Archaeology at Vrahos

Varieties of Cores

While some cores were abandoned after minimal preparation and removal of only a few flakes, others were systematically and intensively exploited. That was the case both in the Middle Palaeolithic and in later periods, as is shown by a variety of Levallois, discoid and prismatic cores (Figures 16, 17, 18 and 19).

Was silex removed from the quarry in the form of cores, partly or fully prepared? Or was it removed in the form of ready-to-use flakes derived form such cores? We cannot exclude the first alternative, and, in fact, for later prehistory (Neolithic and Early Bronze Age) we have hard evidence in its support (see section Our work in Petrota). However, preliminary statistics show that the scatter contains far too many systematically worked cores in comparison with usable flakes derivable from those cores. This suggests that a considerable volume of raw material left the quarry in the form of blanks rather than cores. At least this seems to be the case with prismatic blade cores and, perhaps, with discoid cores.

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Fig. 16: Two examples of discoid cores from the scatter. Like the second core (b), the first (a) too is bi-conical in cross-section.

figure 16

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Fig. 17: Examples of Levallois cores from the scatter, illustrating three variants of the Levallois technique (a): centripetal recurrent (upper), centripetal preferential (middle; see also Fig. 5b), and unipolar recurrent (lower). One more example of the unipolar recurrent technique is shown (b).

figure 17

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Fig. 18: Some systematically worked prismatic blade cores from the scatter, flaked from a single striking platform.

figure 18

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Fig. 19: Examples of systematically flaked prismatic cores found in the scatter. The three cores illustrated here have been flaked from more than one striking platforms.

figure 19