20-2017, tome 114, 4, p. 637-658 - Adriana Soto Sebastián - Changements technologiques pendant l?€?Holocène dans le bassin de l?€?Èbre. Stratégies de production et de gestion de l?€?industrie lithique d?€?Atxoste (Álava, Espagne)

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20-2017, tome 114, 4, p. 637-658 - Adriana Soto Sebastián - Changements technologiques pendant l?€?Holocène dans le bassin de l?€?Èbre. Stratégies de production et de gestion de l?€?industrie lithique d?€?Atxoste (Álava, Espagne)

Ces dernières décennies ont été marquées par une augmentation significative de l’intérêt porté aux sociétés de la fin du Pléistocène et du début de l’Holocène dans la péninsule Ibérique. Dans ce contexte, le bassin de l’Èbre a fait l’objet de programmes de recherche intensifs qui ont permis d’approfondir, d’une part, la compréhension des modes de vie des dernières sociétés de chasseurs-cueilleurs et, d’autre part, l’établissement de la dynamique chrono-culturelle de la région. Aujourd’hui, cette dynamique est subdivisée en quatre phases : l’Épipaléolithique microlaminaire ou Épimagdalénien, le Sauveterrien microlaminaire ou Sauveterroïde, le Mésolithique à encoches et denticulés  et le Mésolithique géométrique.

L’objectif de cet article est de caractériser les industries lithiques du site d’Atxoste et d’apporter de nouvelles données technologiques sur chacune de ces traditions, afin d’affiner notre connaissance des changements technologiques. Pour cela, nous présenterons les principaux résultats des études relatives aux matières premières, à la technologie et à la typologie des ensembles lithiques des niveaux épipaléolithiques (VIb2 et VIb) et mésolithiques (VI, V, IV et IIIb2) du gisement d’Atxoste (Vírgala, Álava, Espagne), et nous les intégrerons dans le contexte régional du bassin de l’Èbre.

Les résultats montrent que chacune des traditions lithiques répond à des objectifs et à une organisation particulière du système lithique. Ces nouvelles données mettent en évidence l’adoption et le développement de différentes stratégies et procédures technologiques en vue de l’obtention d’un équipement lithique varié. Autant d’éléments nouveaux qui permettent de mieux comprendre les dernières sociétés de chasseurs-cueilleurs.

 

Mots clés : Épipaléolithique, Mésolithique, technologie lithique, matière première, bassin de l’Èbre.

 

During the last few decades, interest in the end of the Pleistocene and the beginnings of the Holocene has increased significantly in the Iberian Peninsula. In this context, intense research has been carried out with the aim of improving our knowledge of the way of life of the last hunter-gatherer societies and establishing the chrono-cultural sequence of this period in the Ebro Valley. Nowadays, this period is divided into four phases: the Microlaminar Epipalaeolithic or Epimagdalenian, the Microlaminar Sauveterrian or Sauveterroid, the Notch and Denticulate Mesolithic and the Geometric Mesolithic.

In this context, the purpose of this work is the technological characterization of these industrial traditions, which allow us to define the major changes that occurred between them, responding to different conceptions and intentions, and thus the way production and management strategies were modified.

For that reason, we present the main results from the study of raw materials, technology and typology from the site of Atxoste (Álava). This shelter offers a wide stratigraphic sequence from the late Palaeolithic to the Chalcolithic period. This work focuses on the analysis of lithic industries from the Epipalaeolithic and Mesolithic levels. They are both subdivided into two archaeological levels: Microlaminar Epipalaeolithic and Sauveterroid (VIb2 and VIb), Notch and Denticulate Mesolithic (VI and V) and Geometric Mesolithic (IV and IIIb2). This allows deep analysis of the lithic systems from each of the industrial phases and their internal evolution, as well as the modifications that took place between them.

The results show that each industrial tradition responds to particular interests and specific organization of the lithic system. This proves the adoption and development of different strategies and technological procedures by the late Tardiglacial and early Holocene societies to obtain varied lithic equipment.

In the two Preboreal assemblages (VIb2 and VIb) we have recognised similarities in the productive interests and organization. Essentially, they are characterized by a search for laminar supports, distinguishing the individualised production of blades and bladelets. They are employed in the elaboration of a toolkit dominated by backed points and endscrapers. The supply of raw material is essentially regional, with different supply strategies according to the origin of each type. It is completed by a small set in foreign flint. Depending on the production, the raw materials management is different, combining expedient knapping systematics, generally focused on bladelet production, with others, more elaborate and intensive, for an integrated production of blades and bladelets. The use of direct percussion with a soft hammerstone has been identified. According to their size and morphology, these products are also managed differently. The presence of variations in the knapping systems and the composition and configuration of the projectiles motivates the attribution of the VIb2 level to the Microlaminar Epipalaeolithic or Epimagdalenian and the VIb level to the Sauveterrian.

There is a profound change in the productive objectives and technological procedures developed in the Notch and Denticulate Mesolithic levels (VI and V). This is highlighted by a decrease in laminar and projectile production, whereas the main production is geared towards the knapping of flakes by discoid and multipolar exploitations. For the latter, they used exclusively regional raw materials, thus significantly reducing the supply territory compared with the previous phase (Epipalaeolithic). The retouched tools are dominated by notches and denticulates that participate in intense processes of resharpening and recycling. Consequently, the configuration does not necessarily correspond to a concrete morphotype reproduction. This benefits the development of more versatile production management.

Finally, the Geometric Mesolithic assemblages (IV and IIIb2) involve the adoption of a regular and standardized laminar technology, using indirect percussion, and the manufacture of lithic projectiles in the form of geometric microliths. The supply of raw material is still mainly regional; there is, however, a more specialized selection of flint, with a preferential use of types presenting a better knapping quality.  Significant variations have been identified between both levels, in the configuration of projectiles and in the development and management of notches and denticulates, showing the existence of an internal evolution.

These dynamics described in Atxoste are well contextualized in other contemporary sites from the Ebro basin.

Briefly, the main contribution of this work lies in a more detailed knowledge of the lithic system organization (supply, production and management) from the different industrial traditions at the beginning of the Holocene. Additionally, the understanding of each one corresponds to particular objectives: managing and comprehending lithic material and know-how. In this sense, the recognized transformations between the different complexes and the different mechanisms through which these societies fulfilled their industrial needs offer another element to comprehend and better understand the last hunter-gatherers.

 

Keywords: Epipalaeolithic, Mesolithic, lithic technology, raw material, Ebro basin.