Technological exploitation of Cervus elaphus antler at the Mesolithic site of Ostrovul Corbului

Monica Mărgărit, Adina Boroneanț, C. Bonsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Excavations between 1973 and 1984 at an open-air site on the island of Ostrovul Corbului (Botul Cliuci) in the downstream area of the Iron Gates of the Danube revealed abundant remains of Mesolithic occupation. The investigations brought to light habitation structures (pithouses), hearths and burials, as well as rich lithic and osseous assemblages and faunal remains, ostensibly belonging to two stratigraphically distinct horizons.

This paper reviews previously published information on the artefacts made of red deer (Cervus elaphus) antler from the site and presents new data from a morphological and use-wear study of the assemblage, the aim of which was to establish whether there are any technological differences between the two alleged Mesolithic occupation horizons. The results are compared to those from other Mesolithic sites in the Iron Gates region.

At Ostrovul Corbului both shed antler and antler from hunted animals were used. The defining feature technologically is the use of volume blanks, with only a few artefacts involving longitudinal debitage. The typological range is limited with bevelled tools („chisels”) predominant, reflecting a specialization on woodworking. Both products and sub-products of the manufacturing process are present in the assemblage, indicating in situ manufacturing of finished items. Comparison with other sites in the Iron Gates region points toward a fairly homogeneous Mesolithic antler industry, although there are some site-specific elements. Further research is needed to determine whether such variations reflect primarily economic or cultural factors.
Translated title of the contributionTechnological exploitation of Cervus elaphus antler at the Mesolithic site of Ostrovul Corbului
Original languageOther
Pages (from-to)25-55
Number of pages31
JournalBanatica
Volume28
Early online date31 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Iron Gates
  • Mesolithic
  • antler
  • technological analysis
  • cultural tradition

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