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The Mousterian bone retouchers of Noisetier Cave: experimentation and identification of marks

Abstract : Retouchers are fragments of bone used during the Paleolithic to strike stone flakes in order to transform them into retouched tools. Our experiments show that the mark produced on retouchers differs depending on whether they were used to strike flint or quartzite. Our results suggest that numerous pits, most often with an ovoid form, characterize the retouching of quartzite flakes. Most of the scores produced with this material have a sinuous morphology with rough interior faces. The areas with superposed traces have a pitted appearance. On the other hand, the retouching of flint flakes, produces pits that are most often triangular in form. Most of the scores have a rectilinear morphology with smooth interior faces and their superposition results in the formation of hatch marks. There is also a relationship between the characteristics of the mark and the relative state of freshness of the retouchers. The validity of the criteria identified was confirmed by a blind test. These diagnostic criteria were applied to archaeological retouchers from the Mousterian site of Noisetier Cave. The results obtained improve our knowledge of the technical behaviors of Neanderthals and allow us to address questions concerning their techno-economic implications.
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Contributor : Jean-Baptiste Mallye Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 2:28:44 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 3:32:05 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00904414, version 1



Jean-Baptiste Mallye, Céline Thiébaut, Vincent Mourre, Sandrine Costamagno, Émilie Claud, et al.. The Mousterian bone retouchers of Noisetier Cave: experimentation and identification of marks. Journal of Archaeological Science, Elsevier, 2011, 39, pp.1131-1142. ⟨halshs-00904414⟩



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