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Solutrean laurel leaf production at Maîtreaux: An experimental approach guided by techno-economic analysis

Authors:
  • Fundação Côa Parque
  • Dryas Octopetala
  • SERAP Vallée de la Claise

Abstract

Large-sized Solutrean laurel leaf typology has been defined on the basis of the exceptional pieces found at Volgu, France, in 1874. The geographical distribution of this rare type of large bifacial piece is limited to the border of the French Massif Central. Located at the northern limit of this distribution area, the Maîtreaux site provides new data on the reduction schemes of these pieces. Refitted sequences indicate that the Solutrean presence was motivated by the exploitation of local flint resources to produce reserves of lithic tools and/or blanks, elements for composite projectiles and preforms for exportation and later finishing and use/retouch elsewhere. Results of techno-economic and spatial analyses are compared with those of an experimental project, mostly centred on laurel leaf techno-economy. This integrated experimental approach strongly contributes to the on-going social interpretation of the Maîtreaux group, allowing us better to characterize and quantify the remains of laurel leaf reduction processes. Also produced were in situ‘undisturbed’ knapping features for taphonomic reference and interpretation. At the site scale, experimental work coupled with spatial and techno-economic analysis is relevant for the interpretation of different geoarchaeological, technical and social aspects of the archaeological record. At a regional scale, experimental work on the available raw materials in each geographic zone is required to clarify issues related to raw-material procurement, exploitation and circulation, such as regional lithic resource exploitation strategies and inter-site discontinuities of production.
... En concreto, los estudios tecnológicos existentes en torno a la producción bifacial solutrense han abordado, en parte, gran cantidad de las cuestiones expuestas (Aubry et al., 2008;Aubry y Almeida, 2013;Callahan, 2010;Pelegrin, 2019;Straus, 2016). Aun así, aún existen numerosos interrogantes en torno a algunos puntos relativos a la producción de dichas piezas que no han sido resueltos (Pelegrin, 1981(Pelegrin, , 2019. ...
... Esta aproximación primaria, que aquí denominamos experiencia, es de inmensa relevancia para afrontar el experimento que requiere de un control de las variables resultantes del mismo, así como de unos conocimientos técnicos esenciales derivados de la propia complejidad de los procesos de reducción bifacial solutrenses (Aubry et al., 2008;Aubry y Almeida, 2013;Baena Preysler, 1998;Baena Preysler et al., 2019;Bleed, 2008;B. Bradley, 2013;Cuartero Monteagudo et al., 2016;Pelegrin, 2019;Torres Navas y Baena Preysler, n.d., 2020). ...
... El uso de la experimentación para aproximarse a las diversas problemáticas que se derivan del estudio del registro arqueológico paleolítico y, particularmente, del Solutrense, ha sido recurrente Aubry et al., 2008;Aubry y Almeida, 2013;Callahan, 2010;Castel, 2006;Pelegrin, 2019;Salomon et al., 2015;Schmidt et al., 2018;Schmidt y Morala, 2020;Straus, 2016;Zilhão, 2013). Sin embargo, con respecto a la determinación de las técnicas de talla utilizadas para la confección de piezas bifaciales, los esfuerzos realizados por los tecnólogos y experimentadores han sido bastante restringidos. ...
... Their initial implementation dates back to the Lower Paleolithic (Stout et al., 2014;van Kolfschoten, 2015), where soft hammers were used to form bifacial tools. The development of the technique made it possible to form perfect Solutrean leaf points (Aubry et al., 2008). In turn, in the Upper Paleolithic, organic hammers were used for the precise detachment of flint blades (Pelegrin, 1991;Averbouh, 1999). ...
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... Además, hay determinados aspectos que han experimentado una notable abundancia en publicaciones, como, por ejemplo, los trabajos asociados a la identificación de proyectiles en piedra para la caza (vid. Shea et al., 2001;Pargeter, 2007;Aubry et al., 2008;Schoville et al., 2017, entre otros). ...
... Unfortunately, it was based on the inventory from Mamutowa Cave, with its problematic numbers (Kowalski 1969) and on the locality of Dzierżysław 1, with its problematic archaeo-stratigraphy (Bluszcz et al. 1994;Fajer et al. 2005;see Wiśniewski et al. in press). It should be added that the putative source-the Szeletian culture-used a completely different approach to tool production, based completely on bifacial technology (Adams 1998;Allsworth-Jones 1986;Svoboda 2001;Mester 2010;Markó et al. 2003;Markó 2009;Nejman et al. 2017;Nerudová 1997;Nerudová and Neruda 2017). Sometimes, however, Szeletian leaf points are made of flakes or irregular blades (Nerudová 2000;Škrdla 1999;Svoboda and Svobodová 1985). ...
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... In Australia, the first colonists began to heat-treat silcrete as soon as they arrived on the continent (Schmidt and Hiscock, 2020a;Schmidt and Hiscock, 2020b). Heat treatment was also part of the suite of innovations associated with the Upper Palaeolithic Solutrean culture (25.5-23 ka BP) in Europe (Bordes, 1969;Aubry et al., 2008) and the Siberian Dyuktai culture (~18 ka BP, Flenniken, 1987). While in Africa, the technique used for stone heat treatment has been studied in detail (e.g., Schmidt et al., 2015;Delagnes et al., 2016;Schmidt et al., 2016a), heating techniques remain totally unknown for the early archaeological record of Australia and only fragmentary data are available for the European Solutrean (Schmidt and Morala, 2018;Schmidt and Morala, 2020). ...
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Premiè re approche a` l'interpre´ palethnologique du groupe solutreé des Maıˆ : perspectives sur la technologie et re´ spatiale des vestiges lithiques et ses implications pour l'interpre´ du registre archeó. Master's thesis
  • M Almeida
Almeida, M. 2005.Premiè re approche a` l'interpre´ palethnologique du groupe solutreé des Maıˆ : perspectives sur la technologie et re´ spatiale des vestiges lithiques et ses implications pour l'interpre´ du registre archeó. Master's thesis, Universite´ Paris I – Pantheó – Sorbonne, U.F.R. d'Histoire de l'Art et d'Archeó.
Le Solutréen en France, 449Bordeaux: Imprimeries Delmas. Mémoire no
  • P Smith