Morphometric Analysis of Aurignacian Bone, Antler and Ivory Projectile Points

Author(s): Luc Doyon

Year: 2016


This study examines the morphometric variation of Aurignacian bone, antler and ivory projectile points, the first continental-wide occurrence of hunting armatures made from animal material during the Early Upper Paleolithic. Morphometric analysis is a powerful instrument that separates and quantifies variation of both shape and size thereby allowing exploration of both functional and stylistic variation of an object. Applied to armatures from the Western Mediterranean region (Grotte de l’Observatoire, Reclau Viver, L’Arbreda Cave) and the northern slopes of the Pyrenees (Aurignac, Tarté, Saint-Jean-de-Verges), morphometric analysis suggests the presence of three main volumetric templates replicated by the prehistoric artisans. Each template is associated with specific proximal and/or distal damage types. This suggests that morphometrically similar implements were hafted and used in similar ways. As would be expected, sites where the manufacture of projectile points is attested yield a greater number of complete points as well as specimens showing little sign of use. On the other hand, the specimens from assemblages from sites without evidence of primary manufacture and that are located at the extremities of the region are smaller and more fragmented, suggesting a higher intensity of use and resharpening prior to deposition.

Cite this Record

Morphometric Analysis of Aurignacian Bone, Antler and Ivory Projectile Points. Luc Doyon. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403603)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;