Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Anthropology, MA

Committee Chair

Beyin, Amanuel

Committee Member

Cascalheira, João

Committee Member

Haws, Jonathan

Author's Keywords

Solutrean; Lithic; elongated blank; terrace; Vale Boi; standardization


During the Last Glacial Maximum (27 – 19 ka), much of northern Europe became uninhabitable as icesheets expanded causing populations to withdraw into refugia around south-central Europe. Southwestern Iberia served as an ecological refuge for hunter-gatherer populations due to favorable climate and resource availability. Solutrean (25 -19 ka) techno-complex represented shifts in human adaptations and new social configurations in Iberia. Lithic analysis of 1380 artifacts from Solutrean, Layer 3 Terrace, at the Vale Boi site (southwestern Portugal) permitted insights into hunter-gatherer cultural adaptations reflected in technological behavior. Major conclusions are: (a) Solutrean techno-complex at Vale Boi utilized expedient tool production for a variety of tasks (b) High frequencies of retouch reflected the inhabitants’ extension of tool use-life and production for specialized tasks (c) Fire applications to raw-material improved fracture predictability for elongated blank and flake production (d) Tool production standardization occurred at deeper socio-cultural levels that indicated transmissions of cultural information.