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Neolithic flint quarries of Montvell (Catalan Pre-Pyrenees, Spain)

AuthorsTerradas-Batlle, Xavier ; Ortega i Cobos, David ; Marín, Dioscórides; Masclans, Alba; Roqué Pau, Carles
KeywordsPrehistoric societies
Península Ibèrica
Montvell (Castelló de Farfanya, Lleida)
Issue Date2016
PublisherUniversidade do Algarve
CitationRaw materials exploitation in Prehistory: sourcing, processing and distribution. 10-12 March 2016, Faro (2016)
AbstractPrehistoric societies have mined and quarried flint for many thousands of years across Europe. Nevertheless, this kind of activity has remained unrecognized in the Iberian Peninsula until the discovery these last fifteen years of the Casa Montero (Vicálvaro, Madrid) and Sierra de Araico (Treviño, Alava) Neolithic mining complexes. The flint quarries of Montvell (Castelló de Farfanya, Lleida), recently excavated, configure the first example of a flint extraction specialized site in the North East of the Iberian Peninsula. Therefore, it grants a unique opportunity to make an accurate approximation to this phenomenon. Nodular brown flint has been attested inside the lacustrine Oligocene limestones in the area of Montvell. This particular raw material can be considered as one of the best fitted for knapping activities in the North East of the Iberian Peninsula. Evidences of extraction activities were located stepped along the hill slopes and were carried out removing the layers containing the bigger flint nodules. The flint exploitation was easy thanks to the fact that the pursued layers outcrop vertically and are quite accessible. This situation allowed the opening of successive extraction fronts without being necessary to withdraw huge quantities of residues. In 2004 the late Neolithic-Chalcolithic site of les Auvelles was excavated. Given that it is located near the Montvell quarries, it was then suggested that it could be related to the local flint management. It was also proposed that the processing techniques may have included heat treatment of flint nodules, although for the time being it has not been proved. The on-going investigation will lead us to establish not only the chronological duration and the scope of the extraction activities, but also the possible contemporaneity between the two sites.
Appears in Collections:(IMF) Comunicaciones congresos
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