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Morphological variability between levels through intensity of retouch at Esquilleu Cave XIf and VII.
Guillermo Bustos-Pérez  1@  , Javier Baena  1@  , Elena Carrrión  2@  , Manuel Vaquero  3, 4@  
1 : Universidad Autónoma de Madrid  -  Site web
Ciudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco · 28049 Madrid -  Espagne
2 : Unidad de Apoyo, Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Bienes Culturales y de Archivos y Bibliotecas, Secretaría de Estado de Cultura
3 : Universitat Rovira i Virgili  -  Site web
43007 Tarragona -  Espagne
4 : Institut Catala de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolucio Social  (IPES)
C/ Marcel·lí Domingo s/n, Campus Sescelades URV (Edifici W3), 43007 Tarragona, Spain -  Espagne

When Paleolithic archaeologist confront the study of lithic assemblages, retouched implements conform an important part of the morphological variability of these assemblages. The morphological variability of retouched implements can be affected by a variety of reasons, such as the prevailing knapping methods and byproducts, the site occupation pattern, availability of lithic resources, etc. Few sites of the Middle Paleolithic offer the opportunity to compare from a diachronic point of view how changes in site occupation patterns and lithic knapping methods affect retouched tool variability and toolkit composition from a reduction point of view. At El Esquilleu Cave more than 30 archaeological levels have been described reflecting different knapping strategies and site occupation patterns (Baena et al., 2004; 2005). Level VII is located at the upper part of the sequence where it is inferred that occupations become shorter, being the last level considered as a residential model (Baena et al., 2005; 2012). Level XIf is located at the part of the sequence considered as fully reflecting a residential model and characterized by Quina flaking strategies and a typological homogeneity (Carrion and Baena 2003; Baena et al., 2005; Baena et al., 2013). Here, a combined approach using lithic typology, technology and indexes of reduction is employed to characterize and compare the lithic tool assemblages and toolkits from levels VII and XIf of Esquilleu cave. Comparative quantitative values of reduction for retouched implements are provided for both levels and values of retouched implements are clustered through indexes of reduction to foreshow patterns of blank selection and morphological variability between both assemblages. Results foreshow how two different archaeological levels with two different predominant knapping methods and different inferred site occupation patterns result in different morphological variabilities, different levels of tool curation, and different toolkit management.

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