Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

late Pleistocene Related Abstracts

2 Bipolar Reduction and Lithic Miniaturization: Experimental Results and Archaeological Implications

Authors: Justin Pargeter, Metin Eren


Lithic miniaturization, the systematic production and use of small tools from small cores, was a consequential development in Pleistocene lithic technology. The bipolar reduction is an important, but often overlooked and misidentified, strategy for lithic miniaturization. This experiment addresses the role of axial bipolar reduction in processes of lithic miniaturization. The experiments answer two questions: what benefits does axial bipolar reduction provide, and can we distinguish axial bipolar reduction from freehand reduction? Our experiments demonstrate the numerous advantages of bipolar reduction in contexts of lithic miniaturization. Bipolar reduction produces more cutting edge per gram and is more economical than freehand reduction. Our cutting edge to mass values exceeds even those obtained with pressure blade production on high-quality obsidian. The experimental results show that bipolar reduction produces cutting edge quicker and is more efficient than freehand reduction. We show that bipolar reduction can be distinguished from freehand reduction with a high degree of confidence using the quantitative criteria in these experiments. These observations overturn long-held perceptions about bipolar reduction. We conclude by discussing the role of bipolar reduction in lithic miniaturization and Stone Age economics more broadly.

Keywords: Southern Africa, lithic miniaturization, bipolar reduction, late Pleistocene

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1 Late Pleistocene Raised Coral Reefs in Rabigh Area, Red Sea: Microfacies and Environmental Interpretation

Authors: Ammar Manaa


The late Pleistocene raised coral reef terraces, 1 to 5 m above present sea level, are distinguished in Rabigh area into two marine terraces at elevations 0.5 m and 3.20 m, in addition to back-reef facies. The lower and upper terraces consist mainly of corals that increased in abundance and distribution in the upper terrace, with a minor occurrence of detrital quartz and feldspar. The back-reef facies consist mainly of coralline algae with a minor occurrence of corals. The upper terrace was interpreted as a reef crest or algal ridge due to the dominance of bindstone facies. The lower terrace indicates an outer reef flat with the occurrence of grainstone and rudstone facies. The coral framework in the upper terrace indicates a low energy environment. Within the back-reef terrace, calcareous mud was dominant, which indicates low energy, lagoon environment. The XRD results for the studied terraces revealed a variable abundance of aragonite, high-Mg calcite, and low-Mg calcite, with a slight increase in calcite and high-Mg calcite in the upper terrace. The dominant diagenetic processes in the terraces are cementation by fibrous and blocky calcite and dissolution that varied slightly between the lower and upper terraces. This study provides a coral reef model relevant to a low energy system in a dry and hot environment.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Red Sea, late Pleistocene, Rabigh, reef terraces

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