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An Operative Sequences Network: The Technical Organization at Casa Montero Early Neolithic Flint Mine (Madrid, Spain)

An Operative Sequences Network: The Technical Organization at Casa Montero Early Neolithic Flint... AbstractThe purpose of this work is to analyze in which way the technical system of the Early Neolithic flint mine of Casa Montero (5350–5220 cal. BC) was organized to manage different flint-based reduction sequences. The particular features and genesis of Casa Montero’s flint limited the efficiency of one of the main goals of the mine: blade production. As a result, a great amount of the extracted raw material was discarded throughout the process. However, an efficiently planned management allowed its reuse for other purposes. One of the key social activities that took place at the mine was knapping apprenticeship. Younger community members were progressively introduced to this complex technical system, taking part in a many-sided set of tasks and parts of the whole production process, from extraction to recycling and waste management. However, knapping learning, as an operative sequence itself, needs a great amount of raw material. By means of the factorial analysis of the relationships between skill levels and raw material varieties and features of blanks, we can understand the complex organization of this technical system in which some strategies were carried out to avoid competition for raw material and allow motivation of apprentices. The spheres of mining, knapping, and learning coexist harmonically and benefit each other. Younger people of the community participated in mining as a workforce, knapping offers them abundant waste to practice, and learning allows social reproduction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Open Archaeology de Gruyter

An Operative Sequences Network: The Technical Organization at Casa Montero Early Neolithic Flint Mine (Madrid, Spain)

Open Archaeology , Volume 7 (1): 14 – Sep 14, 2021

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2021 Nuria Castañeda, published by De Gruyter
ISSN
2300-6560
eISSN
2300-6560
DOI
10.1515/opar-2020-0181
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe purpose of this work is to analyze in which way the technical system of the Early Neolithic flint mine of Casa Montero (5350–5220 cal. BC) was organized to manage different flint-based reduction sequences. The particular features and genesis of Casa Montero’s flint limited the efficiency of one of the main goals of the mine: blade production. As a result, a great amount of the extracted raw material was discarded throughout the process. However, an efficiently planned management allowed its reuse for other purposes. One of the key social activities that took place at the mine was knapping apprenticeship. Younger community members were progressively introduced to this complex technical system, taking part in a many-sided set of tasks and parts of the whole production process, from extraction to recycling and waste management. However, knapping learning, as an operative sequence itself, needs a great amount of raw material. By means of the factorial analysis of the relationships between skill levels and raw material varieties and features of blanks, we can understand the complex organization of this technical system in which some strategies were carried out to avoid competition for raw material and allow motivation of apprentices. The spheres of mining, knapping, and learning coexist harmonically and benefit each other. Younger people of the community participated in mining as a workforce, knapping offers them abundant waste to practice, and learning allows social reproduction.

Journal

Open Archaeologyde Gruyter

Published: Sep 14, 2021

Keywords: Early Neolithic; Casa Montero; flint mining; knowledge transmission; blade production

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