Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Microliths

A microlith is a small stone tool usually made of flint or chert and typically a centimetre or so in length and half a centimetre wide. It is produced from either a small blade (microblade) or a larger blade-like piece of flint by abrupt or truncated retouching, which leaves a very typical piece of waste, called a microburin.

                     

The tool types of Mesolithic age are called Microliths which means small stones.These microliths were not used in the bare hand but were hafted in a bone or wooden handle.These Microliths occupy a dominant position in the Mesolithic age.These were also used in later periods.Hence it can be said that Mesolithic are microliths but all that are Microliths are not necessarily Mesolithic.All the tool types were prevalent in the Palaeolithic age were also present in a miniature form during the Mesolithic Age.These tools were generally prepared by pressure technique although other techniques were also used.An average of between six and eighteen microliths may often have been used in one spear or harpoon, but only one or two in an arrow.


    
Microburin               Trapeze                                Triangle             Lunate


With the end of the Pleistocene period and beginning of the Holocene period the environment changed drastically including the fauna,flora and also the culture.The areas became comparatively barren and open.The chief characteristic of the Mesolithic period were the tiny stone implements called Microliths.Normally microliths comprise the following cores,fluted and irregular with many platforms,parallel sided flakes or blades,scrapers of many types-side,triangles-scalene,equilateral,isosceles-trapeze,burins,lunates.The last two may be divided into Geometric microliths comprising mainly triangle,trapeze etc and Non Geometric.

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