Functional approach to the rock crystal technology in high mountain environments. Juan Luis Fernández

published: 22 Oct 2015  |  
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  • SESSION 4 - Use-wear analyses - signs of usage on stone tools (a.k.a. traceology)
    Functional approach to the rock crystal technology in high mountain environments. The case of Montlleó (Prats i Sansor, La Cerdanya, Cataluña)

    The use-wear study of this rock crystal assemblage is important for several reasons. First, this raw material is uncommon, and therefore it has been very little studied. It is a very rare material before the Upper Palaeolithic, but despite its scarcity in the archaeological record, it is quite common in mountain environments in which, due to geological reasons, flint is scarce. The study of a site such as Montlleó, with a considerable amount of rock crystal, can shed light on the debate about the use of U.A.D.s (Útiles de Arista Diédrica – Dihedrical Ridge Tools). This debate is focused on whether rock crystal prisms with removals from the distal part were scraping tools or engraving tools, or whether they are simply unexhausted cores.
    Moreover, due to the previously mentioned poly-lithological character of the site, this study is a first step in the functional characterization of the raw materials. For this purpose, a high magnification study was conducted, with the combined use of OLM and SEM. It is envisioned that this will identify the extent to which the provisioning of various lithologies was carried out with a pre-established (before collection) functional purpose.

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