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The Neolithic reaping knives from Egolzwil 3: A Mediterranean technical tradition in the late 5th millennium Swiss Neolithic

AuthorsGibaja, Juan Francisco ; Ibáñez-Estévez, Juan José ; Nielsen, Ebbe; Kienholz, Anna; van Willigen, Samuel; Linton, Jimmy
Egolzwil 3 site
Lithic tools
Reaping knives
Use-wear analysis
Issue Date2017
CitationQuaternary International (427/Part B) : 211-224 (2017)
AbstractThe study of the use-wear marks on the Neolithic reaping knives from the site of Egolzwil 3 (Switzerland, late fifth millennium cal BC) shows that these tools were used to reap cereals by cutting the stems near the ground. The stems were gathered together using the pointed distal end, held in the free hand and cut with the flint blade, in what we term a two-stage reaping method. These types of sickles or reaping knives are found at Neolithic sites in the northern Mediterranean (centre and north of the Iberian Peninsula, Provence in France and continental Italy) from the mid-sixth millennium, in the context of the early Neolithic Cardial Culture, and lasted until the early fourth millennium. Within the tradition of twostage reaping knives, the Egolzwil type would have been adapted to reaping at a low height in very dense cereal fields. These tools show that the Neolithic groups in the Swiss central plain belonged to the circle of northern Mediterranean farming technical traditions, in their northernmost expression, in contact with the groups in south Germany who reaped with curved sickles whose flint elements were inserted obliquely.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.12.075
Appears in Collections:(IMF) Artículos
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