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Identifying Bone-Tipped Arrow Types in the Archaeological Record of Southern Africa: The Contribution of Use-Trace Studies

Identifying Bone-Tipped Arrow Types in the Archaeological Record of Southern Africa: The... This study presents a historical review of the different types of southern African hunter-gatherer arrows employing a piece of bone situated at or near the tip of the arrow, which I call the apical bone component. The results of an extensive use-trace study of bone points and fragments thereof from twelve archaeological sites spanning the last 18,000 years show that it is possible to identify arrow types based on associated use-trace features. Five possible arrow types are identified from the archaeological sample, all dating to within the last 4000–6000 years. Using use-trace studies it is possible to identify now-missing components of the arrows, such as metal, mastic or stone inserts. Contrary to recent claims, I do not find evidence for bone-tipped arrows evolving along a continuum. Rather, some arrow types may have a much greater antiquity than previously thought. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Identifying Bone-Tipped Arrow Types in the Archaeological Record of Southern Africa: The Contribution of Use-Trace Studies

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 13 (2): 135 – Nov 1, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/2191-5784-10278
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study presents a historical review of the different types of southern African hunter-gatherer arrows employing a piece of bone situated at or near the tip of the arrow, which I call the apical bone component. The results of an extensive use-trace study of bone points and fragments thereof from twelve archaeological sites spanning the last 18,000 years show that it is possible to identify arrow types based on associated use-trace features. Five possible arrow types are identified from the archaeological sample, all dating to within the last 4000–6000 years. Using use-trace studies it is possible to identify now-missing components of the arrows, such as metal, mastic or stone inserts. Contrary to recent claims, I do not find evidence for bone-tipped arrows evolving along a continuum. Rather, some arrow types may have a much greater antiquity than previously thought.

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Nov 1, 2015

Keywords: Use-traces; bone-tipped arrow identification; bone technology; South Africa and Lesotho Stone Age sequence

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