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Title

Time for action. The chronology of mining events at Casa Montero (Madrid, Spain)

AuthorsDíaz del Río, Pedro ; Consuegra, Susana
KeywordsEarly Neolithic
Flint mine
Iberia
Radiocarbon
Labor
Seasonality
Issue Date21-Sep-2011
SeriesProceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the UISPP Commission on Flint Mining in Pre- and Protohistoric Times (Madrid, 14-17 October 2009)
BAR International Series 2260, 2011
AbstractWe present the radiocarbon dates for twelve charcoal samples covering the complete area of the mine fi eld of Casa Montero (Madrid, Spain), a site with more than 4000 plotted shafts. The χ2 test shows that eleven of them are statistically identical, with a 65% probability that all mining episodes occurred between 5337 and 5218 cal BC, a time span of approximately four generations. We test this probable hypothesis against other archaeological evidence and conclude that the comparatively large scale mining actions at Casa Montero would have necessarily required the mobilization of several small scale Early Neolithic groups into a succession of collective actions, probably performed in a seasonal manner. Neolithic fl int mining in Europe was not a long term technical solution to a practical need, but an extraordinarily meaningful and timely -historically contingent- social activity. In order to understand mining actions in these terms, we would require a reevaluation of the statistical variability and meaning of series of radiocarbon dates already obtained at many other fl int mines. When we do so, we might observe that, as in the case of Casa Montero, many of these radiocarbon dates actually represent sets of short term highly active ‘generational’ mining episodes separated in time.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/39791
ISBN978 1 4073 0831 9
Appears in Collections:(CCHS-IH) Artículos
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