New data concerning “large blades” in Catalonia: Apt-Forcalquier chert in the Penedès (south of Barcelona) during the Late Neolithic - Chalcolithic
Gibaja, Juan F. (Juan Francisco)
Oms, F. Xavier
González, Cynthia B.
Martín Cólliga, Araceli
Marín Castro, Dioscorides
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The study of large chert blades documented in funerary contexts from the Late Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age in the north-eastern part of Iberia has been addressed in recent works by the authors, in which 49 burial sites have been registered with more than 200 large chert blades. In this paper the recent data obtained from the study of seven archaeological sites located in the region of the Penedès (southwest of Barcelona) is presented. The macroscopic characterization of the knapped stone industries shows their great variety regarding the origin of the siliceous raw material, often coming from outside the analysed region. In some cases their macroscopic features link them to Apt-Forcalquier chert (Haut Provence, France), which was widely distributed in the form of large blades during these phases of Late Catalan prehistory. The absence of evidence of the chaîne opératoire production of this type of foreign chert in the lithic assemblages in Catalonia lead to the supposition that the dispersion of the blades was done as trade items, and only in a few cases were highly complex technological tools of this kind of raw material distributed (e.g., daggers). Use-wear analysis reveals that these blades were not merely luxury items in grave goods. Far from this idea, they have to be considered as functional, even multifunctional, items. All the same, it is thought that they must have had an important value because they moved from the domestic sphere to the graves. In fact, the pieces that usually remain are not small fragments, but whole or almost whole, large blades that normally remain effective.
Is part ofJournal of Lithic Studies, 2016, vol. 4, núm. 2, p. 1-16
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