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Title: Distribution patterns of imported lithic tools in early Neolithic Skorba
Authors: Vella, Clive
Keywords: Skorba Temples (Mgarr, Malta)
Malta -- Antiquities
Stone implements -- Malta -- Mgarr
Neolithic period -- Malta
Tools, Prehistoric -- Malta
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Heritage Malta
Citation: Taʼ Haġrat and Skorba : ancient monuments in a modern world / edited by Maria Elena Zammit and Joanne Mallia. Malta: Heritage Malta, 2008. p. 75-86. 9789993257158
Abstract: The importance of lithic tools for archaeological studies lies in the recognition of these small objects as artefacts, that is, objects manufactured by humans as opposed to objects shaped by nature (Schofield 1995: 3). The basics of lithic tool production imply a high-level grasp of planning and preparation which is influenced by several factors, including complex ones such as the strati!cation of society. Therefore it is not surprising that lithic tools are thought to have been a key element in the evolution of human intelligence. Nowadays, these implements help archaeologists to understand human behavior through the systematic investigation of their attributes and location within an archaeological site. Lithic tools have been studied by archaeologists for several decades and recent analyses have included studies which range from the micro to the macro scale. As is typical in archaeological studies, these follow a long tradition of technological/typological studies but do not attempt to answer a fundamental question: Why? Yet, in lithic tool analysis, methodologies which address this do exist, and include models such as the châine opératoire (Schofield 1995: 3). In this model, lithic tools are not analysed in view of their ultimate function, but as assemblages that are a product of human decisions and actions (Phillips 2003: 8). According to Phillips (2003: 8) the châine opératoire is used to understand and explain the life histories of artefacts, and consequently, of living floors. This article is an attempt to understand the significance of imported lithic tools in Early Neolithic contexts at Skorba, through the identification of the relationship between visible architectural spaces and the lithic tools found within.
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