The author presents the results of an analysis on the use-wear produced by plant processing on flint tools from the two Italian Neolithic contexts of Masseria Candelaro (Foggia) and Fondo Azzollini (Brindisi) and from the site of Çayönü, eastern Anatolia (Turkey). The aim of the study was the comparison between use-wear produced in contexts of both first and full domestication of plants.

The first part of the study consisted in an experimental reproduction of a number flint tools - mostly sickles - and their practical utilisation in plant processing. During the experiments, different types of plants were processed, and a number of further aspects of the experimental process were recorded, such as typology of the cut and experiment duration.

At this point, the author carried out a detailed analysis of the experimentally-produced use-wear using an innovative methodology of investigation based on giving more importance to the traces on the internal areas of the tools away from the margin instead of focusing just on the edge of the instrument. Such a procedure reduces the possibility of erroneous interpretations.

The second part of the work focus on the comparison between archaeological and experimental data. An important result of the study is the recognisation of evolution in the exploitation of plant resources within every one of the case studies in relation to different phases: this is evident given the difference in the percentage of the typology of plants that were cut.

Besides, thanks to his analysis, the author has been able to isolate the noteworthy presence of tools that were utilised only for wild cereals processing in the site of Çayönü, conferming the possibility of utilising this methodology to study the process of domestication of plant in a variety of archaeological situations around the World. 

AUTHOR: Davide D'Errico

REFEREE: Cristina Lemorini

UNIVERSITY: Sapienza Università di Roma. Department of Scienze dell'Antichità.

DEGREE: Laurea Specialistica (M.A.)