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Journal Article

Lithic refitting and intrasite artifact transport: a view from the Middle Paleolithic


Picin,  Andrea
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Vaquero, M., Romagnoli, F., Bargalló, A., Chacón, M. G., Gómez de Soler, B., Picin, A., et al. (2019). Lithic refitting and intrasite artifact transport: a view from the Middle Paleolithic. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11(9), 4491-4513. doi:10.1007/s12520-019-00832-5.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-AB28-0
The intrasite mobility of lithic artifacts is one of the most relevant issues that can be approached from the spatial study of refitting. In many sites, researchers have determined that some artifacts were abandoned at a considerable distance from the place where they were produced. Once natural causes of a post-depositional nature are ruled out, the most likely hypothesis to explain these movements is intentional displacement by humans. However, the interpretation of such intentional movements is particularly difficult, since the intrasite mobility of lithic artifacts can be related to at least four different factors: (a) refuse disposal strategies, (b) functional complementarity between different activity areas, (c) social relations between different domestic units, and (d) recycling. Each of these factors has different implications concerning questions as important as the spatial organization within campsites or contemporaneity between activity areas. To address this issue, it is necessary to have a representative sample of transport episodes and to analyze aspects such as the connection length, the directionality of the movements, the type of artifacts transported, and the activities carried out both in the place of origin and in the place of destination. As an example, in this work, we analyze the long-distance displacements identified in different Middle Paleolithic levels from the Abric Romaní (Capellades, Spain).