Projectile tips from neolithic layers
of Drakaina cave on Kephalonia,
Ionan island, w. Greece:
Technological “Conservatism” and Social Identity
Georgia STRATOULI, Odysseas METAXAS
Drakaina Cave on the cliffs of the steep gorge of Poros in the SE part of Kephalonia Island in the Ionian Sea, Western Greece, has yielded a distinctively large projectile tips assemblage (c. 200 specimens). This consists mainly of asymmetrical points, manufactured throughout the neolithic use of the cave (i.e. from mid 6th to the early 4th millennium), as well as of transverse arrowheads, whose use is restricted to the early phases of the cave’s occupation (in the early second half of the 6th millennium), and of tanged or tanged and barbed points, which appear in the site up to the early 5th millennium. Thus, a technological and typological ‘conservatism’ characterizes the assemblage in terms of manufacturing asymmetrical projectile tips using local raw materials over a period of approximately 1000 years, while tanged, as well as tanged and barbed points, made also of local cherts, appear late in Drakaina. This pattern contradicts to developments in typology and technology of projectiles that are well known since the beginning of the Late Neolithic (c. 5300 cal BC) in other parts of the Aegean Neolithic. The paper discusses patterns of morphological and technological variability of the projectiles deposited through time at Drakaina, their raw material exploitation and their life cycle, aiming at approaching functional aspects of the assemblage and understanding facets of the social behavior of site users. In the light of a contextual interpretation, it is proposed that the projectile points of Drakaina were associated with social events taking place periodically on the site.