GlossaryPrint

Baltica

continent formed in the early Paleozoic by the lands that today comprise Northern Europe.

Basalt

volcanic rock, usually extrusive, dark, with very fine grain, consisting mainly of pyroxene, olivine, and plagioclase. Other minerals, less frequent, consist of iron oxides and titanium. Basalt is one of the main components of the oceanic crust.

 

Bec

flake tool with a working zone characterised by a robust sharpened end, defined by limited retouches.

 

 

Belemnite

means 'stone-shaped arrow'. It is the fossil of a carnivorous aquatic animal with an internal shell totally covered by soft tissue muscles. It appeared at the beginning of the Jurassic period (approximately 199 Ma) and became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period (65 Ma).

Biface

stone tool characteristic of some Lower and Middle Palaeolithic industries, usually with an almond or egg-shaped silhouette. Consists of a robust pointed end and a rounded base. It is the outcome of a total or partial bifacial shaping of a block or large flake.

 

Biotite

or black mica. Mineral that contains in its composition potassium, magnesium, iron and aluminium; it presents pearly to metallic lustre. It is found, for example, in granites.

Biotope

area possessing, as a whole, similar environmental conditions (e.g. climate and soil characteristics).

Birth rate

the crude birth rate of an area is the number of live births actually occurring in that area in a given time period, divided by the average population of the same period. The rate is determined by “number of live births / resident population * 1000” and expressed in terms of “per 1000 of population” (‰).

Blade

elongated flaked blank with parallel edges and predetermined morphology, obtained by standardised flaking process. Its length is more than the double of the width.

Bladelet

Small elongated flake with parallel sides and a width of no more than 12 mm, smaller than a blade, frequently produced from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards.

 

Blank

(see Flake, Blade and Bladelet).

Borer

stone instrument made from a flake, blade or bladelet, with a working zone consisting of a sharpened end, usually defined by a converging rectilinear retouch.

 

Brachiopod

invertebrate marine animals, similar to molluscs, with a bivalve shell and two tentacles rolled up in spirals.

Building occupation index

relation between the occupied accommodation and the number of total accommodations. The calculation formula is “the occupied accommodation / total accommodation” and is usually expressed as a percentage (%).

Burin

stone instrument produced from a flake or blade. It has a chisel-shaped working zone produced by a specific retouch technique. This kind of tool is frequent in Upper Palaeolithic industries, associated with the production of antler or bone tools.

 

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