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Reconstructing Harvesting Technologies through the Analysis of Sickle Blades: A Case-Study from Early-Middle Neolithic Sites in Northeastern Italy

Abstract : The study of the crop-harvesting technology of the first groups of farmers can notably contribute to the debate on the expansion of agriculture in the Central Mediterranean. The traceological analysis of so-called “sickle blades” represents a valuable proxy for studying the emergence of harvesting technologies during Early Neolithic and their geographic variability. Use-wear traces allow to reconstruct the way in which the tool was used, the type of worked materials, the type of motion and the hafting of the flint blades. In this paper, we present the result of the analysis of a sample of sickle blades from two Early Neolithic settlements in northeastern Italy: Sammardenchia and Piancada. Those sites are particularly interesting because of their location in an area that is a natural crossroad between southern and central Europe and between the eastern and the western Mediterranean. Comparing our results with data obtained from other Neolithic sites of the Italian Peninsula, two different types of sickles have been recognized: sickles with diagonally hafted blades in southern and central Italy and sickles with parallel hafting in the Padan-Alpine region. In our opinion, such a dichotomy might be the result of different paths of diffusion of the agricultural technologies.
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https://hal-univ-paris10.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01529056
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 11:34:31 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 3:39:33 PM

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Niccolo Mazzucco, Juan Francisco Gibaja Bao, Andrea Pessina, Juan José Ibañez. Reconstructing Harvesting Technologies through the Analysis of Sickle Blades: A Case-Study from Early-Middle Neolithic Sites in Northeastern Italy. Lithic Technology, 2016, 41 (1), pp.75-92. ⟨10.1080/01977261.2016.1149654⟩. ⟨hal-01529056⟩

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