Session: #248

Theme & Session Format

1. The Material Record: Current Trends and Future Directions
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Lithics, Fauna: Let Them Refit!
In the study of Palaeolithic sites, use of refitting as part of lithic and faunal analysis remains patchy, although has a long history and is becoming more widespread. Practical difficulties may affect its application such as time, resourcing and space, but it is an important technique for studying lithic and faunal remains, both during and after excavation. For site integrity, refitting can clarify the extent to which the material from different stratigraphic units can be treated separately, or should be grouped together. And then from a taphonomic perspective, the degree and patterning/length of refit connections can lead to understanding of site formation processes, and the degree to which intra-site distributions of material may relate to depositional and/or post-depositional disturbance or behaviour. After allowance for taphonomy, faunal and lithic refitting can help identify site function and specific intra-site activity areas, providing insight into specific activities of the past and details such as the number of hunted animals, the movement of faunal remains or lithic tools within a site and the relationship between different site areas. Refitting also has a vital role to play in technological and typological analysis, providing a more complete understanding of knapping strategy, typological profile and the chaîne opératoire than can be achieved from studying artefacts separately. For sites with varying raw materials, refitting can help demonstrate how raw material characteristics influenced the knapping chaîne opératoire, and show choices made by the knappers to overcome problems. This session will cover all periods of the Palaeolithic, with the aim of highlighting the importance of refitting as a specific archaeological method, that contributes to understanding past societies, depositional and post-depositional processes, unlocking on-site behaviour and complementing technological and typological analysis. We welcome papers that highlight applications of lithic and/or faunal refitting, or provide discussion of its potential or pitfalls.
Palaeolithic, refitting, site-formation, fauna, method, spatial analysis
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:
Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Community (PaM)


Main organiser:
agnes LAMOTTE (France) 1
Francis WENBAN-SMITH (United Kingdom) 2
Cyrielle MATHIAS (Israel) 3
1. University of Lille France
2. University of Southampton
3. Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University