Flint assemblages in the context of cultural transition during the 6th millennium BC: a case study from Bulgaria
Keywords:Early Neolithic, Late Neolithic, Bulgaria, transformation, flint assemblages, regionality
This paper offers a general overview of the chipped stone assemblages from Bulgaria during the Neolithic period (6th millennium BC). Based on numerous flint assemblages belonging to different phases of the Neolithic (many of them studied by the author), some general observations on the key features and trends are presented in a diachronic perspective. Following a long phase characterized by distinctive formal toolkits and uniform raw material use that served as the hallmark of a major Early Neolithic cultural alliance represented by the Karanovo I and II cultures, a shift in all aspects of the flint industry occurred around 5500 cal BC. The Balkan flint raw material distribution network declined, and there appeared chipped stone industries based mainly on local resources and expedient production. Strong evidence of microlithization – represented both by cores and tools with small dimensions and by the presence of geometric microliths – is reflected clearly in the morpho-metric parameters and typological repertoire of the flint industry, and can be regarded as a diagnostic feature of the Late Neolithic assemblages.
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