Chipped Stone Tools from the Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS) (20 min)


Aikaterini Psoma, University of Illinois at Chicago


The Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS) project carried out a three-year systematic investigation at Porto Rafti, Greece, which confirmed prehistoric habitation in this coastal bay during the end of the Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age. In this talk I present my analysis of the prehistoric chipped stone artifacts from several sites in the region (more than 10,000 pieces) collected during intensive and extensive surveys in 2019, 2021, and 2022. I employ the chaîne opératoire approach combined with spatial analysis to investigate: (1) the region’s socioeconomic role during the Neolithic/EBA; and (2) the economic and cultural interactions among prehistoric communities in the broader area of the southern Aegean. I discuss the reduction techniques used to produce the uncovered lithic industries and specific tool types. The dominant raw material utilized in the manufacturing of these artifacts is obsidian from the Cycladic island of Melos. Other local and nonlocal raw materials, such as quartz and flint, were used at a much smaller scale. The results of the analysis show how specific sites appear to have played a central role in lithics production and exchange, acting as local hubs responsible for the distribution of lithics in the region. Taken together with data from contemporary sites in the southern Aegean, the evidence from Porto Rafti enriches our understanding of regional patterns of lithic exchange and production, as well as the socioeconomic and cultural networks in the broader region of the southern Aegean in earlier prehistory.