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GEOLOGICAL RAW MATERIALS FROM A MESOLITHIC ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE IN NW PORTUGAL
Pedro Xavier * 1 , Carlos Alves 2, 3 , José Meireles 1, 4
1  Lab2PT - Laboratório de Paisagens, Património e Território.
2  LandS/Lab2PT - Laboratório de Paisagens, Património e Território
3  Dept. Ciências da Terra/Escola de Ciências, Univ. do Minho, Braga, Portugal
4  Unidade de Arqueologia, Universidade do Minho.

10.3390/IECG2019-06191
Abstract:

Geological raw materials have been (are and will be) an important resource in the development of human culture. They are a major (sometimes the only) source of information on the habits of humanity earliest periods (Paleolithic and Mesolithic).

The present work concerns the study of geological raw materials obtained from an excavation site located in Serra da Cabreira (NW Portugal). This archaeological site is a shelter established under big granite boulders (resulting from geological processes - weathering and erosion). The majority of the artefacts exhumed from this archaeological site are made in different quartz varieties (with minor flint occurrences of flint). The dominant quartz varieties are grey quartz and milky quartz, which are similar to diverse occurrences of quartz veins found in the immediate neighborhood of the shelter.

Nonetheless, there are diverse other quartz varieties (rose, smoky and hyaline), indicating the possibility of more specific locations that are farther away from the shelter, which could give indications of potential sources. Therefore, it is of major importance the study of the possible relations between quartz varieties and the techno-typology of archaeological artefacts.

In this sense, the study of geological raw materials can be seen as an important source of archaeological information, illustrating the evolution of past relationships between humans and geological resources, which might also become relevant information for the present and for the future, considering namely the extremely low environmental impact of the processing of raw materials.

Keywords: lithic materials; quartz varieties; sustainability.
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