Selected Aspects of Early Bronze Age Bifacial Form Manufacture Exemplified by Lithic Material from the Exploitation Field at Ożarów
More details
Hide details
Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego, ul. Wóycickiego 1/3, bud. 23, 01-938 Warszawa
Publication date: 2012-12-31
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2012;LXIII(63):3–31
The article reports on the analysis of flint manufacture of bifacial forms during the Early Bronze Age and presents conclusions formulated with regard to the individual elements of the technology of manufacture of bifacial sickles, a form widespread in the Samborzec Group of Mierzanowice Culture. The subject of bifacial form manufacture in the Volhynia-Lesser Poland region at the turn of the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age was addressed in several specialist publications. Among them we can distinguish two lines of research to study this topic. The first generated a number of studies which contain diverse systems of classification used to clarify the origin and chronology of individual tools and their possible function through making a macroscopic observation of the material of interest The second has to do with new archaeology in its broad sense. Researchers representing this approach draw on a rich and varied set of analytical tools to explicate selected phenomena viewed through the prism of diverse processes that affect objects of material culture. This line of inquiry gave rise to a number of contributions which focus on the background of the material resource and economy, the environment, address the function of these tools and technologies of their manufacture. The present article addresses the latter aspect. Analysis is made of lithic (flint) material deriving from two shafts – I/3 and I/5 – situated within trench I in the exploitation field at Oża¬rów, site “Za Garncarzami”, in comm. Ożarów, distr. Opatów, Świętokrzyskie voiv. The site lies in the Sandomierz Upland in an area which belongs to the prehistoric flint mining and flint working complex of The Święty Krzyż Mountains Region of Prehistorical Flint Exploitation. The investigated flint assemblage (9804 artefacts) mostly comprises flakes, chips and chunks, with a much smaller number of core forms, usually bifacial preforms. All are in Ożarów flint. A number of methods was used during the study to complete the analysis of the sources. Individual flint workshops resting within different sedimentary strata were identified on the basis of stratigraphy of the mining shafts distinguished by Janusz Budziszewski. Flint concentrations were classified basing on technological and morphological criteria. Findings from this study were used to make a statistical comparison of individual groups of flints. The interpretation of the results of analysis of the original materials was made on the basis of experimental tests and also on the basis of data obtained from technological studies made by other researchers. All of which made it possible to grasp the methods of flint manufacture used in the site at Ożarów. The first chapter introduces the reader to the terminology used in the paper. Some of the terms are known from Polish publications but the most of them have been used previously only in English-language contributions. The remainder of the terminology is explicated in respective sections of our paper. The second chapter is divided into three sub-chapters. The first sub-chapter presents the adopted rules of classification, which base on a list generated for the purpose of our analysis taking into account the special character of the analyzed assemblage. The main premise tested here is that bifacial sickles were the main target of production at the site. To test the validity of this argument we examined the flakes and preforms, both for the way they were obtained and their role in the manufacturing process. The second sub-chapter contains a technological description of the investigated flint inventory. Analyses were made within individual workshops distinguished based on the stratigraphic situation. Of the total assemblage of 9717 artefacts subjected to analysis 4705 were flakes, 2548 – chips, 2331 – flint chunks, with 134 selected forms. The final sub-chapter summarizes the data presented in the course of the analysis and highlights the most important themes. The third chapter consists of two sub-chapters. The first of these presents possible methods of working siliceous rocks used at the site, namely, two techniques of direct percussion with hammerstones and organic billets. The second sub-chapter focuses on schemes of bifacial reduction used at the site. Within the workshop located near the mine we can identify the opening stage of production associated with selecting the flint material and thinning processes, with some finds, much more rare, deriving from later stages of debitage. Absent from the assemblage under analysis are “ready” tools which in their morphology correspond to bifacial forms known from settlement and grave contexts. The process of manufacture of the flint artefacts is presented in five production stages. The paper closes with a synthesis of conclusions from the analysis and their relationship to a broader context. This section opens by presenting arguments in support of the premise which was tested in the second chapter of the paper. It seems that a vast majority of the analyzed flint assemblage is associated with individual stages of bifacial production the principal target of which was shaping of bifacial sickle preforms directly in the exploitation field at Ożarów. Finally, a reference is made to Polish publications addressing the subject of bifacial tool manufacture.