Ba'ja 2008: Summary on the Chipped Lithic Study Season

Christoph Purschwitz, Free University of Berlin


Ba'ja 2008: Summary on the Chipped Lithic Study Season
Primary and secondary production



Reduction sequences

Three major reduction chains (chaîne opératoires) have been identified among the sample. One concerns bidirectional blade production, one unidirectional blade production from single platform cores and one concerns biface (celt/adze) production.

Generally the initial stages of all three chaîne opératoires are underrepresented and may have been carried out off-site. Blade production through single platform cores is most common and appears to have been carried out on the household level. Surprisingly frequent are biface products, such as celt/adzes with and without macroscopic use wears associated with some celt/adze roughouts. In both buildings celt/adze clusters occur. In building BI the cluster was associated with relicts of a sandstone ring workshop and their stratigraphical distribution shows that both must have been stored on the roof as the building was abandoned after a fire event. Therefore the household level seems the most likely place of production.

Bidirectional blade production appears less frequent practiced at Ba'ja, than reported from neighboring sites, such as Basta, al-Basit or 'Ain Jammam. It has been suggested by several authors, that 'classical' naviform core technology is absent and only a 'variant' is present (Clegg 2003) or that bidirectional core technology was 'imitated' and the majority of blade blanks were imported (Gebel 2004c). Although the sample under investigation does not allow conclusive evidence on this issue, there are various primary products of bidirectional core reduction suggesting that several bidirectional reduction strategies may have been practiced correlating to different raw material shapes (nodular, semi-tabular/lenticular, or tabular flints; cf. Table 3). Additionally, there are some raw materials only in evidence by bidirectional blanks or tools, which supports the 'import' thesis.





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