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Variation in lithic technological strategies among the Neanderthals of Gibraltar.

Shipton C, Clarkson C, Bernal MA, Boivin N, Finlayson C, Finlayson G, Fa D, Pacheco FG, Petraglia M - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas.The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C.We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. c.shipton@uq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
THE EVIDENCE FOR NEANDERTHAL LITHIC TECHNOLOGY IS REVIEWED AND SUMMARIZED FOR FOUR CAVES ON THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR: Vanguard, Beefsteak, Ibex and Gorham's. Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas. The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C. The Gibraltar Mousterian, including the youngest assemblage from Layer IV of Gorham's Cave, spans the typical Middle Palaeolithic range of variation from radial Levallois to unidirectional and multi-platform flaking schemas, with characteristic emphasis on the former. A diachronic pattern of change in the Gorham's Cave sequence is documented, with the younger assemblages utilising more localized raw material and less formal flaking procedures. We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

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Levallois cores from Gibraltar.A: Gorham’s Cave Waechter’s Layer P, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on chert. B: Gorham’s Cave Sands and Stony Lenses member GOR98 925, recurrent bidirectional Levallois on chert. C: Gorham’s Cave Waechter Layer M, recurrent centripetal Levallois on chert. D: Ibex Cave 046, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on jasper.
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pone-0065185-g004: Levallois cores from Gibraltar.A: Gorham’s Cave Waechter’s Layer P, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on chert. B: Gorham’s Cave Sands and Stony Lenses member GOR98 925, recurrent bidirectional Levallois on chert. C: Gorham’s Cave Waechter Layer M, recurrent centripetal Levallois on chert. D: Ibex Cave 046, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on jasper.

Mentions: A total of 54 cores and assayed clasts from the four Gibraltar caves described above (consisting of all cores available at the Gibraltar Museum at the time of data collection) were examined to quantify patterns in stone reduction technology in the Gibraltar Mousterian. The Middle Palaeolithic cores of Gibraltar are typologically characteristic of Neanderthal technology elsewhere e.g. [38], [21], ranging from more formal Levallois and discoidal cores to less formal multi-platform and single platform cores (Figure 3). The Levallois cores cover a range of sub-types including preferential centripetal, recurrent unidirectional, recurrent bidirectional and recurrent centripetal (Figure 4). The informal single and multi-platform cores have lower flake scar densities, greater masses, higher platform angles, and larger platforms than the formal Levallois and discoidal cores (Table 5). Mann-Whitney U tests showed these differences were significant at the P = 0.005 level. Informal cores are thus flaked expediently without maintaining low platform angles and exploiting small platforms for long term reduction, so they are discarded while they are still large with fewer flake removals. The informal cores tend to be made on the coarser grained quartzite (56%) and limestone (11%), while the formal cores tend to be made on varieties of chert (77%) (Table 6). A chi-squared test showed this difference to be significant at the P = 0.05 level, indicating greater investment was put into the use of the more spatially restricted and higher quality raw material.


Variation in lithic technological strategies among the Neanderthals of Gibraltar.

Shipton C, Clarkson C, Bernal MA, Boivin N, Finlayson C, Finlayson G, Fa D, Pacheco FG, Petraglia M - PLoS ONE (2013)

Levallois cores from Gibraltar.A: Gorham’s Cave Waechter’s Layer P, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on chert. B: Gorham’s Cave Sands and Stony Lenses member GOR98 925, recurrent bidirectional Levallois on chert. C: Gorham’s Cave Waechter Layer M, recurrent centripetal Levallois on chert. D: Ibex Cave 046, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on jasper.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3675147&req=5

pone-0065185-g004: Levallois cores from Gibraltar.A: Gorham’s Cave Waechter’s Layer P, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on chert. B: Gorham’s Cave Sands and Stony Lenses member GOR98 925, recurrent bidirectional Levallois on chert. C: Gorham’s Cave Waechter Layer M, recurrent centripetal Levallois on chert. D: Ibex Cave 046, recurrent unidirectional Levallois on jasper.
Mentions: A total of 54 cores and assayed clasts from the four Gibraltar caves described above (consisting of all cores available at the Gibraltar Museum at the time of data collection) were examined to quantify patterns in stone reduction technology in the Gibraltar Mousterian. The Middle Palaeolithic cores of Gibraltar are typologically characteristic of Neanderthal technology elsewhere e.g. [38], [21], ranging from more formal Levallois and discoidal cores to less formal multi-platform and single platform cores (Figure 3). The Levallois cores cover a range of sub-types including preferential centripetal, recurrent unidirectional, recurrent bidirectional and recurrent centripetal (Figure 4). The informal single and multi-platform cores have lower flake scar densities, greater masses, higher platform angles, and larger platforms than the formal Levallois and discoidal cores (Table 5). Mann-Whitney U tests showed these differences were significant at the P = 0.005 level. Informal cores are thus flaked expediently without maintaining low platform angles and exploiting small platforms for long term reduction, so they are discarded while they are still large with fewer flake removals. The informal cores tend to be made on the coarser grained quartzite (56%) and limestone (11%), while the formal cores tend to be made on varieties of chert (77%) (Table 6). A chi-squared test showed this difference to be significant at the P = 0.05 level, indicating greater investment was put into the use of the more spatially restricted and higher quality raw material.

Bottom Line: Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas.The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C.We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. c.shipton@uq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
THE EVIDENCE FOR NEANDERTHAL LITHIC TECHNOLOGY IS REVIEWED AND SUMMARIZED FOR FOUR CAVES ON THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR: Vanguard, Beefsteak, Ibex and Gorham's. Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas. The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C. The Gibraltar Mousterian, including the youngest assemblage from Layer IV of Gorham's Cave, spans the typical Middle Palaeolithic range of variation from radial Levallois to unidirectional and multi-platform flaking schemas, with characteristic emphasis on the former. A diachronic pattern of change in the Gorham's Cave sequence is documented, with the younger assemblages utilising more localized raw material and less formal flaking procedures. We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus