Investigating maintenance and discard behaviours for osseous projectile points: A Middle to Late Magdalenian (c. 19,000-14,000 cal. BP) example

Michelle Langley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The importance of investigating maintenance and discard behaviours in Palaeolithic osseous technological systems is only now becoming clear, thanks to recent advances in our understanding of how these implements were repaired in various techno-complexes. While significant work has been completed on European assemblages, the issues of maintenance and discard behaviour have generally received only passing mention, and thus, the nature and frequency of Palaeolithic osseous projectile point rejuvenation and discard remains largely unknown. This paper presents the trace and formal analysis of more than 4400 Middle-Late Magdalenian antler projectile point artefacts excavated from two central datasets (Isturitz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques and La Vache, Ariège), and complemented by examination of a further 22 collections recovered from throughout France and southern Germany. Analysis of individual artefacts, collections, and regional samples resulted in significant new insights into the use life of the iconic Magdalenian barbed point, as well as single and double bevel based point technologies. These insights concern not only how the projectile points were resharpened, reworked, and reused, but also cultural ideals concerning point form, and even potential differences in functionality.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)340-360
    JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
    Volume40
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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