The informative potential taken on by lithic artefacts has increased over the years. They gradually grew into proxies to detect the most relevant features of human material culture, including cognitive abilities to realise stone tools or, in other words, to track down the delineation of behavioural complexity. Consequently, notions like predetermination, standardisation (morphologically likewise) and hierarchisation have been intensely used in lithic technology as markers of such complexity, leading to ruling out contexts lacking any trace of these traits. Within the present state of the art, the use of the terms expedient and opportunism has characterised, in a negative way, the dichotomy between complex and simple within prehistoric contexts. Even if a requalification of expedient technologies has been recently observed, opportunistic behaviours still connote the complete absence of planning and complexity (even in terms of the mental scheme) within lithic industries. This background often prevented a consideration as relevant, from a technological and methodological perspective, these assemblages, primarily when Lower Palaeolithic contexts were addressed. With the definition and use of the term opportunistic debitage, this work questions the possible methodological implications of assemblages known as complexity- and planning-free and that can be found throughout different chronological and cultural phases.

For Our World Without Sound: the Opportunistic Debitage in the Italian Context—a Methodological Evaluation of the Lithic Assemblages of Pirro Nord, Cà Belvedere di Montepoggiolo, Ciota Ciara Cave and Riparo Tagliente

Carpentieri, Marco
Primo
;
Arzarello, Marta
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

The informative potential taken on by lithic artefacts has increased over the years. They gradually grew into proxies to detect the most relevant features of human material culture, including cognitive abilities to realise stone tools or, in other words, to track down the delineation of behavioural complexity. Consequently, notions like predetermination, standardisation (morphologically likewise) and hierarchisation have been intensely used in lithic technology as markers of such complexity, leading to ruling out contexts lacking any trace of these traits. Within the present state of the art, the use of the terms expedient and opportunism has characterised, in a negative way, the dichotomy between complex and simple within prehistoric contexts. Even if a requalification of expedient technologies has been recently observed, opportunistic behaviours still connote the complete absence of planning and complexity (even in terms of the mental scheme) within lithic industries. This background often prevented a consideration as relevant, from a technological and methodological perspective, these assemblages, primarily when Lower Palaeolithic contexts were addressed. With the definition and use of the term opportunistic debitage, this work questions the possible methodological implications of assemblages known as complexity- and planning-free and that can be found throughout different chronological and cultural phases.
Carpentieri, Marco; Arzarello, Marta
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2493853
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