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Title: Investigating maintenance and discard patterns for Middle to Late Magdalenian antler projectile points : inter-site and inter-regional comparisons
Author: Langley, Michelle Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 4357 7248
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Projectile points manufactured from antler, bone, ivory, and horn were a significant component of the Pleistocene hunter-gatherer’s weapons toolkit. While this situation appears to have been particularly the case for Upper Palaeolithic Europe where thousands of implements from Aurignacian to Azilian contexts have been recovered, elements of osseous technologies are increasingly being identified in Africa, Asia, Australia and North America. Projectile weaponry tipped with osseous raw materials therefore constitute a major dataset for the investigation of technological, subsistence, and social aspects of various and numerous Pleistocene populations. Having once been described as ‘impossible to evaluate’, investigation of maintenance and discard patterns for osseous projectile point assemblages has been severely neglected in the archaeological literature. As previous work has generally been restricted to qualitative descriptions of single artefacts exhibiting clear signs of rejuvenation or recycling, our knowledge of ‘the keeping’ of these toolkits is therefore extraordinarily limited. This thesis addresses this imbalance through beginning to build a robust methodology for investigating the maintenance, recycling, and discard of osseous projectile weaponry. More than 4,000 whole and fragmentary barbed and unbarbed osseous projectile points recovered from 25 Middle to Late Magdalenian sites located throughout France and southern Germany were examined, and through employing a multi-faceted approach incorporating metric analyses, statistics, use wear analysis, and the examination of contemporaneous depictions of weaponry, inter-site and inter-regional differences in maintenance and discard patterns were successfully identified. These results are discussed from a regional perspective in order to articulate these new data into interpretations of wider Magdalenian economic and social organisation.
Supervisor: Barton, R. Nick E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology ; Osseous technology; Magdalenian; Upper Palaeolithic; projectile technology