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Title: The analysis of variability in 'simple core technologies' : case studies of chipped stone technology in post-PPN assemblages from the Levant
Author: McCartney, Carole
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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Flake based chipped stone assemblages demonstrating simple reduction methods and techniques dominate post-PPN periods throughout the Levant. These 'simple core technologies' are dismissed as 'ad-hoc', simply representative of a devolution in technological progress following the sophistication of the PPN Naviform blade technology. Few assemblages with simple core technologies have been analyzed in detail providing no real understanding of the shift from production of prismatic blades to highly variable flake products. Recent archaeological theory asks us to discover variability generated by individual actors in prehistory. Later prehistoric chipped stone assemblages in the Levant, however, generally do not lend themselves to methods of refitting incorporated within recent Cognitive approaches; instead, analysis focused on changes in attribute frequencies is advocated. In attempting to describe constraints of material and mechanical structure as well as variables applicable to methodology, it may be possible to illustrate specific shifts in attribute transmission lying behind overall strategy changes. Such proportional shifts in material culture document the evolution of human culture. Experimental replication is used to create analogous data for the analysis of structural constraints and design elements manipulated in alternative reduction methods. Importantly, this approach tests conclusions regarding raw material quality used to explain the shift towards flake technologies from the Late Neolithic onwards in the Levant. Socioeconomic explanations are challenged directly by the archaeological materials analyzed, namely, material availability and sedentism. The first inference is challenged by the analysis of Late Neolithic assemblages from Qasr Burqu' located in the extensive flint covered 'hammada' of North-eastern Jordan and the Chalcolithic site of Kissonerga from Cyprus, an island known for its ubiquitous quantities of chert. Secondly, explanations linking simple core technologies to sedentism and farming are challenged not only by the previously mentioned examples, but also by assemblages from the burin site of Jebel Naja and the hunting station of Dhuweila in Transjordan.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available