Transport, curation and resharpening of lithics in the Lower Palaeolithic

N. Ashton


The identification of lithic transport in the British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic is unusual. Three examples are given from the localities of Wolvercote, Boscombe and Red Barns, where rare or exotic raw material has been used to produce plano-convex handaxes. In two cases the raw material sources are at least 25km away. The correlation between exotic or rare raw material and handaxe form is argued to be due to greater curation and the regular resharpening of these artefacts. It is also suggested that large flake blanks have often been used as part of this process, which may have contributed to the plano-convex form. Both the curation of the artefacts and the use of flake blanks can be seen as an economising measure in areas of otherwise poor quality or rare raw materials.

Full reference: Ashton, N. 2008. Transport, curation and resharpening of lithics in the Lower Palaeolithic. Lithics: The Journal of the Lithic Studies Society 29: 6–17.

Keywords: Lower Palaeolithic, plano-convex handaxes, resharpening, Greensand chert, Solent River

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