Svenja Arlt: The Use of Rock Crystal in Upper Palaeolithic Burgundy (France)


Date(s) - 29/06/2020
3:00 pm - 3:30 pm


The Use of Rock Crystal in Upper Palaeolithic Burgundy (France) by Svenja Arlt

Abstract: Rock crystal is often considered to be a secondary raw material because it does not fit within the morphological standardisation in lithic research. Its scarcity in the archaeological record has made it the focus of very little research. Despite such limited studies, the analysis of quartz and rock crystal industries provides opportunities to gain knowledge about the raw material diversity of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers and the various mining and knapping strategies required to obtain target products. In addition, rock crystal assemblages offer the potential to examine the cultural evolution of hominins, as the use of exotic raw materials is seen as an indicator of complex behaviour. This presentation aims to shed light on this understudied raw material by presenting rock crystal artefacts from six Upper Palaeolithic sites in Burgundy (France) within the broader context of the European record.