A Response to A. N. Sorokin. Raw Material Strategies in the Paleolithic: Theory and Practice
The study of stone raw materials that have been used by people for making tools is the subject of petroarchaeology – a discipline, applying study methods such as petrography, mineralogy, geochemistry, and micropaleontology. Interpretations of different variants of lithic raw materials exploitation are often based on different understanding of the same data that are attracted for the reconstructions of subsistence of the Stone Age huntergatherers, and are the subject of lively discussions among researchers. Some of the key issues related to approaches applying to the concept of a “raw material strategy” in the Paleolithic archaeology are discussed in the paper. The main part of this work is addressed to discussion with the paper of A. N. Sorokin, “Raw material strategies in the practice of Paleolithic research”, published in the journal “News of the Irkutsk state University” (Series “Geoarchaeology. Ethnology. Anthropology”) in 2014. Doronicheva E. V., using sites of the North-Western Caucasus as the case study, provides the evidence for applicability of the term “strategy” for the Paleolithic and considers the issue of hunter-gatherers mobility. One of the main analytical results of the represented work is that in the course of special petroarchaeological studies E. V. Doronicheva and colleagues investigated more than 40 flint sources and defined 15 sources, from which flints were introduced to specific Palaeolithic sites, 11 of them were exploited in the Middle Palaeolithic. The author studied archaeological collections from a series of key stratified Middle and Upper Palaeolithic sites in the Northwestern Caucasus, undertook typological and technological analysis, and analyzed raw materials of more than 15 thousand lithic artifacts.