2021-09-28 09:11:22 • ID: 2271
The Sophistication of the Simplicity
This is a thin elongated flake with facetted base (13x5x0,7 cm) from a surface scatter, consisting of a mix of MSA and Neolithic tools at Erg Rebiana (Rabiana, Rabyanah موزي ) in Lybia.
This vast area was intermittently visited during the Acheulian, MSA, and Epipaleolithic and through the Neolithic periods by our predecessors- see: 2010
The tool has a continuous semi abrupt simple inverse retouche on the ventral side with a flat bulb of percussion (Figure 1) and is made from high quality quartzite. The facetted base is shown in Figure 3.
Most probably the artifact comes from the Middle Holocene wet-phase and was produced by a soft hammer technique.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – The sentence is attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, but that is uncertain. Nevertheless, it brings an important observation to the point.
Indeed, this seemingly simple tool allows scraping, grain harvesting or smooth cutting movements without any difficulties and can be manufactured without much effort after the preparation of an adequate core. Moreover it does not need a handle and can be used without any hafting.
Simplicity is not simple but an achievement. The world around us was always highly complex. Thus, it was and still is characteristic for the ability of Homo sp. how to process complex things and made them simple.
Therefore, behind every simplicity there is a great complexity and sophistication- a deeper understanding of mental and technological, processes.
The simplification of things makes it easier to transfer knowledge of techniques and ideas from one generation to another, an ability that was essential for surviving in a changing world some 5 k.a. years ago, when the first signs of cooling and aridification of the Libyan Sahara became apparent to the people