Lithic technology and social agency in late Neolithic northern Italy. Knapping flint at Rocca di Rivoli (Verona, Italy)


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Dalla Riva, Martina (2017). Lithic technology and social agency in late Neolithic northern Italy. Knapping flint at Rocca di Rivoli (Verona, Italy). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The thesis explores the relationship between late Neolithic knappers and flint resources at the settlement of Rocca di Rivoli (Verona, Italy), a key site for the understanding of the late Neolithic in northern Italy.

Approximately 8000 flint artefacts were recorded by means of an attribute-based relational database and subsequently analysed. The use of the \(chaîne\) \(opératoire\) method, combined with a social agency approach, provided a useful framework within which to discuss topics such as tradition, style and specialization in the context of the late Neolithic of northern Italy.

The intrinsic nature of the site, characterized by secondary deposition in pits, challenged the potential retrieval of data and subsequent interpretation and resulted in the identification of fragmented \(chaînes\) \(opératoires\). In addition, the poor conservation of the finds and bias in accessibility procedures to the collection limited the choice of analytical methods available. Nonetheless, significant results were obtained.

At Rocca di Rivoli there were clear preferences in terms of raw material: flint coming from the Maiolica outcrops was by far the preferred variety to be working with. It is suggested that raw material procurement possibly took place in different ways, but that a more precise identification in terms of its organization is not possible at this stage.

The 16 \(chaînes\) \(opératoires\) identified at Rocca di Rivoli represent basic frameworks allowing for endless variations and additions taking place during the unfolding of flint knapping activity. It is argued throughout the present work that knapping was undertaken by both expert and non-expert knappers, including apprentices. Some aspects characterising the practice of flint knapping changed throughout occupation of the sire, possibly pointing at changes in social dynamics affecting the community of Rocca di Rivoli.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography


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