A bunch of refits: 497D blade knapping assemblage of the Early Upper Paleolithic in Cova Gran (Northeast Iberia)

Jorge Martínez-Moreno, Rafael Mora Torcal, Alfonso Benito-Calvo, Miquel Roy Sunyer, Javier Sánchez-Martínez

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Laminar knapping is a system of methods through which a recurrent series of elongated and morphometrically repetitive blanks are obtained. The appearance of this method is associated with cognitive changes that foster different paleoanthropological discussions. This article assesses the implications of the 497D lithic assemblage of Cova Gran (Northeast Pre-Pyrenees, Iberia), whose technical principles place it within the laminar knapping sphere in which the production of blades, bladelets, and flakes are interspersed. Refitting dynamic approach allows establishing physical connections, reflecting volumetric reduction integrate sequences of sequential blanks organized by the principle of technical predetermination. Techno-typological, contextual, and chronometric attributes enable the integration of 497D within an initial phase of the Upper Paleolithic. This is an important point; although laminar knapping is widely dispersed in space and time, it marks the emergence of anatomically modern Homo sapiens associated with the Aurignacian (sensulato), a tradition marking the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. This concept has been challenged by the proposal that the Chatelperronian laminar technocomplex was made by Homo neanderthalensis. These opposing positions fostered the Middle-Upper Paleolithic "transition" debate. Technical traits identified through refitting facilitate examination of similarities and differences between 497D and the Proto/Early Aurignacian and Chatelperronian. Observations arising from refitting in 497D influence characterization of the knapping method and its possible correlation with one of these Early Upper Paleolithic technocomplexes. These inferences broaden the goals usually associated with blade knapping, and encourage reconsideration of the classical definition of the laminar system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4585-4600
Number of pages16
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • 497D
  • Blade knapping
  • Cova Gran
  • Early Upper Paleolithic
  • Morphological blank diversity
  • Refit


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