Heat alterations of flint artefacts: archaeological evidence, experiments and analyses

Authors

  • Мaria Gurova Prehistory Department, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia
  • Polina Andreeva Department of Paleontology, Stratigraphy and Sedimentology, Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., bl.24, 1113 Sofia
  • Aleksandar Nikolov Institute of Mineralogy and Crystallography, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., bl.107, 1113 Sofia
  • Borislav Barbov Institute of Mineralogy and Crystallography, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., bl.107, 1113 Sofia
  • Maria Kostadinova-Avramova National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, bl. 3 Acad. G. Bonchev Str., 1113 Sofia

Keywords:

Flint artefacts, thermal shock, experiments, heat treatment, petrography, XRD, FTIR

Abstract

Heat treatment of flint and other knappable materials has been recognized among prehistoric archaeological lithics, leading to a wide range of experiments and archaeometric analyses. The aim of these analyses was to shed light on the mechanical and chemical changes that occur in lithics (flints) subjected to heat treatment, some of which remain poorly understood.
This paper does not focus on intentional heat treatment of lithics in its technological aspect – for enhancing the debitage/flaking properties of the raw material. Our scientific goal was to record and document the various changes that occurred in different flint artefacts subjected to heat and to apply the observations to several well-illustrated case-studies of artefacts from archaeological contexts with recognizable stigmata of heat treatment. To achieve a better understanding of the factors and processes that produce alterations we used a range of analytical techniques: micropetrography, microstructural analysis [(powder X-Ray diffraction (XRD)] and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with interesting results.

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Published

2020-06-07

How to Cite

GurovaМ., Andreeva, P., Nikolov, A., Barbov, B. and Kostadinova-Avramova, M. (2020) “Heat alterations of flint artefacts: archaeological evidence, experiments and analyses”, Bulgarian e-Journal of Archaeology | Българско е-Списание за Археология, 10(1), pp. 111-141. Available at: https://be-ja.org/index.php/journal/article/view/be-ja-10-1-2020-111-141 (Accessed: 27October2020).

Issue

Section

Archaeometry