Programmes > Par auteur > Kačar Sonja

The last hunter-gatherers of the Eastern Adriatic and the problem of Castelnovian
Sonja Kačar  1, *@  
1 : TRACES Université Toulouse 2 - Jean Jaurès
Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II
5 Allée Antonio Machado 31058 Toulouse cedex 9 -  France
* : Auteur correspondant

The last hunter-gatherers of the Central and Western Mediterranean are associated to the Castelnovian technocomplex which develops during the seventh millennium BC. The Late Mesolithic (or Second Mesolithic in French literature) Castelnovian is characterized mainly by its lithic industries which reflects important changes with regard to the preceding phases: the débitage is now orientated towards blade production by pressure flaking and manufacturing of special tools, such as trapezes (made by microburin technique) and notched blades. Although the sites are rare, the Castelnovian sites are identified in the wider Adriatic region: south-central Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Italian and Slovenian Karst. However, it seems that Croatian coast with hinterland lack any traces. No sites were found in Dalmatia and only few questionable surface finds come from Istria.

This paper explores whether the absence of Castelnovian findings on the Croatian coast reflects a historical reality, as a consequence of the depopulation during the Late Mesolithic and/or the region is for some reasons outside the Castelnovian expansion route, or it is related to some other factors, for example shift in the settlement pattern and/or loss of the sites by marine transgression, lack of research and specialists, etc.

In addition, the paper will focus on the hypothesis that the presence of last hunter-gatherers can be detected indirectly through the persistence of Castelnovian elements in the oldest Neolithic Impressed Ware assemblages of the Eastern Adriatic.

While Early Neolithic Dalmatian assemblages reflect a clear break with Castelnovian traditions as seen in more complex pressure blade débitage (long crutch standing mode and lever pressure), complex raw material procurement (almost complete reliance on exogenous garganic flint), tool typology (absence of notched blades and the trapezes were made without microburin technique) and incomplete chaîne opératoire (absence of elements pointing to decortication and trimming as well as blade cores), the Early Neolithic assemblages of Istria might reflect some similarities. These consist in the following: the blade production is local, made by local flint using simpler techniques (direct percussion and pressure with short crutch) while trapezes seem to be obtained with microburin technique.

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