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Lithic technology and the early prehistory of Antikythera

Bevan, AH; Conolly, J; (2016) Lithic technology and the early prehistory of Antikythera. In: Elefanti, P and Andreasen, N and Kardulias, PN and Marshall, G, (eds.) Lithics Past and Present Perspectives on Chipped Stone Studies in Greece. (pp. 69-94). Paul Åströms: Uppsala.

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Abstract

Our intensive archaeological survey of the entire land surface of the island of Antikythera has documented a sequence of prehistoric activity going back at least as far as the Late Neolithic. The key component of the very earliest material culture from the island is knapped obsidian and chert artefacts and here we discuss the main results arising from detailed study of this assemblage, as well as offering a preliminary exploration of the chronology, spatial distribution and landscape setting of these finds as well as their broader regional context. We propose that Antikythera was embedded within a Late Neolithic interaction sphere and visited frequently by mobile non-permanent groups. Spatial analysis shows differences in the location of local cherts compared to obsidian which reflect what we interpret as a growing reliance on local chert. In addition, we define a number of locations of clusters of lithic tools and debitage with a tendency for projectiles to be located closer to the coast and blade components of the assemblage inland, in areas likely to be more conducive to small scale farming. There is no evidence of differential access to obsidian by a particular community acting as a redistributive centre as is documented in the southern Argolid, and there is no evidence to suggest the material entering the island was under any form of organisational control. This is in keeping with a model that sees small scale and relatively undifferentiated settlement across the island by at least the Early Bronze Age of small scale farming families exploiting pockets of the more fertile and more easily worked soils.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Lithic technology and the early prehistory of Antikythera
ISBN: 9170812101
ISBN-13: 9789170812101
Keywords: Stone implements
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1569892
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