Evidence for specialized extraction sites in the Middle Palaeolithic

The point has already been made that the majority of documented Middle Palaeolithic sites in the Perigord region appear to reflect a wide range of technological activities, including all stages of the successive production, use and discard of stone tools and usually the use of raw materials from a variety of different geological sources. One invariable component in most sites is the large-scale working down of primary raw materials, carried out within the occupation sites. As the studies by Geneste (1985, 1989a) and Turq (1988a, 1989a) have shown, this can be easily documented from such features as the abundance of primary cortex-removal flakes in the sites and the presence of cores and associated flaking debitage deriving from all major stages of core reduction (Figs 5.11, 5.16). There can be no doubt therefore that this kind of primary reduction of imported nodules of raw material was carried out as a major activity in most of the documented Middle Palaeolithic sites in this region.

One of the central questions raised by these studies is how far one can identify more technologically specialized sites in which the

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