Agr

Denticulate

MTA Type B

Typical

Ferrassie

Quina

Convergent + Tranverse all Scrapers

Denticulate

MTA Type B

MTA Type B

Typical

Ferrassie

Quina

MTA Type B

Denticu lates

Denticulates + Notches

Convergent + Tranverse all Scrapers

Denticu lates

Denticulates + Notches

Figure 4.11 Relative frequencies of transverse and convergent racloir forms, and the corresponding ratios of denticulates to notches, recorded in different industrial variants of the southwestern French Mousterian, according to Dibble 1988a: Fig. 10.6. Note how the relative frequencies of the two main racloir groups are broadly similar in all the industrial variants, with the exception of the Quina variant, in which transverse racloir frequencies are exceptionally high.

4. There are similar problems in applying this tool-reduction model across the range of Mousterian assemblages in western France. As Dibble has documented (1988a: Fig. 10.6) the relative frequency of transverse to lateral racloirs remains essentially stable across the spectrum of Mousterian variants in this region, with the notable exception of those recorded in the Quina-type assemblages; in all other industrial variants (Ferrassie, Typical, Denticulate and Mousterian of Acheulian tradition (MTA) types) the relative proportions of transverse to lateral racloirs generally lie within the range of 0-15 percent, and only rise to higher levels (ca 20-30 percent) in the fully Quina industries (Fig. 4.11; see also Fig. 6.12). This is difficult to reconcile with the notion that these other, non-Quina variants embrace a wide spectrum of reduction-intensity pressures from virtually no reduction in the case of the Denticulate industries, to very heavy reduction in the case of the Ferrassie industries (cf. Dibble & Rolland 1992; Rolland 1977, 1981, 1988a). In terms of Dibble's arguments one would expect to observe much higher ratios of transverse to lateral racloirs in the case of heavily reduced industries (notably those of the Ferrassie variant) than in the hypothetically unreduced industries of the Denticulate and MTA Type B variants; in fact the ratios of transverse to lateral racloirs appear to be somewhat higher on average in the latter industries than in those of the heavily reduced Ferrassie group (Fig. 4.11) (Dibble 1988a: Fig.10.6).

5. Finally, it is now clear that all the specific metrical observations that Dibble (1987a) has advanced in support of the intensive reduction model for the production of transverse racloir forms are open to much simpler interpretation. The evidence from direct knapping experiments shows that production of broad, short flakes which seem to have been used mainly for manufacturing transverse racloirs almost inevitably entail the use of large striking platforms and will tend to yield flakes that are thick in relation to their length and total surface area (Turq 1989b). Thus, the large striking platforms and high ratios of thickness to surface area which Dibble has documented for many transverse racloir forms are almost inevitable products of the original flaking strategies, and certainly need not imply that the original length of the parent flakes was very much greater than that of the final reduced length of the tools.

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