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Lithic Materials and Paleolithic Societies

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6837-3
312 pages
April 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Lithic Materials and Paleolithic Societies (1405168374) cover image


Lithic Materials and Paleolithic Societies provides a detailed examination of the Paleolithic procurement and utilization of the most durable material in the worldwide archaeological record. The volume addresses sites ranging in age from some of the earliest hominin occupations in eastern and southern Africa to late Pleistocene and post-Pleistocene occupations in North American and Australia. The Early Paleolithic in India and the Near East, the Middle Paleolithic in Europe, and the Late Paleolithic in Europe and eastern Asia are also considered.

The authors include established researchers who provide important synthetic statements updated with new information. Recent data are reported, often by younger scholars who are becoming respected members of the international research community. The authors represent research traditions from nine countries and therefore provide insight into the scholarly present as well as the Paleolithic past. Attempts are frequently made to relate lithic procurement and utilization to the organization of societies and even broader concerns of hominin behaviour. The volume re-evaluates existing interpretations­ in some instances by updating previous work of the authors ­and offers provocative new interpretations that at times call into question some basic assumptions of the Paleolithic.

This book will be invaluable reading for advanced students and researchers in the fields of palaeolithic archaeology, geoarchaeology, and anthropology.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Regional Landscape Perspectives.

1. Raw materials and techno-economic behaviors at Oldowan and Acheulean sites in the West Turkana region, Kenya (Sonia Harmand).

2. Patterns of lithic material procurement and transformation during the Middle Paleolithic in western Europe (Liliane Meignen, Anne Delagnes, and Laurence Bourguignon).

3. Revisiting European Upper Paleolithic raw material transfers: the demise of the cultural ecological paradigm? (Jehanne Féblot-Augustins).

4. Raw materials for chipped stone artifacts: state of the art in the Carpathian Basin of central Europe (Kati Biró).

5. Upper Paleolithic toolstone procurement and selection across Beringia (Kelly Graf and Ted Goebel).

6. Reduction, recycling, and raw material procurement in western Arnhem Land, Australia (Peter Hiscock).

Part II: Technological and Assemblage Variability.

7. Paleolithic exploitation of rounded and sub-angular quartzites in the Indian Subcontinent (Parth Chauhan).

8. Filling the void: lithic raw material utilization during the Hungarian Gravettian (Viola Dobosi).

9. Technological efficiency as adaptive behavior among Paleolithic hunter-gatherers: evidence from la-Côte, Caminade Est, and le Flageolet I, France (Stephen Cole).

10. Trash: the structure of Great Basin Paleoarchaic debitage assemblages in western North America (Rebecca Kessler, Charlotte Beck, and George Jones).

Part III: Micro-landscape Perspectives.

11. Reconstructing landscape use and mobility in the Namibian Early Stone Age using operations analysis (Grant McCall).

12. Changing the face of the earth: human behavior at Sede Ilan, an extensive Lower-Middle Paleolithic quarry site in Israel (Ran Barkai and Avi Gopher).

13. Aurignacian core reduction and landscape utilization in the vicinity of la Ferrassie, France (Brooke Blades).

14. Obłazowa and Hłomcza: two Paleolithic sites in the North Carpartians Province of southern Poland (Pawel Valde-Nowak).

15. Raw material economy and technological organization at Solvieux, France (Linda Grimm and Todd Koetje).

Part IV: Hominid Cognition, Adaptation, and Cultural Chronology.

16. Inferring aspects of Acheulean sociality and cognition from biface technology in the Hunsgi-Baichbal valley of India (Ceri Shipton, Michael Petraglia, and K. Paddayya).

17. Quina procurement and tool production (Peter Hiscock, Alain Turq, Jean-Philippe Faivre, and Laurence Bouguignon).

18. The impact of lithic raw material quality and post-depositional processes on cultural/chronological classification: the Hungarian Szeletian case (Brian Adams).

19. Raw material durability, function, and retouch in the Upper Paleolithic of the Transbaikal region (Karisa Terry, William Andrefsky, and Mikhail Konstantinov).

20. Clovis and Dalton: unbounded and bounded systems in the Midcontinent of North America (Brad Koldehoff and Thomas Loebel).

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Author Information

Brooke Blades has conducted archaeological research and excavations for more than three decades in various temporal and geographic contexts in eastern North America and in western Europe. He held a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship to conduct archaeological research in Northern Ireland in 1979-80. His research in western Europe has been generously supported by the American Philosophical Society, International Relations and Exchanges Board (IREX), the National Science Foundation, and New York University.

Brian Adams is currently Assistant Director of the Public Service Archaeology & Architecture Program in the Anthropology Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include lithic analysis, microwear analysis of lithic artifacts, hunter-gatherer adaptations, and the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Europe. He has conducted research at Palaeolithic sites in Central Europe and Egypt, as well as prehistoric and early historic sites in the Midwest USA.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Papers cover wide geographic and chronological range

  • Most up-to-date perspective in the area

  • Both processual and traditional approaches are represented
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