What are these barbs for?
Preliminary Study on the Function
of the Upper Magdalenian Barbed Weapon Tips
Based on previous works by M. Julien (1982) and G.C. Weniger (1995), this paper presents some preliminary hypotheses on the possible functions of the osseous barbed points from the Upper Magdalenian (ca. 13 500-12 000 cal BC). Taking as a starting point the statement that their appearance and development coincide with an increased interest in small animal hunting (fish, birds, lagomorphs), we attempted to correlate the relative abundance of barbed points with the representation of small game, but the data from our test area (Northern Pyrenees) did not provide conclusive results. A survey of the barbed points of Northern American hunter-gatherers known by ethnography shows a clear functional trend: “simple” barbed points are mostly used for fowling, for hunting big and small land game, and for war; while “true” harpoons are mostly used for fishing and hunting sea mammals and aquatic mammals. However, when based on a rigorous operational definition of harpoons, the morphology of the Magdalenian barbed points appears not to allow their positive classification as harpoon heads. Thus, their function remains largely undetermined. We therefore suggest several possible directions for future research on this topic.
To cite this article
Pétillon J.-M., 2009 – What are these Barbs for? Preliminary Study on the Function of the Upper Magdalenian Barbed Weapon Tips, 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, 66-97.
Fabrication and use
of hamburgian shouldered points:
New Data from Poggenwisch and Teltwisch 1
(Ahrensbourg Valley, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)
The objective of this paper is to present certain characteristics of Hamburgian shouldered points that can be compared with Magdalenian lithic points. The collections studied are those of Poggenwisch and Teltwisch 1. The blanks of these points are narrow and thin blades with a relatively rectilinear profile. One question that is raised is whether they originate in part from a specific schema opératoire (operational scheme) employed with the objective of obtaining these blanks, which seem to have been detached using a soft stone hammer. Despite some common characteristics, I observed a difference in the degree of standardisation between the two collections studied. The microburin technique was used during the shaping of the blanks into points. The basal modifications are highly variable, which has not yet been explained. One of the causes could be related to the hafting method, for which I propose an alternative that takes into account the profile of the points, as well as the lack of wood in the environment.
To cite this article
Weber M.-J., 2009 – Fabrication and Use of Hamburgian Shouldered Points: New Data from Poggenwisch and Teltwisch 1 (Ahrensbourg Valley, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany), 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, 98-132.