2012-12-09

Small tools in the region Maastricht - Liège: the Mesolithic?

Small tools* in the region Maastricht -  Liège: the Mesolithic?
Petits outilsde la région de Maastricht - Liège: le Mésolithique?

* Definition of a small tool: a tool that is obvious constructed and used for the carrying out of small activities, where the same operations could also be performed with instruments that are manufactured in a (much) larger version. Importantly, small tools are not the result of fractures of larger implements, or do exist at the end of a 'chaine opératoire', although tools on flakes and debris , by definition are positioned at the end of the 'chaine opératoire.
*Définition d'un petit outil: un outil qui clairement a été construit et utilisé pour la réalisation de travaux mineurs, où le même travail pourrait également être effectué avec des instruments qui sont fabriqués dans une version plus grande. Surtout, les petits outils ne sont pas le résultat d'une fracture de'artefacts plus gros  ou à la face d'extrémité d'une 'chaîne opératoire', bien que les outils sur éclats/ débris, se trouvent par définition  au fin du chaaine opératoire des outils.

(Textes en italique : Francais)

With contributions of Jean Jo Paquay (Belgium) and Jean Yves Ringenbach (France)
Avec  contributions de Jean Jo Paquay (Belgique) et Jean-Yves Ringenbach (France)

In some articles small tools were presented for the region
Dans certains articles, de petits outils ont été présentés pour la région

Arbannig: the deceptive effect of eluvium flint
Arbannig: Mesolithic finds near Bruisterbosch
Arbannig: Small tools from St. Geertruid

Prospection strategy
During archeological excavations all the archaeological correlate is collected and examined. During field prospections however, it is more difficult to collect all things that you see in the field and  this is most of the time not necessary or  even wishful. After hundred years of field prospections, however, it looks like only  the debris is left in the fields.
This is not only bad news. To find small tools, we must use a quantitative sample strategy, and pick up everything that has the right dimensions to be a possible tool. It appears not only that this works to detect small tools, but also for 'ugly' looking pieces, that appear to have served as tools as well. Besides of tools, the debris, cores and rejected flakes could also give information.In practice, enough debris will remain in the fields to mark possible archaeological sites. After all: the more we find at the surface, the less archaeological  importance is given to the possible site, as it would be the best when we only find a few lithic implements, so a full excavation would still  be possible.

Stratégie de prospection 
Pendant de fouilles archéologiques tout le corrélation du site archéologique est recueilli et examiné. Au cours des prospections sur le terrain cependant, il est plus difficile de recueillir toutes les choses que vous voyez dans le domaine, et c'est la plupart du temps pas nécessaire ou desiré.  Après cent ans de prospections sur le terrain, il semble que souvent seulement les débris sont laissés dans les champs. Pour trouver des petits outils, nous devons utiliser une stratégie d'échantillonnage quantitatif, et de ramasser tout ce qui a les bonnes dimensions pour être un outil. Il apparaît non seulement que cela fonctionne pour détecter de petits outils, mais aussi pour les vilains morceaux, qui semblent avoir servi d'outils ainsi. En plus des outils, des débris, des nucléus et des éçlats rejetés pourraient également donner des informations

Artifacts in a blade technique, originating from both the late Mesolithic and the Neolithic, found in the region of Thionville North France.  The width of bladelets could determine the assumed period, as microliths were made of bladelets  < 1,2 cm wide. We also distinguish different flint types Image J.-Y. Ringenbach
Artefacts, produits dans une technique laminaire, provenant  s Mésolithique final et le Néolithique, trouvés dans la région de Thionville Nord de la FranceLa largeur des lamelles indique la période présumée, comme microlithes ont été faites de lamelles <1,2 cm de largeur. . nous pouvons également distinguer les différents types de silex. Iimage par JY Ringenbach


Small tools
The Mesolithic is well known for the Belgian Kempen / Campine region, and the Dutch adjacent sandy area of Middle Limburg. (  see for an overview of the Mesolithic and references the article at  this weblog: Regional Limburg  The Palaeolithic and the Mesolithic). Just when the loess area begins, it looks like the Mesolithic disappears, and indeed, at least in the loess area the Mesolithic is  almost everywhere mixed into the Neolithic period, if you are able find it.
One of the possible reasons for this phenomena is suggested by Vermeersch ( Vermeersch 1980), pointing at the Campine/ Kempen region as a possible refugium for the hunter gatherers during the LBK- phase and afterwards. He also explained the presence of small bladelets in Michelsberg Culture (MK) sites of the Middle Neolithic.

Finds of  tools with small or even very small dimensions ( mainly retouched flint flakes, retouched waste material, used cores, blade tablets, non standardized pointed implements, drills or borers) found  at the surface, sometimes can be explained, when they are found in a 'clear' context ( e.g. in combination with many other large flint artifacts from the Neolithic, indicating a pure Neolithic (MK) settlement or temporary activity location ( e.g. a location for tool production, where the Neolithic people stayed over some time, so they also had to carry out daily tasks to prepare their meals, repair clothing , repair the hunting assemblage,  etc, such a location is near a flint mine.). But this explanation is absolutely not  satisfactory. Multi faced and multiplatform cores, in very small dimensions from the Neolithic also occur (1)
The problem to draw an exact line between the Mesolithic and the Neolithic is difficult in possible polluted, mixed surface plowed contexts. The word possible in italic, because this is an assumption for surface finds of both periods at one site.( Unfortunately we cannot control this).
The patinas are not the most reliable reliable determinants for placing the artifacts into its right chronological context. Indeed, patinas at the surface of the Rijckholt and the Spiennes flint from the Neolithic, often found in our region, is showing a quick build up patina, sometimes causing patina at only one side of the artifact ( the side that has contact with the open air).
 Of course, we might have a close look at the tools, to see by typology and applied technology if they fit in a possible Mesolithic or a Neolithic period. This is not always possible, as Late -Mesolithic traditions appear in early Neolithic finds, like asymmetric points.
"Like asymmetric points", this part of the previous sentence already shows the importance of finds of guiding artifacts, and even when such guide artifacts appear, they are not well understood in the context.
Small retouched flakes are not guiding us really and are much more difficult to explain.( like finds of a small bladelet at Vaux -et Borset  / 'Bas-Vinave' (B) in a LBK context ( dim. 17 mm x 12 mm x 2 mm , with microburin, Collection Eloy nr13436, which fits perfectly in the Mesolithic by the use of the microburin technique).
In this case, it is important to notice other things, and this is only a 'small corner of the veil', that we might lift up, and until we find clear contexts from excavations, remain always surrounded by basic questions.

Petits outils 
Trouvailles des outils de petites dimensions trouvés à la surface (principalement ce sont des éclats de silex retouchées , des déchets retouchées, noyaux utilisés,  lames comprimés et  non-standardisées, des outils pointus, percoirs,etc),on   peut parfois s'expliquer facilement, quand ils se trouvent dans une contexte «claire»   (p.ex. en combinaison avec de nombreux autres artefacts grandes en silex du Néolithique, ce qui indique un village néolithique ou de l'emplacement temporaire des activités (par exemple, un emplacement pour la fabrication d'outils, où les hommes du néolithique y avons séjourné pendant un certain temps, donc ils ont aussi dû porter des tâches quotidiennes pour préparer leurs repas, des vêtements de réparation, réparer l'assemblage de chasse, etc.). Mais cette explication n'est pas toujours satisfaisante.Le problème de tracer une ligne précise entre le Mésolithique et le Néolithique est difficile dans les contextes de surface mixtes labourés, presque toujours  'pollués'(= de plusieurs périodes).. Les patines ne sont pas les déterminants les plus fiables  pour placer les objets dans son propre  contexte chronologique. En effet, patines à la surface de la Rijckholt et le silex de Spiennes depuis le Néolithique, quel'on retrouve souvent dans notre région, montre une  accumulation rapide de la patine, une patine causant parfois d'un seul côté de l'artefact ( le côté qui est en contact avec l'air libre ). 
Au début, bien sûr, nous pourrions avoir un coup d'oeil de plus près les outils, pour voir par la technologie et typologie appliquées si elles correspondent au Mésolithique ou Néolithique. Ce n'est pas toujours possible, comme les traditions du mésolithiques -final  apparaissent au début néolithiques, comme les points asymétriques.
"Comme les points asymétriques», cette partie de la phrase précédente montre déjà l'importance des découvertes d'artefacts de guide, et même lorsque ces objets guides apparaissent, ils ne sont pas bien compris dans le contexte. Petits éclats retouchés ne sont pas vraiment les plus confidents pour nous guider et sont beaucoup plus difficiles à expliquer.Dans ce cas, il est important de remarquer autre chose, et ce n'est qu'un «petit coin du voile» qui couvre ces objets, que nous pourrions soulever.
 
The small tools,  found in the region could be from both the Neolithic and Mesolithic period, but this is a simplified model. (see below).
Les petits outils, trouvés dans la région pourrait être à la fois du néolithique et mésolithique, mais il s'agit d'un modèle simplifié ( voir ci-dessous)
Small tools found in the region could either be made from larger cores and  be representing "retouched debris" from the Neolithic processing of e.g. flint axes. Another possibility is the debitage of flakes from small cores, are fitting in a nomadic, Mesolithic tradition. Both large Neolithic cores and small cores ( from the Mesolithic?) occur.
Petits outils, trouvés dans la région, pourrait être soit fabriqué à partir de noyaux plus grands  représentent «les débris retouchée" de la debiatge néolithique comme  par exemple par la production des haches en silex. Une autre possibilité c'est le débitage d'éclats de petites nucléusdans une tradition mésolithique. Des  grands noyaux néolithiques et des noyaux petits (à partir du Mésolithique?) ont été produits au même temps.


 
Small sized tools ( possible points) from the community  of Bassenge in Belgium; image J.J. Paquay
Petits outils taillés (des points possibles) de la communauté de Bassenge en Belgique;  l'image J-J. Paquay

Bladelets , found near the Geer -brook in the community of Bassenge, Belgium. They have great similarities to the bladelets found at production places near St. Geertruid, suggesting a standard debitage for micro -blades from Rijckholt flint; image J.J. Paquay
Lamelles, trouvées près du ruisseau Geer dans la communauté de Bassenge, Belgique. Elles ont de grandes similitudes avec les lamelles trouvées sur les lieux de production à proximité de Saint-Geertruid (NL), ce qui suggère un débitage standardisé pour les micro-lames de silex Rijckholt;  l'image J-J. Paquay

Flint tools from the community of Bassenge in Belgium  comprises scrapers and a broken blade; image J.J. Paquay
Outils en silex provenant de la communauté de Bassenge : grattoirs et une lame cassée image Par J.-J. Paquay

It is not only the size of the flint tools that pleas for a nomadic tradition, but also the great numbers of small tools, found in the region.Image: retouched flint implements from the community of Bassenge, Belgium; image J.J. Paquay)
Ce n'est pas seulement la taille des outils en silex qui estindiquant pour  une tradition nomade, mais aussi le grand nombre de petits outils, trouvés dans la région. Image: silex retouchée  de la communauté  de Bassenge, La Belgique,  l'image J.-J. Paquay)

Variety in tool forms. The idea is, these tools were produced on debris . Image by  J.J. Paquay
Une  variété des formes d'outils. L'idée c'est que ces outils ont été produites sur les débris. Image J.-J. Paquay


The tools
What exactly is a small tool? If a tool is small or big, depends on the task you carry out.  We don't use a big hammer to strike a small nail. We adapt the hammer in this case for the task to carry out. Small tools are very convenient when you travel, you have to carry less weight and if the applied technique is right, small tools are very well designed to carry out daily tasks, such as cutting small branches for the production of arrows,, cleaning a fish, cutting animal skins, scraping meat from a bird bone, etc. etc.
Microliths, made in the standard micro-burin technique, usually have dimensions of less than 1,2 cm x 0,5  cm. and were used for a light weight -standardized weaponery. Truncated micro-blades and derived tools ( composed tools), micro -blade negative cores from the Bronze age often have evensmaller dimensions (e.g. found at  Fresno de la Ribera in Zamora, Spain).Tools can be divvided in tools made on blades - by micro burin rechnique and tools on flakes, tools on debris.
Small tools found  in the Liege -Maastricht region mostly are made on local flint ( Rijckholt, Hesbaye, Rullen), which are flint mines that were mainly exploited during the Neolithic ( i.c Michelsberg Culture). This itself could underline the stated suggestion, the Michelsberg Culture produced small bladelets for their Mesolithic neighbors. The author of this article really found a Rijckholt blade core at Opoeteren (B) in the Kempen region  this autumn, with small blade negatives.
Usually the tools made of flint found in Mesolithic (excavated) sites in the Belgian Kempen area are not made of Rijckholt flint, but represent a wide variety of flint types - mainly  fluvial flint -  together with e.g. Wommersom -quartzite.(Van Gils & De Bie 2001)


Regular blades  and micro blades from St. Geertruid, in a standardized production or as a by-product of production of much bigger tools ?(Arban coll.)

 Artefacts found at a field at Bassenge (B) at an eroded edge of what might very well be explained as a former spring. Blade technique. Notice the diversity of flint, common to assemblages of hunter gatherers .Image: J.J. Paquay
Artefacts trouvés sur un champ à Bassenge (B) à un bord érodé de ce qui pourrait très bien être expliqué comme un ressort ancienne. Technique de la lame. Remarquez la diversité des silex, l'image commune aux assemblages de chasseurs-cueilleurs.  Image par J.-J. Paquay 

(1)
Round scraper made on local Hesbaye flint ; image J.J. Paquay
Racloir rond fait sur ​​ silex locale d'Hesbaye ; l'image JJ Paquay

 ( 2)
Round scraper made on local Hesbaye flint ; image J.J. Paquay
Racloir rond fait sur ​​ silex locale d'Hesbaye ;  l'image J.-J. Paquay

Small blades from Northern France, made of Rijckholt flint. The question is, whether these blade were made at Rijckholt and transported or wheter they were made in Northern France from a transported nucleus; image J.Y. Ringenbach
Petites lames du nord de la France, en Rijckholt silex. La question est ,de savoir si ces lames ont été produits à Rijckholt et transportés ou qu''elles ont été faites dans le Nord de la France à partir d'un noyau transporté; image par  J.-Y. Ringenbach 

Similar blades from  the  region Thionville in North France, from the Mesolithic;
image by J.Y. Ringenbach
Lames similaires de la région de Thionville en Nord de la France, du Mésolithique; l'image par J.Y. Ringenbach
Some small tools, found in the region of Maastricht,  are too small to fit in a sedentary lifestyle, unless these tools are made with the purpose to carry out a task that desires tools with such small dimensions.
Did the regional Mesolithic hunter -gatherers co-existe and have practiced the farming techniques, that we call Linear Band-Keramik, which would indicate the culture was spread from the south -east of Europe and so it was not a migration of people that took place ( Deeben, & Van Gijn,  2005). The differentiation in activities beside the hunting -gathering, by gathering, adapting and preparation of  large amounts of flint would suggest a longer stay in the flint mine area, so this would mark the  first step into a sedentary process.Acculturation of what we call Neolithic influences become more visible in the food production than in flint gathering and tool processing activities.
Small flint cores from the Rhine- Meuse region were transported to the southern, flint poor regions of Northern France (Lorraine). Mesolithic hunter- gatherers were used to make their tools from all kinds of flint and chert that could originate from the whole territory and elsewhere (by  trade and by gifts in social relation structures).

Quelques petits outils, trouvés dans la région de Maastricht, sont trop petits pour tenir dans un mode de vie sédentaire, à moins que ces outils sont faits dans le but de mener à bien une tâche qui désire outils avec de si petites dimensions. Les chasseurs-cueilleurs mésolithiques régionales aurait pratiqué les techniques agricoles, que nous appelons Rubanées /Omaliens, ce qui indiquerait la culture s'est répandue depuis le sud-est de l'Europe et donc ce n'était pas une migration de personnes qui ont eu lieu (Deeben, & Van Gijn, 2005).  
La différenciation des activités au bord de la chasse-cueillette, par la collection, l'adaptation et la préparation de grandes quantités de silex, pourrait suggère un plus long séjour dans la région des  mines de silex, de sorte que ce sont les premiers pas dans un processus Néolithique (?). L'acculturation sédentaire de ce que nous appelons 'l' influence néolithique', devient plus visible dans la production de nourriture que dans la collection de silex et les activités de transformation de l'outil.

Des petits noyaux de silexprovenant de la région Rhin-Meuse, ont été transportés vers les régions du sud, les régions  pauvres en silex du Nord de la France (Lorraine) ... Chasseurs-cueilleurs mésolithiques ont été utilisés pour rendre leurs outils de toutes sortes de silex et de chaille qui pourraient provenir de l'ensemble du territoire et d'ailleurs (par le commerce et par des dons dans les structures de relations sociales).


Small flint core from the Thionville region in Northern France, originating  from the Rhine -Meuse region. Image J.Y. Ringenbach
Petit nucléus de silex de la région de Thionville dans le nord de la France, originaire de la région Rhin-Meuse. Image J.Y. Ringenbach

 Scrapers from the Geer region in Belgium . Image J.J. Paquay
Grattoirs de la région de Geer en Belgique. Image J.J. Paquay 
Blades from Northern France, with the typical grey flint originating from the Hesbaye flint ( from Bassenge ?) and at the second row extreme left a type of "Belgian grey flint".Image by J.Y. Ringenbach
Lames de Nord de la France, avec le silex typique gris silex provenant de la Hesbaye (à partir de Bassenge?) Et à la deuxième rangée, extrême gauche, le type de silex de «belge -gris silex». Image par J. Y. Ringenbach
The difference in size of the used tools is very well visible. Large amounts of debitage material  were used by semi nomadic people in North France during the Late Mesolithic. Image by J.Y. Ringenbach
La différence de taille des outils utilisés est très bien visible. De grandes quantités de matériel de débitage ont été utilisés par les semi-nomades du Nord France au cours du Mésolithique; Image par J. Y. Ringenbach
 A small backed knife from the Belgian Hesbaye region, probably at the end of the chaine opératoire, discarded and used frequently. The original tool was probably more large.(coll. ARBAN)
Un petit couteau "lame a dos" soutenu de la Hesbaye belge, probablement à la fin de la chaîne opératoire, jetés et souvent utilisée. L'outil original était probablement plus grande.(coll. ARBAN)

The find locations.
The problem is, pure Neolithic hunting camps are not known in our region, though they do exist in the Middle East ( Pre-Pottery Neolithic B at Nahal Hava ,  Nigel Goring-Morris). In The Netherlands,  Late -Mesolithic hunting camps are reported (Kooijmans, 2001) and like in South- Limburg, mixed locattions from Neolithic and Mesolithic occur (e.g. Urk E4 Peeters, 2001). Mixed sites with both Neolithic and Mesolithic finds in South Limburg  (Neercanne, Rijckholt,) and in the region of the Geer (Bassenge, Visé Lanaye, Eben-Emael)  have been noticed by the author, though sometimes a difference in site use can be noticed: a separation of concentrations of smaller tools could be noticed at Neercanne (NL), Visé- Lanaye (B) and at Anixhe (B). The distance between well defined Neolithic artefacts and the smaller tools is remarkable.At the location  of Lanaye-Visé Caster, a homogeneous assemblage of mainly small bladelets, - often from non-local translucent flint- has been noticed,  together with Neolithic tool production.
Even when artefacts, found at the surface, are deplaced by plowing the field, they are within ca 10 m of their original context ( see e.g. Collins & Bras, 2004; Roper 1976; Sipola 2009; ), so they give us an indication about the prehistoric activity at a certain location.  During the Neolithic, tool production took place in the  settlements, or in case of flint mine locations, near the flint mines and not at the locations of  near springs  of the brooks( like the Geer brook in Belgium, and for Rijckholt: probably a small water-flow from the more large plateau - pool).
The interesting thing in surface- collection is, the terrain could give us some additional  information in combination with surface finds.  Depressions  with considerable dimensions are still visible in the fields and some, especially in the region south of Maastricht, are still water containing. Some older 'gully' type features sometimes are still visible in the landscape,( but always influenced by sloping effects, so filled with colluviual layers),  indicating former incisions by rainfall and possible prehistoric, dissapeared water -sources, forming former attributes to wide valleys that slope towards the current brooks ( e.g. Banholt , direction Libeek, direction Savelsbos, direction Meuse river).
At several  find locations such visible depressions play a role and are exactly the locations where small tools were detected (reported from Lorraine as well as from the Geer region in the Belgian Hesbaye). The coincidence is too big to suggest only at such eroding placing the Mesolithic would present itself at the surface, as at most sloping fields there is no sign of the Mesolithic at all.

Small tools in the "Collection of Eloy", Wallonie

In 2010 an overview of  the LBK - part of the collection of Louis Éloy  was presented in a  book
( Hauzeur, Jadin, and Jungels, 2010).  At Vaux -et -Borset (Belgium),several  quite small tools or flint implements have been found in 1960, visible in a picture at page 200 ( fig. 177). In the catalog however, small tools hardly get any attention. Smallest point is a symmetric point on a blade with dimensions 21 mm x 18mm  x 4 mm (Coll EL- 9403). Two small bladelets are presented, of which one is possible from the Mesolithic, but this determination is based on the raw material of the bladelet : Wommersom quartzite . The dimensions : 68 mm x 11mm x 5 mm (Coll. EL -13456). A very interesting bladelet is the raw bladelet  with dimensions  80 mm x 6 mm x 5 mm , made in a grained flint. This really looks like the small tools, found in the region. The authors of the book placed it in the LBK period (?) I assume because of lack of evidence for a Mesolithic origin.

Petits outils de la «Collection de Eloy", Wallonie

 En 2010, un aperçu de la  partie de la collection de Louis Éloy  ( partie Omalienne) a été présenté dans un livre (Hauzeur, Jadin et Jungels, 2010). À Vaux-et-Borset, petits outils ont été retrouvés en 1960, présenté  dans une image à la page 200 (fig. 177)Dans le catalogue du livre cependant, les petits outils n'ont guère attirez l'attention.  

La plus petite pointe dans le catalogue est une pointe symétrique sur une lame de dimensions 21 mm x 18 mm x 4 mm (Coll EL-9403).  Deux petites lamelles sont présentés, dont l'un est possible  du Mésolithique, mais cette décision est fondée sur la matière première de l'lamellaire: quartzite de  Wommersom. Les dimensions: 68 mm x 11 mm x 5 mm (Coll. EL -13 456). Une lamelle très intéressante est la première lamelle avec des dimensions de 80 mm x 6 mm x 5 mm,  fabriquée en un silex grenu. Ce ressemble vraiment les petits outils, trouvés dans la région, par láuteur et Mr. Paquay. Les auteurs dulivre  l'ont placé dans la période Omalien /= Rubané (?) Je suppose c'est en raison du manque de preuves d'une origine mésolithique.

Conclusion
The characteristics of  find spots, where numerous small tools were found,  possibly could be used to determine Mesolithic activity in the region, even contemporaneous with the LBK and the MK (Michelsberg Culture). There seems to be a correlation between the finds of small artifacts and features in the field, like edges of depression of a certain minimal dimension ( cross cut ca 10 m and more ?) in the region, at least at four different locations this was observed, as small tools were found at such locations.

Les endroits des trouvailles
Le problème c'est, les camps de chasse néolithiques pures ne sont pas connus dans notre région, même si elles existent au Moyen-Orient (pré-néolithique B à Nahal Hava, excavé  par Nigel Goring-Morris). Aux Pays-Bas,  camps de chasse du Mésolithique final ont été signalés (e.g. Kooijmans, 2001) et, comme dans le sud du Limbourg, ldes sites mixtes du Mésolithique et Néolithique existent (par exemple, 'Urk- E4; Peeters, 2001). Les sites mixtes Mésolithiques/ Néolithiques on trouve ainsi pour le Limbourg Sud (Maastricht- Neercanne, St. Geertruid -Rijckholt,) et pour la région du Geer ( comm. Bassenge, comm. Lanaye Visé -Caster, Eben-Emael- Lava) qui ont été remarqués par l'auteur, bien que parfois une différence dans l'utilisation du site peuvent être notifié: une séparation des concentrations plus étroites ou outils pourraient être remarqué à Neercanne (NL), Vise-Lanaye (B) et à Anixhe (B).La distence entre les trouvailles des art;efacts plus petits et bien Néolithiques est remarquable.Même lorsque des objets trouvés à la surface sont déplacés en labourant le terrain, ils sont à ca 10 m de leur contexte d'origine fiduciaire (voir par exemple Collins & Bras, 2004; Roper 1976; Sipola 2009 ;), donc ils nous donnent une indication sur les activités préhistoriques à un endroit dans l'emplacement ( locus, sub-locus) Au Néolithique, la  production des outils  a eu lieu dans les 'villages', ou en cas de sites miniers en silex, à proximité des mines de silex.
Ce qui est intéressant dans la collection d artefacts de surface c' est le terrain qui pourrait nous donner quelques informations en combinaison avec ce que l'on trouve. Les dépressions  d'une taille considérable sont encore visibles et certains, en particulier dans la region au sud et sud- ouest de Maastricht,  encore contient de l'eau. Quelques vieux  "gully 's " (un type caractéristique «ravin», creusé dans la terre par l'influence de l'eau)  parfois sont encore visibles dans le paysage, (mais toujours influencé par des effets de démolitions, tellement rempli de couches colluviual), indiquant d' incisions anciens par les précipitations et possible , les sources d'eau préhistoriques disparues.Tels endroits de dépressions différents, encore visibles, peut jouer un rôle pour l'interpretation des objets trouvés.   La coïncidence est trop grand pour suggérer que l' érosion  demontre le Mésolithique à la surface ici, comme dans la plupart  des champs ( avec érosion)   il n'y a aucun signe du Mésolithique.
 
Conclusion:
 

Les caractéristiques des lieux où de nombreux petits outils ont été trouvés, pourraient éventuellement être utilisés pour déterminer l'activité du Mésolithique dans la région, avec une attention particulière aux caractéristiques dans le terrain, telles que des coupes en forme de cuvette ( depressions).
Il semble d'exister une corrélation entre les trouvailles  des petits outils et les dépressions en forme de cuvette

The Rijckholt Flint mine area in a rough drawing, with actual visible depressions, which were possibly water containing during the pre- Neolithic period, assuming large Neolithic activities and land- use  caused accelerated water runoff and changing watertables.  In red are marked  the  find spots of 'small tools' that do not really fit in the Nesolithic period of the flint mining activities (Michelsberg Culture, ca 4000 BC- 2700 BC),  at the same time these have been found  at the border (former shores?) of possible small swallow lakes in Dutch: "vennen"(?) which could have been remains of the late Glacial melting of permafrost in the higher parts of the South Limburg plateau

La zone mine de silex Rijckholt (esquisse), avec de  dépressions encore visibles, éventuellement dánciens plans d'eau  pendantde la période pré-néolithique. En rouge des endroits avec des trouvailles de petits outils ( trouvés  été 2003)  qui ne rentrent pas dans la période Nesolithic des activités minières de silex de la  Culture Michelsberg , ca 4000 BC-2700 BC - au bord des petits 'lacs' , en néerlandais "vennen"?

 Typical smaller blades from the Neolithic  produced near St. Geertruid (Rijckholt flint) semi -product (Arban coll.)
Petites lames typiques du Néolithique produit près de Saint-Geertruid (Rijckholt silex) - demi fabrication (coll. Arban)



A mesolithic core from the South Limburg plateau (NL)
Nucléus mésolithique du Plateua de Limbourg Sud, Pays -Bas

(1) See e.g. Portable Antiquities Scheme images of small Neolithic cores


The following text is only available in English

Intermezzo: Notes on small flint tools and tools on debris

- after surface finds from a tool production site (VRBC) near Rijckholt, NL -

Flint group of small elements: debris, processed debris, truncated blades and flakelets.
The flint group is formed by small flint objects, which can be separated into groups of debitage waste, truncated blades (parts and waste) and small flakelets.
At first there is the debris that is clearly not suitable for further processing: these objects are either too small, too irregular in shape ('crumbled'), too curved, bowed or they have edges which are angular and thick.
Secondly, there is the debris of regular blades and bladelets, which is often suitable for further adaptation by further edge retouch, except for thick proximal parts with expressive bulbs, which all seem to be rejected, and truncated blade parts which are too irregular in shape, sometimes also with flared ribs and edges which are rounded or too thick for further adaptation.
Thirdly, there is a large group of debris, that has accidentally a certain shape, which is, even by minimum effort, suitable for further adaptation in a preconceived idea about a functional tool, e.g. triangular oblong pointed shapes that are easily transformed into borers or drills by adaptation of one or more sides of the point, shapes that are oblong triangle in cross section, forming preforms for backed knives, shapes with a coincidentally formed straight tapered side, (which also could be the distal part of the flake/ blade) that can easily be transformed in small scrapers or knives.
Other examples include coincidentally formed extended, rounded parts that can be transformed into useful awls by edge retouch, , depending on thickness of the edge (for steep retouch).
Than, there is a group of debitage debris, consisting of very small flakes, that do not show any signs of further adaptation, which must be considered debitage waste of the production of large tools , such as ax heads, mining picks, large scrapers, or as a byproduct of tool core preparation.
Some of the debris shows natural curved sides, that are always angular in a cross section view.

Retouch at edges.
In the varieties of edge retouch there is a range between micro retouch at the fine  edge and denticulated edges at coarse edges. Retouch, caused by the preparation of blade cores and platforms also is present. This tool production retouch at edges appears as unidirectional 'rough' striking of an edge, often very local, leaving small dashes at the striking side of the edge, often with irregularity in distance between the individual, separate blows at the edge, most of the time without overlap.
All sorts of retouch have been established, like plate retouch, inverse plate retouch, a steep retouch changing at the edge in a plate retouch, altering retouch (often depending on the properties of the edge, provoking a spread of force at a single edge) bifacial retouch (at more thick, tapered edges).
Retouch that must be considered as 'use -wear retouch' also appears frequently. In such cases, the edge might be very damaged, leaving 'large' curved gaps, often only very small part of the original edge with intentional made retouch is visible, sometimes this is completely absent.
The presence of an intentional, expressive retouch is also highly dependent on the type of used flint, as the light gray, more granular flint seems to be hardly secondary retouched where use wear retouch on the other hand is very common at parts of the edges in this flint type group.
This also counts for the laminar elements of the light gray flint type.
Notches occur as natural features at edges, where any regular retouch is absent, while at the same time some edge damaging is often visible, but whether this has been caused by use is not clear. Notches with steep retouch occur frequently at suitable edges, several flakelets and bladelets are notched , where sometimes a single, intentional made notch seems to have been the purpose of the tool; so this is all besides of the truncated blade technique.
In the truncated blade technique, small blade fragments occur in variable sizes, often with one retouched edge: in the case of a different (unequal) surface ratio on both sides of the rib, the largest part has been used as the handle (or had been shafted) while the other part has been used as a working edge.

This aspect in surface ratio, we even also find at curved flakes, where uneveness of the surface has been used as an advantage, forming a natural edge between the handle and the working part of the surface.


Choix de  ( Choice of) References


Deeben, J. & Van Gijn, A ( 2005) Jagers en verzamelaars : synthese; in L.P.L. Kooijmans et al. ;Nederland in de prehistorie 2005 uitg Bert Bakker Amsterdam
Collins, D.B.G.,  Bras, R.L., (2004) Modeling the effects of vegetation-erosion

coupling on landscape evolution: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 109, no.

F03004, p. 1-11.
Dunnel, R., and Simek, J.F., (1995) Artifact Size and Plowzone Processes: Journal of
Field Archaeology, v. 22, no. 3, p. 305-319.
Hauzeur, A., Jadin, I. et Jungels, C. ( 2010) « 5000 ans avant Jésus-Christ, la grande migration ? », collections du Patrimoine Culturel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles


Kooijmans, L.P.L. (ed) (2001) Hardinxveld-Giessendam, Polderweg. Een jachtkamp uit het Laat-Mesolithicum, 5500-5000 v. Chr., Amersfoort (Rapportage Archeologische Monumentenzorg 83).
Peters, F.J.C & J.H.M. Peeters (eds) (2001) De opgraving van de mesolithische en neolithische vindplaats Urk-E4 (Domineesweg, gemeente Urk), Amersfoort (Rapportage Archeologische Monumentenzorg 93).
Roper, D., (19760 Lateral Displacement of Artifacts Due to Plowing: American
Anthropology, v. 41, p. 372-375.
Sipola, M.E. ( 2009) Geomorphologic and anthropogenic impacts on artifact distribution
within the plowzone in the Podere Funghi, Tuscany, Italy PDF 

Van Gils M. & De Bie M ; 2002   Steentijd in de Kempen Prospectie, kartering en waardering van het laat-paleolithisch  en mesolithisch erfgoed PDF ; CAI - II: Thematisch inventarisatie- en evaluatieonderzoek VIOE - Rapporten 02
 Vermeersch, P.M. 1980: Problèmes du néolithique moyen en Belgique, Actes Congrès Comines 8, 28-31.

 Small tools from the region of Mheer (NL)



 

The region around Banholt was obviously not only a popular region with  the people of  the Linear Bandkermik (LBK), that lived in the triangle of Sittard, Elsloo and Geleen ("Graetheide"), but also with  people with a nomadic lifestyle.
The Mesolithic is in the region known at locations of Termaar - Endepoel ,and  near Bruisterbosch ( see at this blog: Mesolithic finds near Bruisterbosch (NL) , and it looks like the primary reason was the availability of relative good quality eluvium- flint.

It was august 2012, not far from the dutch village of Mheer, (Mheer in Google maps), see image above for location,  at a plowed field, a small amount of micro- tools was found in a flint scatter , ( with some microliths), not far from a rather steep depression near the field, which was the main reason to search there.
Most of the  micro- tools are non -geometric microliths, (microliths s.l.), only a few are made in a bladelet -( micro-burin) technique. This is what could be described as  a 'flake based micro-tool industry' , also noticed at St. Geertruid- Rijckholt .
This makes raises the question, if several of the retouched pieces are not made on debris, that has been accumulated by the fabrication of other ( small) tools. Some cores, found at the place seem to confirm this. In that case, the 'nice' artifacts were taken away, while the useful debitage waste was used at the location, so nothing was really spoiled. It turns out by this,  that these people handled  the 'rare' flint very careful. 

Artifacts from the field,  small blades, bladelets and flakelets all artifacts  are carefully retouched. The black flint type is the regular ( early Neolithic "surface"mined ) eluvium flint of Banholt, but the grey type is  originally from the same mine location . Tool types are variable, like  backed knives, small scrapers and drills.



An example of a retouched edge, which is glossy,  most likely this was used for cutting plant materials

Not only small tools were found at this field. Some average sized, partially retouched tools ( 4-7 cm  in length) were found,  probably from the broad period of the Late-Upper- Palaeolithic  - Middle -Mesolithic, based on the deviant patina and because they were only found among the pebbles of gravels, that have been plowed up recently.


Short description of the tools
Most micro -tools were made on  small prepared platforms, in a laminar technique. However, several retouched micro -flakes show curved ribs and curved, hollow shaped flakes, where the very fine retouch has been placed carefully at the edge of the distal end. This type of conchoidal flake ( which looks a little bit extreme bowed, could easily be held  between thumb and forefinger. Another type of micro flake is the "orange segment type " - micro -flake, with a more straight section,  with a bowed natural back. This flake measures almost 2,0 cm  and is only  0,8 cm wide. The straight edge has been retouched, till the distal end, that is pointed to be used as a borer. Such 'orange segment type ' flakes usually in an appearence with more triangle sections and in a more large version, are normally attributed to the LBK.
Small drills/ borers occur. Often only at one side of the drill head has been retouched, inverse.
An alternate retouch has gently been placed at the edges of  the single find of a  micro -bladelet ( which measures 0, 5 mm wide, 1,2 cm long)  and could be regarded as a small scraper. This type of retouch is common in palaeolithic and epi-palaeolithic traditions ( Natufian, see e.g. Betts 1982), i.c. this retouch type would prevent the small bladelet for damage during tool use. The retouch sometimes has been placed on a curved edge, demonstrating the use of non perfect flakes, most likely debris.

The field
Elevation lines on the topographical map of the region can help to find former affluents and possible springs. The drain system of an affluent sometimes is partially visible in the field. In this case of the field near Mheer, a more large incision is visible, such drains often were fed by a number of springs at the plateaus edge , and the small brook often ended in a pool or bowlshaped  marshland, to continue to flow down.Smaller attributes sometimes are visible and regarding the find location in the image below ( marked with the pink elongated circle) the original find location ( red circle) was located at a bump near a spring.



Comparison with other finds from this region
 The microliths, found before at St. Martensvoeren ( Fouron -St. -Martin) in Belgium are in the same dimensions but quite different, ( geometric) and of a different flint type ( light, yellow and brown, likely from Rullen, Belgium). Small tools found near Rijckholt have the same appearance.
It is not possible yet to say anything about a relation between the small flake industry, coming from the various locations.

Prehistoric people would have  changed their lithic -sample strategy from surface collecting pebbles at the riverbanks in the valleys during the  early  - middle Palaeolithic  till finally the underground mining of high quality flint from the desired horizons during the Neolithic.

  The collected items are mostly of bad quality ( in shape, but also in approximation of tool -finishing) and would probably reflect a part of the original flint tools on the field as the more nice looking items are collected by others. Notwithstanding the fact the items do not represent a true assemblage, the artifacts in itself raise much questions. 
One of the theories is, the small ad- hoc made tools are of a first economy , tool supply for the time that is necessary during the stay at the location for tool fabrication. Only the best tools were taken away for use elsewhere, used in a 'second economy' in flint poor regions..This would explain the low investment in these tools. 
Some questions that remain are: 
- What are the determinants ( size, thickness, etc) for a small flake / debris  to be re- used as a tool?
- Is this type of tool unique at tool fabrication locations or do we find them elsewhere so did they have a higher value? 
- Is there a parallel with the pebble tool production at convenient pebble clasts, that is: is the abundance of raw material responsible for the low investment in the material at the location ?



                


References / internet

Buurman, P.; Jongmans, A.G.; Broekhuizen, J.; Miedema, R. ( 1985) Genesis of the flint eluvium and related beds in South Limburg, The Netherlands    Geologie en Mijnbouw 64 (1985). - ISSN 0016-7746 - p. 89 - 102. Laboratorium voor Bodemkunde en geologie Laboratory of Soil
Betts A  1982  A Natufian site in the Black Desert, Eastern Jordan  Paléorient  lien  Vol.   8   Issue   8-2  pp. 79-82
Geier  Clarence R. (1974),  Notes on a lithic  micro-tool  industry from the plains periphery  
Plains Anthropologist Vol. 19, No. 66, Part 1 pp. 272-286 Plains Anthropological Society



 

 








No comments:

Post a Comment