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Il Mesolitico recente in Emilia e il complesso culturale castelnoviano: dinamiche insediative e sistemi tecnici litici

Ferrari, Sonia (2011) Il Mesolitico recente in Emilia e il complesso culturale castelnoviano: dinamiche insediative e sistemi tecnici litici. PhD Thesis , Università degli Studi di Ferrara.

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    The aim of this research is to delve into the knowledge of the Castelnovian cultural complex, developed during the recent Mesolithic, reconstructing the settlement dynamics and the lithic technical systems in Emilia. In order to recollect all the available data, the collections of the regional museums have been examined: doing so we have identified 55 Castelnovian sites, some of them were unpublished. Analyzing the geomorphologic and palaeo-environmental features in different sections of the area, and considering the position of the known sites in these landscape units, the picture of the settlement choices of the Castelnovian groups has been updated. These choices appear to be orientated toward the areas more suitable for hunting and gathering, because of their high ecological productivity (damp areas) or the transit of wild fauna (mountain passes, clearings, valleys), in an established seasonal mobility pattern between mountains and plains. The origin of lithic raw material allowed us to assume the presence of east-west oriented displacements in the mountain region alongside the ridge, in addition to the north-south movement already proposed in the literature. The detailed analysis, especially from a technological point of view, of the 16 main lithic assemblages, allowed us to define the distinctive features of the Castelnovian technical system. The reduction sequence main objective is to produce regular and standardized bladelets, generally obtained with unidirectional exploitation of flint, jasper and silicified siltstone pebbles or blocks, collected near the sites with embedded procurement strategies. The core preparation and maintenance stages are very simple, in particular on the small flint blocks/pebbles, which are generally exploited till the exhaustion. Analyzing the various lithic raw material treatment, we have observed how the knapping objectives were often adapted to the different lithotype characteristics: the more homogeneous and vitreous (Calabrian pebbles, other flint types, some varieties of jasper) were used to produce regular bladelets and projectile points, the ones of poor quality or bigger size (silicified siltstone, jasper) to obtain flakes and common tools. Part of the research has been committed to the recognition of knapping techniques used to produce regular bladelets obtained from Calabrian flint pebbles, which are typical of the lithic assemblages of the eastern part of the region (Bologna area). In order to do so, we have developed a specific experimental activity, in collaboration with the CRPPM (Centre de Recherche sur la Préhistoire et la Protohistoire de la Méditerranée) of Toulouse, during which François Briois realized 26 series of bladelets by indirect percussion and by pressure with an abdominal crutch. The detailed analysis of these products and the comparison with the archaeological materials give us way to hypothesize the adoption of the pressure technique by the Castelnovian knappers, along with some cases of indirect percussion. The introduction of these techniques represents an innovative element as regards the ancient Mesolithic, characterized by the exclusive use of direct percussion technique. The use of this last technique continues in the Castelnovian, both for the core opening and maintenance, and for the production of non-standardized blanks (flakes and irregular bladelets). The distinctive features of the regional Castelnovian technical system are coherent with the diffusion of the industries of the second Mesolithic characterized by regular blades and trapezoidal arrowheads. As for many others European regions, even in Emilia we observe the appearance of important innovations in comparison with the ancient Mesolithic, mainly the adoption of a new “style” of débitage, oriented toward a marked standardization, obtained by the use of new knapping techniques and the introduction of trapezoidal arrowheads and of denticulated bladelets. On a regional level, however, the persistence of some aspects characteristic of the previous phase is to be found, mainly the use of local raw materials, the production of flakes and common tools made with silicified siltstone and jasper and the microburin technique. Even the settlement choices and the mobility patterns of the Castelnovian groups do not change significantly from the ones identified for the ancient Mesolithic. It seems then that the important changes which characterize the Castelnovian can not be ascribed, as far as the region is concerned, to a substitution/replacement of populations or to the arrival of new groups from an external area; they are probably to be traced back to cultural and social phenomena which the current state of researches does not allow to identify.

    Item Type:Thesis (PhD Thesis)
    Date:28 March 2011
    Tutor:Fontana, Federica - Perrin, Thomas - Turrini, Maria Chiara
    Coordinator:Peretto, Carlo
    Institution:Università degli Studi di Ferrara
    Divisions:Dipartimento > Biologia ed evoluzione
    Subjects:Area 10 - Scienze dell'antichita', filologico-letterarie e storico-artistiche > L-ANT/01 Preistoria e protostoria
    Uncontrolled Keywords:Mesolitico recente, Castelnoviano, Emilia, popolamento, tecnologia litica, tecniche di scheggiatura, sperimentazione, Late Mesolithic, Castelnovian, settlement, lithic technology, knapping techniques, experimentation
    Deposited on:13 Apr 2012 15:01


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