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Traceological analysis of lithics from the Camel Site, al-Jawf, Saudi Arabia: an experimental approach to identifying mineral processing activities using silcrete tools

Abstract : The Camel Site is in the north of Saudi Arabia in the province of al-Jawf. It is characterised by three decaying sandstone hillocks with life-sized 3D engravings (or reliefs) of camels and equids likely carved during later prehistory. A survey in the central area of the site identified clusters of flakes and other flintknapping remains in the lower areas between the sandstone spurs and larger silcrete tools directly underneath the animal depictions. Some of these tools presented abraded edges, possibly from prolonged contact with the soft and abrasive sandstone that constitutes the rock spurs where the animals were carved. Experiments were performed to test this hypothesis and have a reference collection for further traceological analysis. The chaine opératoire of the experimental engraving tools, from raw material procurement, tool manufacture and use, reuse and discard, was conducted with locally available materials comparable to the archaeological specimens. Specific experimental variables, including how the force was applied, in what direction the movement took place and the orientation of the stone tool during the experiment, were also recorded. Macro- and microscopic analyses of the experimental collection and a sample of archaeological artefacts seem to show that the ancient tools found on the surface were probably used to make the camelid and equid reliefs at the site.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03654116
Contributor : Guillaume Charloux Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 1:43:03 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, May 1, 2022 - 3:30:40 AM

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Yamandú Hilbert, Ignacio Clemente-Conte, Rémy Crassard, Guillaume Charloux, Maria Guagnin, et al.. Traceological analysis of lithics from the Camel Site, al-Jawf, Saudi Arabia: an experimental approach to identifying mineral processing activities using silcrete tools. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Springer, 2022, 14 (5), pp.93. ⟨10.1007/s12520-022-01559-6⟩. ⟨hal-03654116⟩

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