Human-environment interactions at Mesolithic Icoana (The Iron Gates Gorges)

Monica Mărgărit, Adina Boroneant, Mariana Balint, Adrian Bălăşescu, C. Bonsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Located in southwestern Romania in the Iron Gates Gorges, the Mesolithic site at Icoana was submerged during construction of the Iron Gates I dam and hydro-power station. Vasile Boroneanț briefly investigated the site from 1967 until it was completely flooded, in 1969. Based on recent AMS14C dates, Icoana was occupied during the Middle Mesolithic (ca. 8500‒7600 cal BC) and again during the Final Mesolithic (“Mesolithic/Early Neolithic transition period” – ca. 6300–5900 cal BC). The faunal assemblage from the site has been re-analyzed and the results for the mammal bone assemblage are presented briefly, in close connection with the study of 484 bone, antler and Sus scrofa tooth artefacts. Products and byproducts of the châine opératoire were identified, suggesting in situ manufacture of the finished items. The relatively small number of typological categories identified comprise well-defined tool series, the most numerous being antler bevelled tools, bone pointed tools and boar tusk side-scrapers. Our analysis of these tools was aimed at identifying the transformational patterns of both the raw materials and the use-wear and manufacturing marks, seen as an indicator of the function of the artefacts. The results of our combined studies suggest wood processing and hunting as the main activities performed with these tools, together with substantial fishing activities suggested by the presence of a FRE in the 14C dates. Our findings provide no evidence to support previous suggestions of plant cultivation during the Mesolithic at Icoana.
Translated title of the contributionHuman-environment interactions at Mesolithic Icoana (The Iron Gates Gorges)
Original languageOther
Pages (from-to)37-77
JournalStudii de Preistorie
Volume14
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Icoana
  • Mesolithic
  • faunal remains
  • raw materials
  • châine opératoire
  • usewear

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