Potential of a large-scale functional analysis to reconstructing past human activities at the Final Palaeolithic site of Lommel-Maatheide
A closer look at an eroded dune landscape: first functional insights into the Federmessergruppen site of Lommel-Maatheide
The paper “A closer look at an eroded dune landscape: first functional insights into the Federmessergruppen site of Lommel-Maatheide”  focuses on the final Palaeolithic (Federmesser) site of Lommel-Maatheide. Federmesser sites from northern Belgium such as Lommel-Maatheide, Meer and Rekem, show evidence for dense human occupation of specific areas located on top of Tardiglacial dunes nearby water bodies . Preserved spatial distribution of finds at the sites suggest different activity areas and the presence of habitat structures . However, because of the low organic preservation at the sites, functional analyses of lithic assemblages have the potential to significantly contribute to the spatial organisation of activities at these sites. This study by Tomasso et al. , represents an excellent example of a large-scale integrated approach to the study of lithic industries. The article undoubtedly demonstrates the potential of the proposed methodology and the reliability of the results obtained.
The article explores two different aspects (linked and excellently interconnected here): the possibility to apply use wear, residue and fracture analyses, on lithic assemblages affected by taphonomical alterations and to study lithic assemblages from dune landscapes.
The study allows to answer differentiated questions: what is the influence of taphonomical alterations on use wear analysis? How do excavation methods impact the formation of use wear and the preservation of residues? Can we recognize distinct domestic activities? The article also provides an interesting hypothesis about hunting activities and propulsion methods.
The applied methodology is effectively interdisciplinary and innovative. It demonstrates how a truly integrated and articulated approach can represent the turning point for going beyond a mainly descriptive dimension to move towards a real understanding of the sites.
Studies dedicated to the analysis of the propulsion mode are not very frequent, but they are surely very important to better understand human behaviour . Here, the methodology developed for the evaluation of the propulsion mode represent an important starting point for the definition of a new approach. Morphological and morphometrical analysis are integrated to the evaluation of the mechanical stress, to fracture delineations and to the hafting system (the latter defined on experimental basis).
This article therefore underlines the potential of combining different approaches to functional analysis associated with a ‘tailored’ reference collection and applying them to a high number of artefacts for reconstructing past human activities involving materials that are otherwise not preserved in these contexts.
 Tomasso, S., Cnuts, D., Coppe, J., Geerts, F., Gils, M.V., Bie, M.D., Rots, V. (2021). A closer look at an eroded dune landscape: first functional insights into the Federmessergruppen site of Lommel-Maatheide. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/pf3sm, ver 3 peer-reviewed and recommended by PCI Archaeology.
 De Bie, M., Van Gils, M. (2006). Les habitats des groupes à Federmesser (aziliens) dans le Nord de la Belgique. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française, 103, 781–790.
 Coppe, J., Lepers, C., Clarenne, V., Delaunois, E., Pirlot, M. and Rots V. (2019). Ballistic Study Tackles Kinetic Energy Values of Palaeolithic Weaponry. Archaeometry, (61)4, 933-956. https://doi.org/10.1111/arcm.12452
Marta Arzarello and Alice Leplongeon (2021) Potential of a large-scale functional analysis to reconstructing past human activities at the Final Palaeolithic site of Lommel-Maatheide. Peer Community in Archaeology, 100012. 10.24072/pci.archaeo.100012
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the preprint: 10.31219/osf.io/pf3sm
Author's Reply, None
Decision by Marta Arzarello and Alice Leplongeon, 11 Nov 2021
Dear Sonja, dear Authors,
We have now received two reviews for your manuscript “A closer look at an eroded dune landscape: first functional insights into the Federmessergruppen site of Lommel-Maatheide”.
As you can see your manuscript has been appreciated by the two reviewers, the work was considered original and interdisciplinary. Both reviewers expressed some doubts about the structure of the manuscript, which however represents at the same time one of its strong points.
Some useful integration proposals have been made and for this we ask you to take into consideration all the observations made, which will undoubtedly help to provide an even better version of the text. After revision, we will just check the new text and we do not think another revision round will be necessary.
Thank you for submitting your preprint to PCI Archaeology.
With best regards,
Marta Arzarello & Alice Leplongeon