Reworked MTA “Biface-Support”

This is a relatively large (15cm) MTA-biface from Corbiac near Bergerac in the Dordogne. The point is broken and one side was reworked from a bifacial trimmed edge to a side-scraper with semi-abrupt retouches. There is also a small cortical area with prehensile qualities.

A dynamic view of Middle Paleolithic bifaces shows, that these artifacts can be used a bifacial tools, cores, but may also become the support for other tools.

Reworked MTA bifaces show different functional areas on different edges of the same piece, for example areas with prehensile qualities and areas that that serve as scrapers, notches or sharp cutting edges (Turq 2001). Similar features can also be found within the earlier  “Moustérien à pièces bifaciales dominantes” http://www.aggsbach.de/2010/08/the-mousterien-a-pieces-bifaciales-dominantes/

As with the Levallois method, there seems to be a breakdown of the distinctions between façonnage and debitage, with tools once produced from debitage now being produced as part of façonnage. As a result, technology becomes more flexible.

It was demonstrated that there exists a positive correlation between the use of bifaces as tool supports and the size of bifaces. Larger bifaces were more likely to be treated in this manner and they were also more likely to be recycled if they were broken. It can be suggested, that for these tools there was some consideration of the potential for long-use lives that affected the amount of investment.

Suggested reading:

http://www2.ulg.ac.be/prehist/PUBLICATIONS/PDF/E98%20turq.pdf

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