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  Maltese chert: an archaeological perspective on raw material and lithic technology in the central Mediterranean

Groucutt, H. S. (2021). Maltese chert: an archaeological perspective on raw material and lithic technology in the central Mediterranean. OSF Preprints, bsqjz. doi:10.31219/osf.io/bsqjz.

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shh3018pre.pdf (Preprint), 7MB
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 Creators:
Groucutt, Huw S.1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Extreme Events, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_3262629              
2Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, Kahlaische Str. 10, 07745 Jena, DE, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: Malta, stone tools, knapping, prehistory.
 Abstract: The Maltese islands are renowned for their prehistoric archaeological record, articularly the famous megalithic ‘temples’ and associated ceramics and artwork. The temples were built by a society lacking metal technology, who relied on stone and organic materials. Knapped stone tool (lithic) technology, to produce sharp edged tools for tasks like cutting, hide working, and wood shaping involved the use of both imported obsidian and high-quality chert – offering insights into themes of exchange and connectivity – and local chert. The local chert has generally been described as low-quality, yet relatively little research has been conducted on its distribution, characteristics, and use. In this paper I report a survey of chert sources, identifying a wider distribution of chert outcrops along the west coast of Malta than previously discussed. Some general macroscopic properties are outlined, while there are also aspects of variability in the chert sources. Knapping experiments were then conducted on samples of chert collected, allowing clarification of its characteristics. These observations are used to offer some insights into lithic technology in Neolithic and Temple Period Malta, such as the hypothesis that the high frequencies of multidirectional flake production and subsequent ‘scraper retouch’ reflect adaptations to the characteristics of local chert.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-08-14
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 22
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Introduction
Maltese lithic technology
Maltese chert geology and geochemistry
Methods
Description of chert sources
Knapping experiments
Discussion and conclusion
 Rev. Type: No review
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/bsqjz
Other: shh3818
 Degree: -

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Title: OSF Preprints
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: bsqjz Start / End Page: - Identifier: URN: https://osf.io/preprints/