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The ballistic performance of prehistoric weapons: first results of a comparative study.

Author(s): Justin Coppe ; Veerle Rots ; Marc Pirlot ; Valérian Clarenne

Year: 2017

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Projectile points have recently taken a prominent position in debates on the complexity of Paleolithic human behavior. While the appearance of hunting weapons in the archaeological record was a central element in early discussions, the debate has shifted towards the appearance of specific projecting modes. Given that the organic propulsion tools (bow, spear-thrower) are only rarely preserved, energy has been invested in experiments to explore how the projecting mode can be identified based on the analysis of stone points. These experiments usually attempt to control selected parameters in projectile use (e.g., speed, target, angle of impact), but the ballistic parameters that are used are generally based on heterogeneous and not commonly reported studies. Little research has focused on the measurement of the complete ballistic performance of prehistoric weapons. We present the first results of a systematic ballistic study that quantifies and compares different modes of propulsion.

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The ballistic performance of prehistoric weapons: first results of a comparative study.. Justin Coppe, Veerle Rots, Marc Pirlot, Valérian Clarenne. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430547)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15879

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