Ciprian T. Astalos

Lithic raw material economy in the Upper Palaeolithic of the Carpathian Basin

My research is about the economics of lithic raw materials in the Upper Palaeolithic of the Carpathian Basin, particularly in the distinct area of the Upper Tisza Region (i.e., North-Western Romania, Transcarpathian Ukraine, North-Eastern Hungary and South-Eastern Slovakia).

The main research purpose consists in an evaluation of patterns of lithic raw material procurement and distribution in the Upper Palaeolithic of the Carpathian Basin, mainly through the identification of the raw materials and their provenances, to distinguish between local, regional and long-distance raw material acquisition. A great variety of raw materials was used by the Palaeolithic peoples in the Upper Tisza region (flint, limnic quartzite, obsidian, jasper, andesite, chalcedony, etc). There is a strong need to establish a unitary denomination of rock and mineral samples provided by the archaeological sites from the Upper Tisza region and largely, the Carpathian Basin, because of often significant differences in naming used by the different national schools.

I am also interested in how these patterns relate with the technological organization of lithic production and with settlement patterns and also in the variability of lithic raw material economy both diachronic and synchronic. An ecological approach seems to be one of the best theoretical perspectives to deal with these research questions; however, other perspectives will be also evaluated for their potential in answering them.

The following research methods will be employed: the macroscopic analysis of all lithic artefacts from selected sites from the study area; an evaluation of the geological potential in raw materials of the study area using maps, fieldwork and reference collections; petrographic and elemental analysis of geological samples from outcrops in the study area and beyond (for “exotic” raw materials); petrographic and elemental analysis of selected artefacts from the Upper Palaeolithic in the study area.


 Educational background

  • MSc, Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 2010
  • BA, History. Ancient History and Archaeology, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania, 1998

C. Astaloş and Z. Kasztovszky, 2009. Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis of Some Prehistoric Stone Tools from North-Western Romania. In 36th International Symposium on Archaeometry, Quebec City 2006, Quebec, 135-141.

A. Feurdean, K. Willis and C. Astaloş, 2009. Legacy of the past land-use changes and management on the ‚natural’ upland forest composition in the Apuseni mountains. The Holocene 19/6, 967-981.

C. Lazăr, R. Andreescu, T. Ignat, M. Florea and C. Astaloș, 2008. The Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana – Malu Roșu (Călărași county, Romania). Studii de Preistorie (Bucharest), 5, 131-152.

C. Astaloş, 2007. Paleoliticul şi mezoliticul (The Paleolithic and the Mesolithic). In L. Marta, P.L. Szőcs (eds.), Muzeul Judeţean Satu Mare. Catalogul colecţiei de arheologie (Satu Mare County Museum. Catalogue of the Archaeological Collection). Satu Mare: Editura Muzeului Sătmărean, 23-30.

C. Astaloş and C. Virag, 2006-2007. Descoperiri funerare neolitice din judeţul Satu Mare (Neolithic funerary finds from Satu Mare county). Studii şi Comunicări Satu Mare – seria Arheologie, XXII-XXIII, 73-94.

A. Feurdean and C. Astaloş 2005. The impact of human activities in the Gutâiului Mountains, Romania. Studia Universitatis Babeş-Bolyai, Geologia, 50 (1-2), 63-72.

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