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See detailDomestic tools, hafting, and the evolution of technology: The Upper Palaeolithic of Hohle Fels as a case study
Taipale, Noora ULiege; Conard, Nicholas J.; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Poster (2016, September)

Innovations relevant to human evolution often involve subsistence technology, which can affect the success of individual groups, and Homo sapiens in general. However, Palaeolithic technologies include ... [more ▼]

Innovations relevant to human evolution often involve subsistence technology, which can affect the success of individual groups, and Homo sapiens in general. However, Palaeolithic technologies include more than just hunting tools, and a proper understanding of hunter-gatherer ways of living requires knowledge of the organisation of diverse tasks and activities, including the manufacture and maintenance of tools and other equipment. One central aspect of technological evolution is the development of tool hafting [1, 2], which is not only restricted to hunting and gathering implements, but also affects so-called domestic tool categories. We present the results of an on-going project that focuses on hafting and use of stone tools in the Upper Palaeolithic through detailed functional analysis of selected assemblages from European key sites (Hohle Fels, Abri Pataud, Maisières-Canal), which have yielded rich lithic and organic assemblages from secure chronological contexts. Here the focus is on classic Upper Palaeolithic tool categories, such as endscrapers and burins, from the Gravettian and Magdalenian levels of the cave site Hohle Fels (Germany) [3, 4]. We suggest that domestic tools can offer a valuable source material, since for most of them, hafting is not a necessity as it is for spear and arrow tips. An increase in hafting implies an increase in time investment, which has implications for task organisation and specialisation. The Hohle Fels assemblage offers an interesting case study for temporal changes (or continuity) in the frequency and techniques of tool hafting. The projectile technology shows a clear shift from the Gravettian to the Magadalenian, marked by the introduction of a microlithic technology (backed bladelets). For other tool categories, the changes seem more subtle. Our goal is to characterise the tools used in manufacture and maintenance tasks, and to evaluate whether the Gravettian to Magdalenian transition witnesses changes in tool design and use that go beyond hunting equipment. The observed differences between tool classes and time periods are explained with a reference to details of tool use, such as the rate of edge wear development and stone tool exhaustion, as well as shifts in treatment of organic raw materials. The results suggest that domestic tools can aid in understanding long-term technological evolution, and create a baseline against which we can (re)assess the role of shifts observed in technologies that are more susceptible to morphological change, such as projectiles. References: [1] Rots, V., 2013. Insights into early Middle Palaeolithic tool use and hafting in Western Europe: The functional analysis of level IIa of the early Middle Palaeolithic site of Biache-Saint-Vaast (France). J. Archaeol. Sci. 40, 497–506. [2] Barham, L., 2013. From Hand to Handle: The First Industrial Revolution. Oxford University Press, Oxford. [3] Conard, N. J., Bolus, M., 2003. Radiocarbon dating the appearance of modern humans and timing of cultural innovations in Europe: New results and new challenges. J. Hum. Evol. 44, 331–371. [4] Taller, A., Bolus, M., Conard, N. J., 2014. The Magdalenian of Hohle Fels Cave and the Resettlement of the Swabian Jura after the LGM. In: Otte, M., Le Brun-Ricalens, F. (Eds.), Modes de contacts et de déplacements au Paléolithique eurasiatique: Actes du Colloque international de la commission 8 (Paléolithique supérieur) de l'UISPP, Université de Liège, 28–31 mai 2012. Centre National de Recherche Archéologique, Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailTime travelling into human prehistory using GC×GC-TOFMS
Perrault, Katelynn ULiege; Dubois, Lena ULiege; Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2016, July 07)

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See detailCultural stratigraphy at Sibudu and its implications for our understanding of the MSA
Conard, Nicholas; Miller, Christopher; Rots, Veerle ULiege et al

Conference (2016, June)

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See detailA New Approach for the Characterization of Organic Residues from Stone Tools Using GC×GC-TOFMS
Perrault, Katelynn ULiege; Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULiege; Dubois, Lena ULiege et al

in Separations (2016), 3(2), 16

Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) have traditionally been used, in combination with other analyses, for the chemical characterization of ... [more ▼]

Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) have traditionally been used, in combination with other analyses, for the chemical characterization of organic residues recovered from archaeological specimens. Recently in many life science fields, comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) has provided numerous benefits over GC-MS. This study represents the first use of HS-SPME-GC×GC-TOFMS to characterize specimens from an experimental modern reference collection. Solvent extractions and direct analyses were performed on materials such as ivory, bone, antlers, animal tissue, human tissue, sediment, and resin. Thicker film column sets were preferred due to reduced column overloading. The samples analyzed by HS-SPME directly on a specimen appeared to give unique signatures and generally produced a higher response than for the solvent-extracted residues. A non-destructive screening approach of specimens may, therefore, be possible. Resin and beeswax mixtures prepared by heating for different lengths of time appeared to provide distinctly different volatile signatures, suggesting that GC×GC-TOFMS may be capable of differentiating alterations to resin in future studies. Further development of GC×GC-TOFMS methods for archaeological applications will provide a valuable tool to uncover significant information on prehistoric technological changes and cultural behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailMaking sense of residues on flaked stone artefacts: learning from blind tests
Rots, Veerle ULiege; Hayes, Elspeth; Cnuts, Dries ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2016)

Detailed reference viewed: 97 (11 ULiège)
See detailGCxGC-TOFMS for the Investigation of Archeological Mysteries
Perrault, Katelynn ULiege; Dubois, Lena ULiege; Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2016, March)

Detailed reference viewed: 18 (7 ULiège)
See detailImplications of spatial and temporal variation in point technology in KwaZulu-Natal during the MSA
Bader, Gregor; Porraz, Guillaume; Rots, Veerle ULiege et al

Poster (2016)

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See detailProjectiles and hafting technology
Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Iovita, Radu; Sano, Katsuhiro (Eds.) Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Stone Age Weaponry (2016)

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See detailHunting with trapezes at Bazel-Sluis: the results of a functional analysis
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege; Perdaen, Yves et al

in Notae Praehistoricae (2015), 35

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See detailEtude des traces d’utilisation et d’emmanchement au Paléolithique Moyen en Afrique du Nord: résultats préliminaires d’une analyse fonctionnelle des outils lithiques Atérien d’Ifri n’Ammar (Maroc).
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Scientific conference (2015, November)

First results will be presented of the on-going use-wear analysis of tanged tools from the Aterian assemblage of Ifri n’ Ammar. The rock shelter has a particularly rich and well-preserved stratigraphy in ... [more ▼]

First results will be presented of the on-going use-wear analysis of tanged tools from the Aterian assemblage of Ifri n’ Ammar. The rock shelter has a particularly rich and well-preserved stratigraphy in which a variety of tanged tools occur, offering the possibility to test existing hypotheses regarding the potential link of tangs with hafting. Based on an experimental research, the relevance of the “Aterian tang” for hafting (or use) was explored and the microscopic wear patterns were examined. These data were confronted with the archaeological examples and with the experimental reference collection available at TraceoLab at the University of Liège. Functional data are highly relevant to improve our understanding of Aterian assemblages, in particular when these data are integrated in existing typological and technological studies. It may help to understand whether the innovative elements of this industry, such as the tangs, were triggered by functional, cultural, or environmental factors. [less ▲]

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See detailBifacial serrated technology in the southern African Still Bay: new data from Sibudu Cave, Kwazulu-Natal
Schmid, Viola; Porraz, Guillaume; Rots, Veerle ULiege et al

Conference (2015, September)

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See detailNew excavations of the Later and Middle Stone Age layers at Bushman Rock Shelter, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Val, Aurore; Backwell, Lucinda; Brugal, Jean-Philip et al

Conference (2015, July 01)

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See detailIntroduction: Palaeolithic stone tool hafting
Rots, Veerle ULiege

Scientific conference (2015, June)

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See detailIntroduction: vegetal, animal and mineral residues
Rots, Veerle ULiege

Scientific conference (2015, June)

Detailed reference viewed: 29 (1 ULiège)
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See detailTowards an experiment based protocol for extracting and identifying residues
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Conference (2015, May 29)

Residue analysis has recently become a widely applied method in reconstructing the lifecycle of prehistoric stone tools. The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive ... [more ▼]

Residue analysis has recently become a widely applied method in reconstructing the lifecycle of prehistoric stone tools. The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. The majority of residue fragments, however, tend to have an amorphous structure and are therefore not easy to identify. In addition, some residue categories can only be detected by using transmitted light microscopy, which requires the extraction of residues from the tool’s surface. Yet another challenge is to determine whether the residues were deposited on the tool’s surface as a result of use or due to other processes. Here we present the results of an experimental study that addresses these methodological issues. Stone tools from a new experimental reference collection were used to test 6 different analytical methods: the observation of residues on stone tools with incident light microscopy, dry sampling using tweezers and brushes, wet sampling with micropipettes using distilled water and a tri-mixture of acetonitrile, ethanol and water, and extraction with an ultrasonic scaler or bath. The experiments demonstrate that the choice of a particular extraction procedure may influence the amount and types of residues that are extracted. This implies that the analytical method has an impact on the results of a residue analysis. Building on these data, we designed a new protocol, which was subsequently submitted to blind testing in order to test its accuracy and precision. Certain key attributes were also identified that may prove useful in distinguishing between use-related and natural residues. We discuss the importance of adapting analytical protocols to the research question of the study. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 57 (7 ULiège)