Programmes > Par auteur > Heasley Kristen

Neanderthal economic organization and land use in Discoid lithic technology
Davide Delpiano  1@  , Marco Peresani  1, *@  , Kristen Heasley  2@  
1 : Università di Ferrara, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione di Scienze Preistoriche e Antropologiche
2 : University of Southampton, Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins
* : Auteur correspondant

Neanderthals used different models of mobility and exploitation of resources across their territory, especially in the last period of their occupation of the Eurasian continent: these differences are probably related to adaptation behavioral strategies and responses at many ecological and cultural levels. Neanderthals bearing Discoid technology are known to be more mobile and linked to an opportunistic exploitation of the lithic raw material, embedded in the daily food procurement, also thanks to the high adaptability of the discoid knapping method to a qualitative wide range of raw materials. However, we have no defined data for most of the geographical contexts where this technocomplex was present. In Grotta di Fumane (southern alpine fringe) the final Mousterian is denoted by the succession of well defined cultural entities: sandwiched between Levallois layers (A5+A6 and A10) there is layer A9, characterized by the variability of the Discoid method applied to different sets of blanks and raw materials. To this lithic assemblage, fully excavated for more or less 60 m2 and strong of nearly 9,000 pieces, we applied a techno-economical analysis designed to figure out the spatial fragmentation of the reduction sequences, also based on the characterization of cortex origin and raw materials through geological surveys and experimental comparisons. Results point out that the raw materials collected within 5km, by far the most used, show complete and ordinary reduction sequences, which were further attested by multiple refittings. Beyond this area, semi-local raw materials (5-10 km) are introduced in a specific way in relation to mass utility/energetic cost ratio and reduced according to their different physical qualities. These data, combined with the presence of lithotypes and fossils collected from distances of ten to hundreds of kilometers and the recycling of old patinated artifacts, indicate complex and diversified behavior: opportunistic and daily exploitation in local territory related to residential occupation of the cave, confirmed by several fire places, the exploitation of a wide faunal range and a number of lithic UMPL; logistical planning of the economical organization in the semi-local to exotic territory according to quality and distance of available raw materials sources.

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