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Trapezoidal armatures as markers of cultural dynamics in the Late Mesolithic of north-eastern Italy
Federica Fontana  1@  , Elisabetta Flor  2@  , Giulia Conte  1@  , Davide Visentin  1@  
1 : Università di Ferrara, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione di Scienze preistoriche e antropologiche  (unife)  -  Website
Corso Ercole I d'Este 32, I-44121 -  Italie
2 : Museo delle Scienze  (MUSE)
Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, IT 38123, I-Trento -  Italie

From both a geographical and chronological perspective the Mesolithic cultural landscape appears as a patch-work of entities reflecting the complex interactions occurred among the latest groups of European hunter-gatherers and possibly suggesting the existence of intercontinental connections. The “Second Mesolithic” corresponds to the main cultural shift of the period, as it is well testified by the major technological changes affecting the lithic assemblages. From the perspective of Western and Central Europe, according to different authors, such changes are believed to have originated either in Ukraine or in Northern Africa. This paper does not deal with the issue of the origin of the Late Mesolithic but it examines the interaction between the new cultural entity and the previous early Mesolithic substratum. As a case study the Castelnovian evidence from north-eastern Italy is considered. Namely the lithic assemblages from two reference sites - Romagnano Loc III and Pradestel – are analyzed by focusing the attention on the manufacturing processes of trapezes, the most representative category of armatures. Results are contextualized within the wide Castelnovian lithic technical systems. The archaeological series of Romagnano - with its 5 stratigraphic layers – has revealed to be more reliable with respect to that of Pradestel being characterized by higher resolution. In spite of being considered partly reworked, layer AB3 contains trapezoidal armatures that are significantly different from those of the overlying layers especially considering their manufacturing processes. This aspect - together with the general features of the assemblages - supports the occurrence of dynamic cultural processes within the Castelnovian throughout time and, possibly, of a progressive inclusion of the Castelnovian innovations within the Sauveterrian technical system.

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