Stone tools from locality Crkvine in Stubline
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Stone artifacts from excavations in Crkvine in 2008. originate from two stratigraphic units, both chronologically defined as the final stage of the Vinča culture: 1. distruction layer above and 2. from the floor of House 1/2008. None of the stone artifact types showed any specific regularity in vertical distribution. However, in the southern part of the Structure/House 1 there is higher abundance in horizontal distribution of both types of tools. Abundance of cores, blades for rejuvenation of the cores and unretouched blades among the chipped artifacts suggest that, most probably, this object was a working place where the artifacts were made (Fig. 9/1). Ground stone artifacts - all rought-out and final products, whole and fragmented pieces, ground-edge and abrasive tools, are equally distributed in the House 1/2008 as well as in the distruction layer above it. Only non-determined fragments and pieces of raw material, both defined as products of makin...g stone tools, are far more numerous in the distruction layer above the House 1/2008. Higher concentrations of finds are situated in the House 1/2008, especially in its southern part, on the floor and above it, while the number of finds out of the House significantly decreases (Fig. 9/2). Such distribution of ground stone artifacts indicates that the production of stone artifacts was done within the household (large number of flakes of „light white stone“, presence of grindstone and whetstone), as well as that there occurred active preparation of food within the Vinča’s objects (querns and pounders within the houses). Findings of numerous quartzite, chert and jasper pebbles out of the House 1/2008, 2 metres away from the northeastern angle of the House (pottery group 1), could not be connected with production of chipped and ground stone artifacts. There are no any traces of treatment and utilization on the pebbles, and the pebbles themselves do not belong to raw material of good quality due to small dimensions and numerous natural fractures. We suppose that the pebbles present waste material and that the Pottery group 1 represented a dump place next to the house. It is possible that this stone material was crushed and added in clay used for making pottery vassels. This conclusion is done on the basis of two facts: within the Pottery group 1there were found numerous ceramic fragments that could not be used for reconstruction of any vessel, and ceramics from the locality Crkvine was baked from soil with lot of fine grained quartzite. Taking into consideration that only the small part of the setlement (practically one hose) was excavated in 2008, it is still too early to make general conclusions about the mentioned distribution of the stone findings. Moreover, in this part of the locality, the Vinča layers are disturbed by a necropole from 17-18. centuries, and maybe that could made increasing of stone findings distribution abouve and around the graves, in southern part of the House 1/2008. Obsereved as whole, with all defined basic types of chipped artifacts, this collection does not provide observation of possible local characteristics which could specifically and obviously indicate big diferences between material of the Late Vinča and older neolithic period. Number of samples is too small with prevailed unretouched flakes and blades which represent more than a half of the findings, while the retouched samples show an average degree of production quality. The artifacts do not exhibit unusual and for previous periods unknown technological procedures in making tools. The retouched artifacts fit to the already defined typological frame which, at the end of the Neolithic, unequivocally announce gradual degradation and slow extinction of the technology which has labelled the largest period of prehistory and established the fundament of civilization. The largest significance of this small collection is obvious in the presence of white and grayish-green chert artifacts, which indicate the same primary sources of raw material. These sources were most probably used by population of the locality Kremenite njive in Barajevo and Šalitrena pećina in the vicinity of the Brežđe village, near Valjevo. Typology and raw material structure from Trench 5/2008 in Crkvine in a whole are in accordance with the general image of the ground stone industry in the final stage of the Vinča culture. Among the tools prevailed abrasive artifacts (grindstones, whetstone, pounders and querns), while ground-edge tools are significantly rare appearing only as adze or as extremely rare occurrences of chisle. Non-defined fragments are most abundant , at first place the flakes made of „ligth white stone“ representing half-fabricates of the polished stone industry. This implies that the production of tools from this raw material was local in character, possibly even organized within households. The habitants of this Late Vinča settlement, according to the raw material used for their massive tools, most probably have undertaken stone exploitation from quarries. Striving to select appropriate row material for making high quality querns, they discovered a greywacke deposit and used the same raw material for making other abrasive tools as well. The presence of other rock types indicates that alluvium material in the vicinity of the locality was possibly used, as well. The presence of abundant „light white stone“ artifacts confirms that the raw material was exploited from a narrow local area. Utilization of this type of raw material cannot be connected with the „ ligth white stone“ found on contemporaneous localities in the vicinity: magnesite was used in Vinča, diatomite on Ilića brdo, tuff in Crkvine near Mali Borak. It is most likely that each settlement exploited deposits of the given stone type in its immediate vicinity. The Late Vinča settlement in Crkvine had a surface of more than 16 ha, however, only a small area (in 2008 two trenches of total surface of 89 m²) was so far archaeologicaly investigated. Accordingly, the conclusions about raw material exploitation, production and usage of stone tools are considered preliminary. Metal is not registered in Crkvine, but we assume that its existence was known to the habitants of this settlement, and that they even used it. It is confirmed by a finding from the structure 1/2008. It is represented by ceramic figurines who carry perforated hamer-axes of the the Pločnik type made from copper, as well as by the fact that small metallic tools for ephemeral usage appear in even in Early Neolithic settlements. If the stone tools were used only as cheaper replacements of those made of metals, than the careless behaviour of the habitants from the Vinča settlement in Crkvine towards the „out-of-date“ types of tools and the production of good quality grind tools, probably used in additional mechanical treatments of metallic tools are not unusual.
Source:Starinar, 2011, 61, 61-79
- Arheološki institut, Beograd