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Flint Tools as Portable Sound-Producing Objects in the Upper Palaeolithic Context: An Experimental Study

Author(s): Ian Cross ; Elizabeth C Blake

Editor(s): Roeland P Paardekooper ; Penny Cunningham ; Julia Heeb

Year: 2008

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In stratigraphic levels associated with the early Upper Palaeolithic, reputed “sound-tools” have been discovered in the form of bone and ivory pipes at the sites of Geißenklösterle, Germany and the Grott e d’Isturitz, France. The technical sophistication of these objects holds out the promise that other archaeologically durable materials, such as stone, may have been exploited for quasi-musical behaviours. Other types of stone artefacts, though generally interpreted as “tools”, might well have been used as “sound tools”, or lithophones. This paper reports the results of acoustical and use-wear analyses of experimentally made Aurignacian-type blades with the intention of specifying diagnostic criteria that

could aid the identifi cation of lithic artefacts in the archaeological record that may have been employed to produce sound. The project takes forward and expands on the methodology of the original Lithoacoustics project (Cross et al. 2002) in order to identify and to refi ne objective criteria for acoustical assessment and to clarify the nature of use-wear resulting from diff erent playing methods.

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Flint Tools as Portable Sound-Producing Objects in the Upper Palaeolithic Context: An Experimental Study. Ian Cross, Elizabeth C Blake, Roeland P Paardekooper, Penny Cunningham, Julia Heeb. In Experiencing Archaeology By Experiment. Pp. 1-19. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 2008 ( tDAR id: 422095)


Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 8607


Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America