Sunday, May 9, 2010

Many days... - Part 1

It was simply by chance, pure luck, when in 1992, soon after that year’s excavation at Lapa do Anecrial (Zilhão 1995, 1997; Almeida 1998, 2000, 2001, Almeida et al. 2007), João, in between chatter talk about Sporting, asked me if I would like to study the artifacts from the site’s layer which, by then, was thought to date to the Epipaleolithic. Sure! And when I got to look at that small sample for the first time, it became almost instinctive. I grabbed two flakes and in seconds I had achieved the first lithic refit of Anecrial’s grey flint block, which was, of course, my “first ever” conjoint.
Then… then it became easy, automatic almost, to get into this weird addiction. Before the 1993 field season at the site started, several of the identified raw material blocks from Anecrial’s “Epipaleolithic” had reconstruction sets, with conjoints both in flint and in quartz – the majoritary raw material of the first year of excavation. In fact, it was this quartz predominance that supported the first chronological attribution to Anecrial layer 2 occupation, since there were parallels with the nearby cave site of Lapa do Casal Papagaio, excavated some years earlier by José Morais Arnaud (Arnaud 1988). Other refittinbg sets remained in stand by, since many of the artifacts had still a lot of limestone concretions on their surfaces. The field season finally started, and excavating at Anecrial became a wonderful dual experience: on one side, having the opportunity to excavate in a small cave site, with all that it implied in terms of learning experience for an undergraduate student (back then), and, on the other, to try to recognize in each of the collected artifact’s surface if it could refit with any of the previously collected stones. Since then, for 18 years, this search has never stopped.

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