of flint tools focuses on differences in the polish created when the working edges came in contact with the materials worked. When tools are well preserved, it is possible to distinguish the different materials worked and the ways in which the tools were applied in the working of these materials. Observing use-traces on cobbles, blocks and plaquettes is particularly important as it is the only reliable means to infer their functions. In the case of portable art, observations made on engraved lines provides insight into the procedures employed by the artist. Analysis of organic residues. Use of the Scanning Electron Microscope combined with chemical analysis can reveal and identify certain vegetal residues or other organic substances remaining on particularly well preserved tool-edges. Use of ethnographic data. Ethnographic data can be valuable when its use is limited to precise techniques. The different technological approaches that drive our research today can be broken down into three steps : 1) the study of raw materials present, their ultimate differential treatment and their geographical sources ; 2) the reconstruction of production techniques, and 3) the function and life history of the tools thus produced. In reality these research procedures are complementary and are conducted in parallel. This is the price of revealing the socio-economic and cultural reality of Paleolithic people.
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Contributor : Sophie A. de Beaune <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 11:24:41 AM
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Sophie A. de Beaune. Utilisation de la pierre par l'homme.. J.-Cl. Miskovsky. Géologie de la Préhistoire. Méthodes. Techniques. Applications., Géopré - Presses Universitaires de Perpignan, pp.987-1000, 2002. ⟨halshs-00722302⟩



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