VITA ANTIQUA, ISSN 2522-9419 (Online), 2519-4542 (Print)
Center for Paleoethnological Research
VITA ANTIQUA 10, 2018, Prehistoric Networks in Southern and Eastern Europe, 92-104
Changing techniques of flint knapping in Chalcolithic times as an indicator of changes in the economy
Institute of Archaeology of the NASU
It is known that at the end of the Neolithic and early Chalcolithic in population of some cultures in the southeast Europe starts using large flint blades instead of microblades, along with the usage of triangular bifacial arrowheads and spears instead of inserts as geometric microliths. The microlithic technology of Neo-Chalcolithic cultures is undergoing the final stage in the development of microlithic morphology. This was reflected in the unification of the types of microinventory, in the increase of the width of the blades, in the improvement of the technique of knapping and flat retouching. All this, gave impetus to the decline of microlithic technology.
In our view, the end of microlithic technology was associated not only with farming, but with a change in the entire economical system, where hunting is replaced by another type of economic activity. We consider this process on the example of a cultural community of Cucuteni-Trypillia. The change in the technological direction of the production of blades of the early and middle Trypillia was the consequence of a change in the entire system of farming – the development of agriculture, the decline of hunting and obviously an increase in the role of livestock. All these processes were interconnected. The change in managing the economy began to manifest itself at the end of the early Trypillia (stage A/III-Precucuteni III). And although the production of microliths required smaller proportions of semi-finished products, but the width of the blade-blanks began to increase. At the next stage (BI), due to various reasons (mainly due to the tension in the environment not only of Cucuteni-Trypillia communities, but also among the Balkan cultures in general), the process of transition from one technique to another accelerated and became barely noticeable (at least in the area of the Dniester River).
Key words: microlith, biface, Precucuteni, Cucuteni-Trypillia, flint knapping, Chalcolithic, Copper Age