Trampling experiments at Cova Gran de Santa Linya, Pre-Pyrenees, Spain: Their relevance for archaeological fabrics of the Upper-Middle Paleolithic assemblages

Alfonso Benito-Calvo, Jorge Martínez-Moreno, Rafael Mora, Miquel Roy, Xavier Roda

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24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study of fabrics, that is, the analysis of the orientation and slope of archaeological and sedimentary materials associated with the Middle Palaeolithic/Upper Palaeolithic (MP/UP) transition at Cova Gran shows substantial differences. Archaeological assemblages are characterised by greater isotropy in the fabrics than the sedimentary levels within which they are located, indicating that these differences may be generated by anthropic processes. One of the anthropogenic processes associated with horizontal and vertical displacement of archaeological artefacts is trampling and circulation caused by later occupations. In order to evaluate the effect of movement on materials, we undertook experiments simulating geological and archaeological conditions at Cova Gran. The results show that human trampling does not cause major isotropy in fabrics, but arranges archaeological assemblages towards planar or linear materials according to surface geometry. We were not able to replicate the fabric pattern of materials from the archaeological levels of Cova Gran, suggesting that they must be associated with the activities of human occupation at each level. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3652-3661
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Archaeological fabrics
  • Cova Gran
  • Experimentation
  • Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic
  • Site formation processes

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