H+G Deep Dive: Categorising Four Characteristics of Archaeological Sites — Type S
Updated: Mar 21
This is the third in a series of twelve posts on hunter-gatherer archaeology (3/12).
Image 1: Lithic materials from an eastern Iberian site, Alcoi (source: Mayor et al 2020).
Type S characteristics are defined here as forming through single-occupation events or as short-duration occupations. As Bicho & Cascalheira point out, “the use of the concept of short-term (and also that of long-term) occupation is directly related, in the archaeological literature, with site typology (2020, p. 20).” In their book, Short-Term Occupations in Palaeolithic Archaeology, published just last year (2020), Picin and Cascalheira (eds) and contributions therein comprehensively address some of the methodological and theoretical approaches that archaeologists take when investigating single-occupation or short-term occupation sites. The primary focus of the book, probably not surprising, is largely concentrated on artefacts made from lithic materials. Stone is by and large the most durable and persistent medium in archaeological assemblages and when adequately assessed can be, imho, a wealth of information. The example listed in Table 1 references the heat-fractured rock that is typical of a hearth. Examples of Australian lithic assemblages, and hearths of the arid interior of the continent, will be examined later when reviewing the techniques and methods applied to archaeology of hunter-gatherers.