Micro-blade production on hyaline quartz during the Late Neolithic of northern Greece (5400–4600 cal. B.C.): Examples from Dikili Tash and Promachonas-Topolniča
N. Tardy, J. Vosges & B. Varoutsikos Quaternary International 424 (December 2016): 212-231
The socio-economic processes during the Late Neolithic in northern Greece have been given little attention compared to earlier phases of this period. However, several studies suggest interesting phenomena such as shifts in settlement patterns and ceramic production, possibly entailing processes of intense group interactions and increasing territorialization. However, these processes have only been addressed through the lens of pottery production, thus only looking at a limited aspect of the economic evolution of these groups. Acknowledging the potential of technological analysis to shed light on such socio-economic processes, this paper focuses on a lesser known type of material, rock-crystal. The study presents recent archaeological and experimental results on knapped rock-crystal taking place during the Late Neolithic in northern Greece. This study emphasizes the need for a new methodological framework to address this type of raw material, while providing a new approach to lithic production and consumption on Neolithic sites. This analysis is a preliminary step towards a reconsideration of the issues associated with the identification of pressure knapping techniques both on rock crystal, and other types of raw material. The presence of technical pieces, flakes, debris and cores within these assemblages questioned the possibility of a “local” pressure debitage in a regional and chronological context where the products of a pressure blade manufacture are generally considered imported and almost exclusively present, on consumer sites, in the form of finished products (unretouched and/or retouched blades).