25 February 2009

The Paleolithic of Turkish Thrace: PART 4- Yatak

This is a part from "The Paleolithic of Turkish Thrace: Synthesis and Recent Results".

Yatak is situated in the Karansıllı village, nearly 30 kilometers west of the city of Tekirdağ. The site is located nearly 350 meters southeast of the village, just 100 meters northeast of the road that goes to the village cemetery. The GPS coordinates of Yatak are 40.58N and 27.11E. The site is nearly 230 meters above sea-level (asl). Both unworked raw materials and artifacts are widespread in the area southeast of the village, but artifacts were concentrated in a field called Yatak by villagers, forming a cluster roughly nearly 60x75 meters in size.

A pile of stones collected from that field by farmers provided the first evidence of Paleolithic artifacts (B. DİNÇER 2001b). That stone pile grew each time we visited the Yatak site, and after five years the density of artifacts at the site is much lower than when it was first discovered. The stone pile which included some Paleolithic artifacts, was moved and used for construction in the village. This is a sad story of how Paleolithic sites are rapidly destroyed by agricultural activities.

There are clear differences in the exploitation of different raw materials at Yatak. Chopping tools are exclusively made on quarzite whereas the assemblage of artifacts on quartz is essentially composed of choppers. Flakes were produced from quartz using discoid debitage and bipolar (hammer-on-anvil) technique: there is just a single core of quartzite. The bipolar cores are large, around 10 cm in maximum dimension, and could have been used to produce relatively large flakes. One of these cores also shows clear signs of percussion and was certainly used as a hammer. We note there are differences in the cutting edges of quartz choppers and quartzite chopping tools. The flaking of choppers from quartz generally produces abrupt or obtuse cutting edges. Quartzite pebble tools show more investment and sharper flaked edges that would be more useful in cutting activities. Some of the quartz choppers should probably be considered cores rather than tools: certainly, the distinction between cores and tools is less clear on this material. It is also possible that differences in edge morphology result from differences in the shapes of clasts of the different raw materials. The clearest tools on quartzite are made on flat pebbles, a morphology which is not represented in quartz. However, we do not know if the differences between quartz and quartzite are attributable to the morphological properties of raw materials or if they reflect choices in the selection of the pebbles for the production of tools.

Locally available flints are of poor quality. The scarce artifacts of flint resemble those in quartzite, in both the kinds of pebble tools manufactured and in the morphology of pebbles used. At the same time flint exploitation could present some similarities with quartz exploitation with respect to the presence of simple cores exploited by a variant of the discoïd method (L. SLIMAK 1998-1999 and 2003). There is no preparation of the striking platform in these flint discoïd cores. In this raw materials, the smooth, alluvial cortex probably presented a more homogeneous structure and so was more suitable for flaking activity (V. MOURRE 1994). The single modified flint tool discovered is a roughly-shaped bifacial artifact preserving large areas of its natural surfaces. This tool was produced using direct, hard-hammer percussion and cannot be considered a true handaxe. In 2000, one of us (BD) found another possible bifacial artifact that has unfortunately been lost (B. DİNÇER 2001b and 2001c). One flint flake from Yatak shows some alteration of its edge that could be the result of use.

1 comment:

bengalarchaeology said...

Good to know about these all piece within one article...

and please visit

Rajib B.
Bengal Archaeology Research Center