in the Holocene industries of Nubia:
Multifunctional Tools, Sickle Blades or Weapon Elements?
In Nubia, lunates (circle segments) are one of the most characteristic tools from the beginning of the Holocene to the end of proto-history, or even later. According to some interpretations, they are generally considered as being arrowhead or sickle blades. Taking into account archaeological examples, very diverse in their context and dating, the present article tries to summarize our knowledge on the question of their function. While previous studies have essentially taken into account the existence of traces or organic residues (gloss or polish, hafting glue, handle or shaft) and less often the context of discovery (tips driven into human bones or embedded in skeletons), they have not, on the other hand, considered the question of impact fractures and the dimensions of lunates. By collecting all these observations, it is possible to differentiate small sized lunates having mainly been used as projectile tips or barbs and bigger pieces meant to fit knives for cutting vegetal materials or sickles. We can however not exclude other uses for some of the lunates, as it is possible that pieces of medium dimensions could have had a functioned as arrowheads or sickle blades. Finally, we can observe a tendency through time toward a reduction in size of the lunates and a greater standardization of the pieces intended to be used as projectiles.
To cite this article
Honegger M., 2009 – Lunate Microliths in the Holocene Industries of Nubia: Multifunctional Tools, Sickle Blades or Weapon Elements?, in Pétillon J.-M., Dias-Meirinho M.-H., Cattelain P., Honegger M., Normand C., Valdeyron N., Projectile Weapon Elements from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic, Proceedings of session C83, XVth UISPP World Congress, Lisbon, September 4-9, 2006, P@lethnology, 1, 161-173.
Recent Data from the Mosel Region
in the Context of the North-West Linear Pottery Culture
Anne HAUZEUR, Hartwig LÖHR
Several recent excavations of sites attributed to the Linear Pottery Culture (LPC) in the middle Mosel region have considerably increased the number of assemblages available for study. Typological and morphological analyses of arrowheads have been conducted with special attention to their significant role in cultural identities. In this context, the Mosel Valley is located in a geographic zone that links economic and cultural traditions.
The assemblages analyzed are clearly dominated by symmetric arrowheads over asymmetric ones; they perfectly follow a decreasing gradient of symmetric arrowheads, observable on the margins of the Danube towards the Rhine-Meuse territories. The tendency observed for asymmetric arrowheads is variable according to the sites, with a majority of left lateralized pieces. Considering these two associated characteristics, the Mosel assemblages are closer to southern LPC groups than they are to those of the North-West LPC.
From a wider geological and chronological perspective, there is no simple or unique explanation for the lateralization of arrowheads. New data on the La Hoguette and Limburg Pottery, as well as the LPC in the Mosel region, illustrate the interpenetration of economic and ideological contacts into a traditional Mesolithic and Neolithic base.
To cite this article
Hauzeur A., Löhr H., 2009 – Arrowhead Lateralization: Recent Data from the Mosel Region in the Context of the North-West Linear Pottery Culture, in Pétillon J.-M., Dias-Meirinho M.-H., Cattelain P., Honegger M., Normand C., Valdeyron N., Projectile Weapon Elements from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic, Proceedings of session C83, XVth UISPP World Congress, Lisbon, September 4-9, 2006, P@lethnology, 1, 287-308.