Saturday, 30th of November 2019 (15:30-16:00) at the international symposium on Chalk & Flint
In the Hainaut province (Belgium), flint is present in Upper Cretaceous chalk formations outcropping in the Mons Basin and in the vicinity of the cities of Lille and Tournai. This rock type was used as a raw material for stone tool production in prehistoric times in the Scheldt valley, where no primary flint resources occur. Currently, sourcing of different flint varieties to their different outcrop locations is based on macro-and mesoscopic descriptions but often the identification is not straightforward.
To better understand why prehistoric people chose different flint raw materials, where the material came from and how they used them, it is essential to investigate its material characteristics in more detail. This goal is achieved by using different techniques, i.e. optical microscopy (mineralogy), X-ray fluorescence (geochemistry), micro-CT and SEM (microstructure). Furthermore, the development and preservation of use-wear traces, which are microscale damages on the surface of a stone tool caused by its use, are closely connected to the structural and chemical properties of the raw material. The stone tools, and especially their use-wear traces, are also affected by post-depositional alteration processes, and these alterations can complicate the interpretation of tool use. Eventually, we want to investigate to which extent alteration processes have an effect on the preservation of use-wear traces.