Monday, 21 January 2013

Micrograph of the Month - Microdebitage

Following on from my post last week about the Neolithic site of Kamiltepe in Azerbaijan, I thought I would share some of the images from the preliminary micromorphology report I did for the 2010 monograph. I loved working on these samples - it's the first time I've worked on a building myself. All of my work at Catalhoyuk has focused on middens, and all of the work on buildings is done by Dr Wendy Matthews (University of Reading), who supervised my PhD. Wendy's work at Catalhoyuk and many other Near Eastern sites is fantastic, and is the starting reference point for my own work in this area! So it was nice to see variety in deposit types - with the middens there is a lot of redeposited material, ashes, charcoal etc, but I have seen suprisingly little of the type of thing you can see here in these images. These show bits of microdebitage embedded in the floor of the building - that's tiny bits of waste chips from the production of stone tools. What is exciting about these is that they appear to be concentrated on a single floor layer, which is then replastered and used for other activities. By carefully looking through each of the floor layers we can build up a picture of the changing use of space over time in this part of the building.

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