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Stone Tools pp 101-124 | Cite as

Hunter-Gatherer Lithic Economy and Settlement Systems

Understanding Regional Assemblage Variability in the Upper Paleolithic of Portuguese Estremadura
  • Paul T. Thacker
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

Abstract

Intensive archaeological survey and excavation conducted in the Rio Maior region of Portuguese Estremadura has yielded a large sample of Upper Paleolithic sites. Chipped stone assemblages from technologically and typologically distinct Gravettian and Magdalenian periods exhibit both temporal and spatial variability. Valley landforms have changed little since the Early Pleistocene, which allows comparison of prehistoric land use patterns. Field survey coupled with analogy to historic gunflint workers in the nearby town of Azinheira provides insight into Late Pleistocene flint source distributions and procurement activities. Knowing these background variables is advantageous for understanding the complex dynamic between raw material selection, lithic reduction trajectories, and settlement systems. A combination of both curated and expedient technological strategies is evident in the Upper Paleolithic assemblages. By analyzing degree of planning in raw material choices and assessing economizing behavior in the reduction sequence, assem-blages are able to be interpreted as an integrated whole. This study demonstrates the importance of regional analysis not only for contributing to middle range theory, but as a method for interpreting diachronic lithic data in behaviorally significant ways.

Keywords

Settlement System Paleolithic Site Lithic Assemblage Residential Basis Lithic Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul T. Thacker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

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