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2016-06-16 03:10:05   •   ID: 1305

A “Biface-Support” from the Bergerac Region

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This is a relatively large (15cm) flat asymmetric Biface from Corbiac near Bergerac in the Dordogne. The bifacial concept was abandoned at the right edge, where a concave side-scraper was created by semi-abrupt retouches.There is also a small cortical area with prehensile qualities, contralateral to the scraper edge .

According to E. Boëda two types of bifacial pieces can be distinguished in the biface industries of the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. The first type, called “biface-tool” (biface-outil) is characterized by the façonnage technic to create a finished biface with several working edges (at least two). Within this concept all parts of the tool are synergistically associated with each other. Reworking does usually not alter the initial concept – the Biface remains a Biface.

The second type-called” biface as al tool blank” (biface support d’outil) presents a different design. Here the façonnage of a volume is done to create a bifacial artifact which can receive functional different working edges and can be resharpened several times. This is usually made possible by producing a volume with a hierarchical and asymmetric structure.

This dynamic view of bifaces shows, that these artifacts can be become the support for other tools. Such artifacts show different functional areas on different edges of the same piece, for example areas with prehensile qualities and areas that that serve as scrapers, notches or sharp cutting edges.

The “biface as a tool” -concept has extensively examined on the Acheulean material from Soucy 3P, Yonne. Over Europe, the “biface as a tool”-concept does not appear before MIS 9. (Elisa Nicoud).

As a result, technology becomes more flexible. It was demonstrated that there exists a positive correlation between the use of bifaces as tool supports and the size of bifaces. Larger bifaces were more likely to be treated in this manner and they were also more likely to be recycled if they were broken. It can be suggested, that for these tools there was some consideration of the potential for long-use lives that affected the amount of investment.

A change from façonnage to debitage techniques on flakes has recently demonstrated by M. Kot (2017) for the Ehringsdorf assemblage, see here: 1630