Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Inferences and Limitations in Chipped-Stone Modeling: Learning from en Ethoarchaeological case (Threasing-Sledge Production in Thessaly, Greece)

Threshing-sledges are among the few well-documented stone artifacts of the ethnoarchaeological record in the Mediterranean region. The current presentation concerns the collection of data from the agricultural region of Thessaly, central Greece. As use of threshing-sledges had already ceased in the region by the early sixties, the principal aim of this research was to reconstruct the behavioral sequence and practices related to the production and distribution of the agricultural artifact (i.e., division of labor, mobility patterns etc.). The ultimate goal was to construct a comparative frame of reference (on the basis of similarity or difference) that would stimulate and expand the inferential basis in chipped-stone modeling. As research showed, agricultural poverty was the key-factor behind any decision towards specialized production. Generally, there was never a single production system operating in the whole region of Thessaly. Different but overlapping distribution networks dominated different parts of the region depending on proximity or cultural affiliations. All these factors resulted to a largely discontinuous and complex system of overlapping networks subjected to transformations and rapid changes. Research results are assessed in the light of their use in modeling the production of flaked prehistoric artifacts and their utility in building an inferential body of reference. As certain behavioral patterns of the ethnographic record are not directly applicable to past cultural systems, the limitations of the ethnographic research are further discussed.