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2017-08-19 14:27:59   •   ID: 1634

A Bifacial Quina Scraper (Core) from Saint- Maixent (Charente)

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
This is a handaxe like artifact (Figure 1 and 2) from a homogenous assemblage (Figure 3) of Quina Mousterian tools from Saint- Maixent - l‘ École (Charente).

The site is completely unknown in the literature. The stone tools, survived per chance after construction work in the Collection of a local school teacher.

This man was somewhat disappointed by the disinterested authorities - but this is another story of how such "stones" found only minimal attention in Postwar-France during the 1950ies.

My small collection from Saint- Maixent is encompassing all Types of the Charentian, and comparable to the inventories of other, better known Quina sites in the Charente Region (Pradelles, Quina, and many other sites; Figure 3). Bifacial tools (usually scrapers) are always present in small quantities in these Ensembles.

Superficially, the tool shown here resembles a Biface / Handaxe. Anyhow, MTA bifaces from the last Glacial are much more flat. Despite their biconvex morphology the two type-classes can not be confused with each other.

The Quina-Biface is vaulted on both sides, creating an elongated, non hierarchized tool- like an extremely elongated discoid core.“ Handaxes” in Quina context usually show a crude,- "chopping tool like" and more globular shape compared with MTA specimens.

MTA-Bifaces on the other hand have a triangular, or more often, cordiform, flat aspect and two or even three finely retouched sides, that can be used as a cutting- or scraping edges.

Both classes of tools are characterized by their multifunctionality. They are durable, highly curated and often reshaped artifacts that were moved over the landscape by mobile hunters / gatherers during harsh environments (in France mainly during MIS4 and early MIS3).

On the other hand, their function differ - Quina scrapers were often used as cores, which was usually not the case in MTA-bifaces, except when they were transformed into tools (e.g.scrapers).

Suggested Reading:

Debénath, André. Néandertaliens et Cro-Magnons - les temps glaciaires dans le bassin de la Charente. This is an exhaustive Overview about the Paleolithic in the Charente. For cheap money and indisputable the best!

Search the Blog: see 1671 .

Provenance: P. Favre Collection