Accepted paper:

Lithic reduction sequences, chaînes opératoires of Hoabinhian pebbles tools from Laang Spean cave, Battambang Province, Cambodia


Hubert Forestier (MNHN)
Heng Than (Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts)
Vincenzo Celiberti (UMR 7194 CNRS - UPVD Université de Perpignan Via Domitia)
Heng Sophady (Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to light the diversity of the Hoabinhian stone artifacts of Laang Spean archaeological sequence by the determination of the lithic reduction sequences observed in the archaeological material recently excavated by the French-Cambodian Prehistoric Mission.

Paper long abstract:

The Hoabinhian toolkit is known as a classical Southeast Asian technocomplex with massive tools made on pebbles including specifically unifacial tools for the late to terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene period. The unifacial pebble or Sumatralith was considered for a long time as the unique "director fossil" for the Hoabinhian types of lithic artefacts in a large number of sites.

In this paper we suggest investigating various strategies of production of these types of Hoabinhian tools illustrated on the basis of some examples given by recent discoveries made at Laang Spean cave site (Cambodia). Re-excavated since 2009 by the French-Cambodian Prehistoric Mission, the Hoabinhian sequence at Laang Spean cave was redated between 11 ka to 5 ka B.P. and established a new database in a reliable chrono-stratigraphical context.

We propose to discuss the intensity of pebble tool reduction sequence with the different way of shaping and sharping to product various cutting pebble i.e. a new perspective of typo-technological analysis on this kind of raw material (hornfels).

This paper aims to light the technical factors determining the different way to shape the pebble matrix to obtain a tool with at least three chaînes opératoires observed in the archaeological material with the properties inherent of pebble selected in the environment for their volumetric specificity.

panel P16
Lithic technologies in Southeast Asia