This paper presents experimentally obtained examples of microlithic tools hafted as tips and as side elements of projectile weapons exhibiting similar types of macro-damage diagnostic of impact. Considering the wide range of designs represented by archaeological finds of projectiles fitted with microliths these examples emphasize the importance of a comprehensive approach to interpreting variability in microlithic assemblages with regard to the function of these projectile tools.
The paper focuses on the current state of research and knowledge about ‘Balkan flint’ (hereinafter BF) and trajectories flowing from the BF problem to the bigger and increasingly complex problem of the Neolithization of the eastern Balkans. The emergence and consolidation of the BF problem within the research agenda of specialists working on Balkan prehistory is briefly traced, as well as the confusing and inconsistently repetitive use of the term BF leading to some ‘mythologisation’ of the topic.
A particular section of the paper represents the thoughts of the author on the conceptual meaning of BF in the context of the Balkan Neolithization debate, because until now its role has not been fully appreciated and recognized. Several theories and scenarios of the emergence and spread of the Neolithic in present-day Bulgaria are reviewed through the evidence of the particular Early Neolithic flint toolkits consisting in representative (retouched) blades made from BF and attributed to the diagnostic features of the Early Neolithic package/culture.
The petrological identification of raw materials and their provenance has been carried out at only a small number of the Neolithic and Eneolithic sites in Serbia until the last three decades. Owing to the progress in the field of petroarchaeological investigation and the absence of uniformity in published works in recent years, the need for systematization appeared. The paper presents the history of research and a proposal for systematization the petroarchaeological database for Serbia.
Object of analysis in this paper is a socketed axe (‘celt’) which is a stray find from the region of the village Knizhovnik, south of Haskovo. As reported by D. Aladzhov there is an Early Iron Age settlement in this area.
The artefact belongs to type Varbitsa T1A after the typology of Lower Danubian socketed axes offered by V. Dergachev. This type is common for the central parts of Northern Bulgaria, west of the Yantra River. That kind of ‘celt’ is predominantly found in hoards of the HaA-HaB period. The stray find from the region of Haskovo is among the smallest tools of this type and probably dates to the X-IX century BC or the first phase of the Early Iron Age in Bulgaria. It is important to take into consideration that it is the only representative of type Varbitsa T1A south of the Balkan mountains. However, the moulds for production of this type of socketed axes are from South Bulgaria.
The chemical composition of the ‘celt’ (As, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, P, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, and Zn) has been determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). The artefact is made of tin bronze with 93,15 % copper and 3,3 % tin. Such concentration of tin is common for archaeological bronze finds, it lowers the melting point of the alloy and improves its malleability, hardness and tensile strength. The quantity of antimony is 1,6 % which is an evidence that the element was deliberately added to increase the hardness of the metal. The concentrations of trace elements such as zinc, nickel, lead, iron, arsenic, phosphorus, manganese and selenium are so low that it could not be suggested that they have been intentionally included in the alloy.
In general, ‘celts’ are usually made of tin bronze in bivalve stone moulds. A socketed axe from Northeast Bulgaria was examined by the methods of metallography. The revealed production technique is casting which was followed by a cycle or cycles of cold hammering and annealing with annealing as final operation.