The heat treatment of flint is known to change its mechanical properties and improve its fracture behaviour during knapping. Here we examine 20 flint artifacts from Upper Paleolithic contexts from Manot Cave, Israel, using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and compare them to geogenic flint beds from the walls inside the cave and from outcrops just above the cave. We show that the 512 and 467cm-1 peaks are broader in most of the flint debitage pieces as compared to the geogenic flint, and that broadening of these peaks occurs when geogenic flint from the cave wall is heated. We also present an empirical simple method to monitor these changes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Partial financial support was obtained from the Max Planck – Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology , as well as the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science . S.W. holds the Dr. Walter and Dr. Trude Borchardt Professorial Chair in Structural Biology. The excavations at Manot Cave are supported by grants from the Dan David Foundation , the Leaky Foundation , the CARE Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority . We thank Dmitry Yegorov for his advice and help in analyzing the flint material.
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
- Chert heating
- Flint heating
- Flint knapping
- Infrared spectroscopy
- Manot Cave