"Unpacking" reduction: Lithic raw material economy in the mousterian of west-central Italy

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The extent to which lithic artifacts are consumed or reduced can be attributed to a number of factors, including raw material accessibility, differential transport, patterns of site use, and tool function. In order to isolate the influence of any single factor, independent data must be used to control for variation caused by the other factors. Variation in the reduction of cores and retouched tools in eight Mousterian assemblages from west-central Italy reflects the effects of several processes and contingencies. The availability of lithic raw materials strongly affects the extent of core exploitation but not the intensity of tool retouch or reduction. Evidence for differential transport accounts for some but not all of the remaining contrasts in tool reduction. Information derived from associated faunas suggests that contrasts in the duration or stability of cave-use events as well as activity variation stand behind some of the most pronounced differences in the intensity of reduction among the lithic assemblages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-106
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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