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Title: Lithic economy and territory of Epipaleolithic hunter–gatherers in the Middle Tagus: The case of Pena d'Água (Portugal)
Authors: Pereira, Telmo
Andrade, Catarina
Costa, Mafalda
Farias, Anne
Mirao, Jose
Keywords: Raw material provenance
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Telmo Pereira, Catarina Andrade, Mafalda Costa, Anne Farias, José Mirão, António Faustino Carvalho, Lithic economy and territory of Epipaleolithic hunter–gatherers in the Middle Tagus: The case of Pena d'Água (Portugal), Quaternary International, Volume 412, Part A, 15 August 2016, Pages 135-144, Keywords: Raw material provenance; Epipaleolithic; p-XRF; VP-SEM-EDS; μ-XRD; Portugal
Abstract: In Central Portugal (westernmost Eurasia) the transition from the traditional Pleistocene hunter–gatherer societies to the complex Mesolithic societies of the Holocene has been debated for decades. While some argue that these differences were a progressive phenomenon that started with the shift from the Pleistocene to the Holocene, others defend that the Late Pleistocene patterns were fairly similar to those of the Epipaleolithic and that the major shift was rapid, dramatic and triggered by the necessary adaptation to the 8.2 ka cal BP (8.09–8.25 ka cal BP) climatic event. The study of lithic raw material provenance might be useful for this discussion, since it has been suggested that the Magdalenian and Epipaleolithic populations from this region were collecting this resources within a close range territory, whereas the Mesolithic populations were acquiring them at longer distances. In this paper, we present the results from p-XRF, VP-SEM-EDS and μ-XRD analysis done on the Epipaleolithic lithic assemblage from Pena d'Água Rockshelter, and in some geological samples from secondary sources located ∼14 km from this site. This layer is of major relevance for this debate since it is dated from 8.19 ka cal BP. If the transition was gradual, it would be expected that this assemblage would show some traits of higher-complexity seen in the Mesolithic, namely of longer distance acquisition. However, our results indicate correspondence between the archaeological chert types and some of the geological sources. The differences seen between the archaeological specimens and geological samples are mostly present in traits that can be related with manufacture, handling and post-depositional phenomena. The results suggest that, in what concerns to the economy of abiotic resources, the Epipaleolithic populations living at the time of the dramatic 8.2 ka cal BP cold event, were performing a short range acquisition of lithic raw materials which reinforces the idea of continuity from the Late Pleistocene to the 8.2 ka cal BP event and an abrupt and dramatic shift soon after this phenomena.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:HERCULES - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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