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8th Spanish Experimental Archaeology Workshop

Javier Baena Preysler (ES)

During the penultimate week of September a new Experimental Archaeology Workshop was held in the city of Caspe (Zaragoza, Sain). Organised by several institutions, including the Fundación Fernando El Católico, the City Hall of Caspe, the University of Zaragoza and the Diputación of Aragón, this was the eighth meeting in which thematic experimental courses were developed with the cooperation of experts from different Spanish and international high quality institutions. Subjects such as experiments in pottery, metallurgy, organic materials, have been the focus in past workshops; on this occasion lithic technology was the protagonist.

Caspe, 18 - 22 September 2012
Organisers: Carlos Mazo & Javier Fanlo (University of Zaragoza)

The programme included both theoretical and practical sessions where the evolution of technical and technological solutions was analysed and reproduced using lithic knapping experiences and experiments within a historical context. Over the four days, several speakers presented on these theoretical and practical issues:

Javier Baena (Thursday 18 September)


Practical aspects of knapping: technique and technology
First productions: sites and technical and technological studies
Processes and techniques of knapping in modes I and II
A discussion was made about forming closer ties to the EXARC organization in Europe.
Mode III: concepts, methods and modalities.

Demonstrations and experiments

Basic elements: tools and knapping techniques
Direct percussion
Ancient Palaeolithic technologies: Mode I: Unipolar sequences
Mode II: Bifacial configuration and alternant sequences
Mode III: Hierarchized sequences and methods during the Mousterian (discoid, quinine, Levallois, blades with hard percussion)


Antoni Palomo (Wednesday 19 September)


Blade production in the northeastern peninsula from the fourth millennium to the third millennium cal BC
Knapping processes and techniques Demonstrations and experiments

Demonstrations and experiments

 Indirect percussion in the blade productions of fourth millennium cal BC: The case of La Draga Neolithic site
The bipolar on anvil technique
Blade production with direct wood and antler soft hammerstones
Blade production with indirect percussion
Preparation of cores using blade flakes and blocks
Blade production with mineral and wood hammerstones


Mikel Aguirre (Thursday 20 September)

Theory and demonstration

 Pressure retouching procedures in time and space
Methods and techniques
Experimental practice and related sites

Demonstration and experiment

Pressure experiments
Introduction to pressure blade technology
Blade pressure production and pressure retouch


Antonio Morgado (Friday 21 September)

Theory and practical demonstration

 La tecnología laminar especializada de la Prehistoria Reciente de la Península Ibérica (High pressure blade technology from Late Prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula)


Jacques Pelegrin (Friday 21 – Saturday 22 September)

Theory and demonstration

 Knapping techniques demonstration
Practical recognition of the knapping technical stigmata


The gathering of more than 25 students from several Spanish universities in a very friendly context provided an excellent forum for practical and theoretical discussion with the experts. The satisfaction of the participants and the strong feedback of information indicate that a future lithic workshop will be needed.

In this workshop, the evolution of technique and technology by means of flint knapping was analysed.
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