A technological study of selected osseous artifacts from the Upper Palaeolithic of Britain and Belgium
This thesis records the study of over one thousand selected, bone, antler and ivory artifacts from the Upper Palaeolithic in Britain and Belgium, with particular reference to manufacture. The methods used include the experimental manufacture and use of certain bone and antler artifacts, and the recording of the traces produced. This information is used as a reference collection with which to compare the archaeological material. Both the experimental and the archaeological implements are examined either with the aid of a handlens, or at a variety of magnifications using an optical microscope and a scanning electron microscope. Upper Palaeolithic bone tool types as a whole are considered for comparative purposes, as are some ethnographic artifacts. The artifacts studied here are ordered into twenty-six different tool types, each of which is discussed in turn; this includes a description of the raw materials used, of the identifiable traces of manufacture and their interpretation, and of the identifiable traces of use, and their interpretation. The regional and chronological distribution of the specimens is also considered, as is any variation in each type, for example in size or in the raw materials used. Some regional and chronological patterning is found, but in the absence of reliable contextual information, its interpretation is often speculative. It is concluded that a large scale programme of radiocarbon accelerator dating of actual artifacts is required to solve this problem.