Aurignacian Projectile Points Do Not Represent a Proxy for the Initial Dispersal of Homo sapiens into Europe: Insights from Geometric Morphometrics
Author(s): Luc Doyon
It has been argued that Aurignacian projectile points made of antler, bone, or ivory represent a proxy for the initial dispersal of Homo sapiens into Europe. Our research reassesses this claim by using geometric morphometric analysis to study 547 Aurignacian osseous implements recovered from 49 European sites. This approach allowed the identification of eight volumetric templates reproduced by Aurignacian artisans during the manufacture of split-based points. Two templates were identified for massive-based points, one of which includes a number of variants. Spatial and chronological distribution of these templates suggests the dominant hypothesis must be reconsidered. We argue that Aurignacian armatures signal the development of innovative socioeconomic strategies by groups already present on the continent and linked to one another. In this case, the osseous armatures would have conferred an adaptive technological solution to prehistoric groups engaged in increased mobility. The subsequent adoption of the innovation at a continental scale must be linked with the dispersal of the Campanian Ignimbrite tephra. Finally, the replacement of split-based points by massive-based points suggests that an important transformation occurred in the technological strategies (i.e., curation versus expediency) implemented by earlier and later Aurignacians even though they favoured a similar mobility pattern.
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Aurignacian Projectile Points Do Not Represent a Proxy for the Initial Dispersal of Homo sapiens into Europe: Insights from Geometric Morphometrics. Luc Doyon. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444476)
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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20557