Bladelet cores as weapon tips? Hafting residue identification and micro-wear analysis of three carinated burins from the late Aurignacian of Les Vachons, France

Rob Dinnis, A Pawlik, C Gaillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The interpretation of Upper Palaeolithic carinated lithic forms as discarded cores from the production of bladelets is now well established and the weight of evidence to support this indisputable. However, it is also clear that the relationships between lithic typology, technology and function are complex. Presented here are micro-wear analyses of three carinated burins from the late Aurignacian level of Les Vachons, France. The remains of birch pitch adhering to the artefacts are clear evidence that they were hafted; the first time this material has been identified on Aurignacian artefacts. Thus, while the techno-morphology of the artefacts is consistent with their role as bladelet cores our results indicate that they functioned as hafted tools. Unlike other Middle and Upper Palaeolithic industries the Aurignacian is not thought to include (non-bladelet) lithic weapon tips. However, due to patterns of use-wear present on two of the artefacts we suggest that this was their most plausible hafted function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1922-1934
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume36
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Hafting residues
  • Micro-wear
  • Lithic technology
  • Lithic function
  • Aurignacian
  • Early Upper Palaeolithic

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