Lithic Assemblages from Nakovana (Croatia)
Raw Material Procurement and Reduction Technology from the Early Neolithic until the End of Prehistory
Keywords:Adriatic Bronze Age, chert, lithic technology, Neolithic, raw materials
A large and complex lithic collection from Pelješac, a peninsula on the eastern Adriatic seaboard of southern Croatia, provides extensive information about raw materials, formal typology, and technology of flaked stone artifacts from the Early Neolithic up to the Iron Age. Most of the evidence comes from two stratified sites: a cave named Spila and the hillfort of Grad, both located on the Nakovana Plateau. The most conspicuous characteristic of the Nakovana lithic collection is continuity, both in production technology and in the choice of raw material. Changes are manifest in frequencies of lithic artifact classes, rather than in kinds of lithic artifacts. Virtually all the lithics are made of cherts imported from the Gargano Peninsula, which testifies to persistent trans-Adriatic connections throughout post-Mesolithic prehistory. Prismatic blades were brought to Nakovana as finished products. They are present from the Early Neolithic, their frequencies peak during the Copper Age, and they disappear from the record soon after the transition to the Bronze Age. An ad hoc flake-production technology is present throughout the sequence, but its importance diminishes as the prismatic blade technology takes over. After the disappearance of prismatic blades, Bronze Age lithic assemblages consist mainly of flakes and expedient flake-based tools. While the Nakovana sites did not yield any Mesolithic finds, comparison with other eastern Adriatic sites indicates that raw material procurement patterns changed radically at the time of the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic, which also coincided with the introduction of prismatic blade technology.
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