O możliwościach i ograniczeniach metody traseologicznej w badaniach masowych materiałów archeologicznych z kopalń krzemienia
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ON THE POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF THE TRASEOLOGICAL METHOD IN RESEARCH ON MASS ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS FROM FLINT MINES
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Selected flint specimens from the mine in Sąspów, Kraków district, have been used to demonstrate the usefulness of the method for a currently implemented program of research on the material from the Wierzbica “Zele” mine, Radom district. This chocolate flint mine, excavated in the 1980s, was exploited by the Mierzanowicka and Lusatian cultures. Already it has been shown that the flint knives of the “Zele” type testify to the high skills of the Late Bronze Age flint knappers. Traseological analyses can supply proof of the use of flint blades and flakes as knives for repetitive actions like cutting animal hides, meat and other organic materials, but they can be helpless in demonstrating the use of them for individual or sporadic ritual procedures. The analysis concerned 91 specimens from the excavations in 1962 in Sąspów, distinguished as mining tools based on morphological traits. Microscopic analysis by J. Małecka -Kukawka has demonstrated evident traces of wear on only 11 of these specimens, suggesting that a large part of the examined specimens were “pseudo-tools”. Taking into consideration archaeological features and structures found in the area of the mines, the possibility that ancient pseudo-retouching can occur on flint specimens originating from the mining fields is incomparably higher than on specimens from other. It is therefore fully justified to treat various fragmentary retouches on blade and flake specimens from mines with the utmost caution. The material from Sąspów demonstrates that only the coupling of morphological characteristics with the results of microwear analyses can allow a given specimen to be attributed to the tools group. Applying the method to the examination of selected specimens from the Wierzbica “Zele” mine should verify these conclusions.
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