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Experimental evidence for lithic projectile injuries: improving identification of an under-recognised phenomenon

Author(s): Martin J Smith ; Megan Brickley ; Stephany Leach

Year: 2006

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Summary

J. Whittaker: Stone point wounds in bone hard to identify without embedded point. Experiments show can be done both macro and microscopically, and stone points often leave embedded fragments.

Used longbow + flint points, shot into bones with some soft tissue [carcasses would have been better]. Also points attached to mechanical striker calibrated in joules (kinetic energy) to compare penetration and tangential strikes on cattle scapulae (structurally similar to human cranium). Several characteristic damage types produced by both experiments; compared to arch specimens. Internal beveling - exterior slot, interior expands [like a concoidal fracture in stone]. Embedded fragments - 14 of 32 impacts, sometimes only microscopically visible, deep and hard to remove, so likely to remain despite medical treatment. Internal striations - microscopic, inside cut, parallel to impact direction, not seen in metal slicing marks. Tangential strikes can produce wounds resembling cut or butchery marks.


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Cite this Record

Experimental evidence for lithic projectile injuries: improving identification of an under-recognised phenomenon. Martin J Smith, Megan Brickley, Stephany Leach. Journal of Archaeological Science. 34: 540-553. 2006 ( tDAR id: 423147)


Keywords

General
Atlatl Bone bow & arrow Spear Weapon

Temporal Keywords
Newest Era


Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager


Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 9937

Notes

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