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Magdalenian knappers in the Asón Valley: Level 2 at El Horno Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, Spain)

AuthorsFano, Miguel A.; Chauvin Grandela, Adriana; Clemente-Conte, Ignacio ; Tarriño, Antonio; Teira, Luis
KeywordsLate Palaeolithic
Cantabrian Spain
Raw material
Lithic reduction
Issue Date2020
CitationJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports (30) : 102230 (2020)
AbstractThe lithic assemblage studied here comes from El Horno Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, Spain) and is dated in the recent Magdalenian. It was recovered in Level 2 in this site, during fieldwork in 2000 and 2001, in association with a large collection of bone industry, portable art and fauna. The study has been conducted within an integral approach, on the premise that the technological organisation of Magdalenian groups included a series of inter-related strategies involving the procurement of raw materials and the production and fabrication, use and discard of lithic artefacts. Groups of raw materials were established for the technological study in order to characterise the different chaînes opératoires. These vary significantly depending on the flint type. In some cases all or part of the technological process is present, whereas in others only the implement use and discard stage is documented. The flint knappers at El Horno Cave used high-quality raw materials, particularly the Flysch flint-type. The circulation of raw materials indicates that the record at El Horno resembles the pattern identified at other Magdalenian sites in the region. The assemblage appears to correspond to a context of débitage. Although materials were widely available, only a moderate number of potential blanks were retouched into tools, and the choice of these was not especially strict. The retouched tools are not indicative of a situation of specialisation, and use-wear analysis has revealed functional diversity, including complex transformation activities, which are usually linked to stable occupations.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102230
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