Project title: Exploitation and processing of chocolate flint during Paleolithic and Mesolithic in the North-Western part of its deposits based on non-invasive archeological and geophysical research and test-trenches
Project No: UMO-2015/17/N/HS3/01279
Project lead: mgr Katarzyna Marta Kerneder-Gubała
Project lead, institutional: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project financing:National Science Center, 2014-2016
phone (22) 620-28-81 do 86
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
1. Research project objectives/ Research hypothesis
Extraction and processing of raw materials in the Stone Age was one of the most important factor in the clustering of the human settlement around raw material deposits and also an attribute determining the nature of the occupations that focused on a specified function. Contemporary expression of these processes related to flint manufacturing are the sites that are remnants of the subsequent stages of production: flint mines, workshop, in which the raw material was processed and hunting camps as well as other features of residential character. Within the Polish territory, there are several excellent quality raw materials, that were eksploited during the Stone Age. One of them is chocolate flint, widely used especially during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic. It occurs in the northern margin of the Holy Cross Mountains. The present project concerns the extreme, the north-western part of its deposits, located in the southern part of Mazowieckie voivodship. The objective of the study is a detailed diagnosis of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic settlements focused on the exploitation and processing of flint in the limited by natural boundaries part of chocolate flint outcrops and attempt to reconstruct the diversity of the systems of prehistoric flint mining and processing in various time periods and within particular taxonomic units.
2. Research project methodology
According to the issue determined in the title, the studies shall be based on the results of non-invasive geophysical and archeological research and test-trenche surveys.
The geophysical surveys will be undertaken basing on the results of surface prospection, in order to verify and pinpoint places of exploitation and processing of raw materials.
These analyzes will focus on the verification of the data obtained during the surface survey, especially of mining fields. Coring with the use of geological drill will be carried out as well as small scale excavations, where the samples for absolute dating (AMS technique) and geomological analysis will be taken. Furthermore the archeo-biological analyzes shall be undertaken.
The data obtained will be correlated with the results of field works and cartographic and remote sensing data analysis. After every single fieldwork season a regular analysis of the flint artefacts (including the chronological, functional and spatial analysis) shall be carried out. In the final stage of the project, the map taking into account these data, together with an attempt to reconstruct settlement systems in the vicinity of flint outcrops in different periods of the Stone Age will be undertaken.
3. Expected impact of the research project on the development of science, civilization and society
The research will allow for a diagnosis and documentation of the area used in prehistory as a place of extraction (mine) and manufacturing (workshop) of the "chocolate flint", one of the most widely used raw material in the Stone Age on Polish territory. Based on the results, it should be possible to reconstruct the particular settlement system focused on the economy of raw materials use and apply the obtained model to other areas related to the extraction of flint mining in prehistory. It should be also possible to assess the relationship between the distance from the mining fields and the nature of the settlement as well as the impact of this factor on the intensity of the Stone Age occupation presence in this area in particular time periods.
The results of the above-mentioned studies shall be published in scientific journals and presented at prestigious national and international conferences. Synthetic elaboration of this research results shall form an important part of the PhD dissertation with a preliminary title: "Paleolithic and Mesolithic settlement in the north-western area of the chocolate flint outcrops"