International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Werra DH, Małecka-Kukawka J, 2017: USE-WEAR ANALYSIS APPLIED TO THE FLINTS FROM THE WIERZBICA "ZELE" MINE (POLAND). Anthropologie (Brno) 55, 1-2: 193-205'.
Wierzbica "Zele", Radom district, in Central Poland, is an important flint mining site from the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. The site was excavated in the years 1980–1988 by Hanna and Jacek Lech. New excavations were carried out in 2012 and 2014. Archaeological works carried out in the eighties determined the character of the mining field, its natural stratigraphy and the variety of exploitation features; they also determined the period when the mine was most intensely exploited as dating to the Bronze Age and beginning of the Early Iron Age. 81 shafts and large exploitation pits were localized. The flint which was extracted here had the colour of dark chocolate and occurred in late Oxfordian limestone. The raw material has been given the general name chocolate flint of "Zele" type. The flint material obtained from fillings of individual features showed characteristics indicating exploitation by Mierzanowice culture communities of the Early Bronze Age. Radiocarbon dating indicates that some of the "Zele" shafts were dug by communities of the Lusatian culture from the early and middle phase. Analyses of workshops of Lusatian communities show that within the mine area mainly massive blade-flake blanks were produced. In recent years, studies of flints from Wierzbica "Zele" have been augmented by use-wear analysis (microscope Zeiss- Axiotech). Use-wear analysis has been carried out on more than sixty specimens. Analyzed material was characterized morphologically as roughouts of projectile points, scaled pieces, side-scrapers and blade. As a result of use-wear analysis several tools were identified as having served to scrape hides, cut meat or work bones/antlers. They occurred in the context of waste from exploitation of the shafts, indicating that the miners, after finishing their work, threw the unwanted remnants of their stay into the shafts/pits.
Use-wear analysis ‒ Flint mining ‒ Wierzbica "Zele" ‒ Central Poland ‒ Bronze Age

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