Tixier postcards 1 – Les Eyzies conference
Jacques Tixier, the scholar of lithic technology passed away on April 3rd 2018. We dedicate the volume of 2019 to his memory. As another form to pay homage to Jacques Tixier, we recall his personality by photographs, sent by the authors of the papers, that we present here as a series of “postcards.” The first part of the series was submitted by Pierre-Jean Texier, director emeritus at the CNRS, also a disciple of Tixier.
These are photos from the dawn of experimental knapping – Les Eyzies de Tayac, France, 1964. The Les Eyzies conference was organized by François Bordes, an avowed lithic expert in this time. The participants of the meeting not only discussed about ancient artefacts, but they have been trying to reproduce them. Of course, most people did not use knapped lithic artefacts in the sixties, so the technology was practically unknown at that time.
Bordes, Crabtree, Jelinek and not least, the young prehistorian, Jacques Tixier provided a fresh and long-term orientation of research: the role of stone tools in the past will be recognized only if we would understand the technology of making and using them. What else could be a more direct method to excel this than practice?
The entire career of Jacques Tixier was determined by this technological approach. Sadly, the proceedings of the Les Eyzies conference was never published in print (or in video). However, the participants were satisfied that the experimental method works, and the method became a pillar of technological studies.
We owe our thanks to Pierre-Jean Texier for the pictures. References for the Les Eyzies conference:
Delpech, F., Jaubert, J. (szerk) 2009. François Bordes et la préhistoire. 134e Congrès national des sociétés historiques et scientifiques, Bordeaux.
Jelinek, A. 1965. Lithic Technology Conference, Les Eyzies, France. American Antiquity 31(2):277.
Left: Les Eyzies conference, 1964. Jacques Tixier detaches flakes with his right hand from a raw material block. The knapping surface of the raw material block and the hard hammer will collide in a way that results in the detachment of a sharp flake from the lower surface of the raw material block.
Center: Les Eyzies conference, 1964. Don Crabtree explains a lithic artefact he created, under the watchful eyes of his crowded audience. François Bordes sits on his right with his trademark pipe, Jacques Tixier is on the upper left of the photo.
Right: Les Eyzies conference, 1964. Bordes and Tixier are conducting indirect percussion. With this technique, an intermediary object, called a punch, is placed between the raw material and the hammer in order to control the direction of the blow. Judging from the look of Tixier, there were unsuccesful attempts before the photo was taken.
Vol. 5 / 2017
Vol. 4 / 2016
Vol. 3 / 2015
- Mogyorósbánya-Újfalusi-dombok, zárójelentés (Mogyorósbánya-Újfalusi-dombok, final report)
- A bifaciálisok síkján (Bifaces in plain sight)
- Analysis of Organic Compounds (Szerves alkotóelemek vizsgálata: régészeti és földtudományi alkalmazások)
- Flint artefacts from Rivne, Ukraine (Kovakő eszközök Rivnéből)
- Open-air site complex with leaf-points at Szécsénke (Cserhát Mountains, Northern Hungary) Preliminary results
- Palaeolithic industries with bifacial technologies and Crimean Micoquian Tradition as one of their Middle Palaeolithic industrial examples
Vol. 2 / 2014
Vol. 1 / 2013
- Szudán korai kőkora egy szakóca tükrében (Earlier Stone Age of Sudan in the light of a Large Cutting Tool)
- Tata-Porhanyó-bánya 2012-ben. (Tata-Porhanyó-bánya in 2012)
- Nyílt színi Szeletien telep Szécsénke-Kis-Ferenc-hegyen. (Open-air Szeletian site at Szécsénke-Kis-Ferenc-Hegy)
- Acsa-Rovnya: új eredmények (Acsa-Rovnya: new results)
- SzeleStra: új rétegtani kutatások a Szeletien kultúra névadó lelőhelyén (SzeleStra: new stratigraphical research at the eponymous site of the Szeleta culture)
- A gravetti telepek topográfiája. (Topography of Gravettien sites)