References of "Rots, Veerle"
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See detailPressure flaking to serrate bifacial points for the hunt during the MIS5 at Sibudu Cave (South Africa)
Rots, Veerle ULg; Lentfer, Carol ULg; Schmid, Viola C. et al

in PLoS ONE (2017), 12(4), 0175151

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See detailExtracting residues from stone tools for optical analysis: towards an experiment-based protocol
Cnuts, Dries ULg; Rots, Veerle ULg

in Archaeological and Anthropological sciences (2017)

The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. Most residue fragments are amorphous, in the sense that they ... [more ▼]

The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. Most residue fragments are amorphous, in the sense that they lack distinguishing shapes or easily visible structures under reflected light microscopy. Amorphous residues can only be identified by using transmitted light microscopy, which requires the extraction of residues from the tool’s surface. Residues are usually extracted with a pipette or an ultrasonic bath in combination with distilled water. However, a number of researchers avoid residue extraction because it is unclear whether current extraction techniques are representative for the use-related residue that adheres to a flaked stone tool. In this paper, we aim at resolving these methodological uncertainties by critically evaluating current extraction methodologies. Attention is focused on the variation in residue types, their causes of deposition and their adhesion and on the most successful technique for extracting a range of residue types from the stone tool surface. Based on an experimental reference sample in flint, we argue that a stepwise extraction protocol is most successful in providing rep- resentative residue extractions and in preventing damage, destruction or loss of residue. [less ▲]

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See detailThe ballistic performance of prehistoric weapons: first results of a comparative study
Coppe, Justin ULg; Clarenne, Valérian; Pirlot, Marc et al

Conference (2017, March 30)

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 ... [more ▼]

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. [less ▲]

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See detailLearning from blind tests: Determining the function of experimental grinding stones through use-wear and residue analysis
Hayes, Elspeth H.; Cnuts, Dries ULg; Lepers, Christian et al

in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (2017), 11

Abstract Blind tests provide an objective means to evaluate the accuracy of functional interpretations based on the presence of use-wear and residue traces on stone tools. Previous blind tests have ... [more ▼]

Abstract Blind tests provide an objective means to evaluate the accuracy of functional interpretations based on the presence of use-wear and residue traces on stone tools. Previous blind tests have highlighted interpretive errors commonly associated with use-wear and residue analyses leading to significant methodological developments in each of the respective fields. While a number of blind tests have been performed on flaked stone tools, only a single blind test has been published for use-wear on grinding tools. We present the results of a two-part blind test performed on 15 experimental grinding implements that were used in a controlled setting, designed to evaluate the relative importance of residue analysis for determining the worked material (1) when contextual information is available and (2) when contextual information is absent. We argue that use-wear and residue analyses are successful procedures to identify the use of grinding stones, and that residue analysis may be a particularly valuable means for determining the worked material on tools that have insufficient use-wear development. We suggest that residues should be sufficiently abundant to infer use, if we are to avoid the potential confusion caused by contamination. [less ▲]

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See detailWhat is the use of shaping a tang? Tool use and hafting of tanged tools in the Aterian of Northern Africa
Tomasso, Sonja ULg; Rots, Veerle ULg

in Archaeological and Anthropological sciences (2017)

We present the results of detailed microscopic examination of tanged tools from the site of Ifri n'Ammar. The rock shelter has a particularly rich and well-preserved stratigraphy that has yielded a large ... [more ▼]

We present the results of detailed microscopic examination of tanged tools from the site of Ifri n'Ammar. The rock shelter has a particularly rich and well-preserved stratigraphy that has yielded a large variety of tanged tools, thus offering a possibility to test hypotheses on the possible links between tangs and hafting. Earlier methodological work has demonstrated that patterned wear forms on the non-active part of the tool as the result of hafted tool use, and that the characteristics of the wear traces depend on the exact hafting arrangement used. In the present study, wear analyses were combined with further experiments that involved the hafting of tanged tools with various materials and arrangements and aimed at understanding the development of this important morphological innovation. We suggest that functional data are needed to understand the relevance of the "Aterian tang" for hafting (or use), and whether this innovation was triggered by functional, cultural or environmental factors. [less ▲]

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See detailPrésentation du projet Economie et pratiques des sociétés gravettiennes dans le Nord-Ouest de l’Europe (ECOPRAT)
Touzé, Olivier ULg; Salomon, Hélène ULg; Goutas, Nejma et al

Poster (2016, December 17)

Nous présentons dans cette contribution un projet collectif porté par le Service de Préhistoire de l’Université de Liège et l’équipe Ethnologie préhistorique de l'unité mixte de recherche du CNRS ... [more ▼]

Nous présentons dans cette contribution un projet collectif porté par le Service de Préhistoire de l’Université de Liège et l’équipe Ethnologie préhistorique de l'unité mixte de recherche du CNRS Archéologie et Sciences de l'Antiquité. Le projet « ECOPRAT » entend contribuer au renouvellement des connaissances relatives aux sociétés gravettiennes du Nord-Ouest européen, et prolonger ainsi la dynamique de recherche actuelle touchant ces sociétés (Bodu et al., 2013). Il s’inscrit dans une perspective pluridisciplinaire envisagée grâce à l’association d’études technologiques, tracéologiques et archéozoologiques. Quatre sites majeurs du Nord-Ouest européen ont été retenus : les gisements de plein air de Maisières-Canal (Prov. Hainaut, Belgique) et d’Ormesson – Les Bossats (Seine-et-Marne, France), et les grottes de Goyet (Prov. Namur, Belgique) et du massif d’Arcy-sur-Cure (Yonne, France). Les sites sélectionnés possédant des historiques de recherche spécifiques, la stratégie d’analyse adoptée pour chacun d’eux est développée en adéquation avec l’état des connaissances actuelles. Les recherches sont ainsi guidées par l’obtention de données inédites qui doivent permettre, à terme : 1) une lecture renouvelée et croisée des industries lithiques et osseuses, ainsi que des ensembles fauniques et des matières colorantes découverts dans ces gisements, 2) un rééquilibrage quantitatif et qualitatif de l’intégration des différentes sources documentaires disponibles, la recherche s’étant davantage concentrée depuis plus d’un siècle sur les données de l’industrie lithique. Les deux gisements de plein air réunissent les conditions indispensables au développement d’une approche interdisciplinaire permettant de croiser objets et méthodes d’étude, afin de proposer une lecture fine des comportements techniques et économiques des sociétés gravettiennes. A cet égard, cette contribution est l’occasion de présenter les premiers résultats obtenus sur le site de Maisières-Canal. Les recherches réalisées jusqu’à présent permettent de réévaluer l’importance de l’industrie sur matières dures d’origine animale, au sein de laquelle le travail de l’ivoire de mammouth se révèle particulièrement significatif. En outre, le corpus faunique traduit une exploitation récurrente du lièvre, ce type de comportement s’avérant singulier au regard de ce qui est habituellement documenté chez les sociétés du Gravettien. Parmi les différentes activités susceptibles de laisser une trace archéologique, l’usage de matières colorantes apparaît particulièrement discret dans le cadre spatio-temporel considéré. Cet usage est cependant avéré dans les grottes d’Arcy-sur-Cure (grottes du Renne et du Trilobite), lesquelles permettront ainsi d’entreprendre une étude ciblée de ce phénomène. Enfin, les grottes de Goyet offrent la possibilité de contribuer à la connaissance de la séquence gravettienne du Nord-Ouest européen. Si le long historique des fouilles menées dans ces grottes, ainsi que les mélanges manifestes affectant les collections, ne permettent pas d’envisager une étude approfondie des comportements gravettiens, des observations préliminaires permettent en revanche de s’interroger sur le potentiel de ces sites pour la reconstitution de cette séquence. A l’instar de ce qu’ont montré les travaux récemment conduits sur le Gravettien de Spy (Pesesse & Flas, 2013), il est en effet vraisemblable que les grottes de Goyet aient été occupées à plusieurs moments de la période gravettienne. BODU P., CHEHMANA L., KLARIC L., MEVEL L., SORIANO S., TEYSSANDIER N. (dir.), 2013. Le Paléolithique supérieur ancien de l’Europe du Nord-Ouest : réflexions et synthèses à partir d’un projet collectif de recherche sur le centre et le sud du Bassin parisien, Actes du colloque de Sens, 15-18 avril 2009. Paris : Société préhistorique française (Mémoires de la Société préhistorique française, 56), 516 p. PESESSE D., FLAS D., 2013. Which Gravettians at Spy? In : ROUGIER H., SEMAL P. (eds), Spy Cave. 125 years of multidisciplinary research at the Betche-aux-Roches (Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Province of Namur, Belgium). Volume I. Bruxelles : Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Société royale belge d'Anthropologie et de Préhistoire, NESPOS Society (Anthropologica et Praehistorica, 123), pp. 257-268. [less ▲]

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See detailManufacture and use of points at Maisières-Canal
Touzé, Olivier ULg; Coppe, Justin ULg; Taipale, Noora ULg et al

Conference (2016, December 17)

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See detailIdentifying stone tool hafting in the archaeological record: interpretative potential and methodology
Rots, Veerle ULg

Scientific conference (2016, December 15)

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See detailWhat’s the difference? Results of a functional study of Aterian and Mousterian tools from the site of Ifri n’Ammar (Morocco)
Tomasso, Sonja ULg; Rots, Veerle ULg

Conference (2016, September 16)

Until today, the definition of the North African Mousterian has been based on a systematic comparison with the European Mousterian. Particularly the “Aterian” and its tanged tools have been widely ... [more ▼]

Until today, the definition of the North African Mousterian has been based on a systematic comparison with the European Mousterian. Particularly the “Aterian” and its tanged tools have been widely discussed. Researchers considered the tanged Aterian tools as early indications of the existence of hafting techniques [1]. It is currently not entirely understood how the Aterian relates to the Mousterian in North Africa, whether tanged tools can indeed be linked with hafting, and whether non-tanged tools were also hafted, which could indicate that a variety in hafting techniques existed. The site of Ifri n’Ammar presents an ideal chance to compare Aterian and Mousterian technocomplexes. The rock shelter is located in the eastern Moroccan Rif and has a rich and well preserved stratigraphy where Middle Paleolithic tools are abundantly represented [2]. At Ifri n’Ammar, the Aterian and Mousterian assemblages are inter-stratified, which means that the relationship of these industries cannot simply be explained in terms of chronological succession [2,3]. The density of retouched artefacts differs between the Aterian and the Mousterian levels and tanged tools are present in the denser Aterian levels only. These levels also show a higher overall tool frequency. We present the results of a functional study focusing on the artefacts from the upper levels (“Occupation supérieure”) of Ifri n’Ammar, dated between 83 ± 6 ka and 130 ± 8 ka [3]. The functional study was combined with a specific experimental program designed to address questions raised during the analysis of the archaeological material, with a specific focus on hafting. Diagnostic microscopic wear patterns confirm that the tanged tools were used while hafted. Tanged tools did not prove to be related to hunting activities only, but various tool uses could be identified. They all fit, however, within the context of hunting and animal processing activities. The reuse of hafted armatures for other activities is not evident in the present sample. [less ▲]

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See detailA new method for identifying experimental and Palaeolithic hafting adhesives using GC×GC-HRTOFMS
Cnuts, Dries ULg; Perrault, Katelynn ULg; Dubois, Lena ULg et al

Poster (2016, September)

Hafting adhesives can be seen as an indication of the cognitive and technical capabilities of the manufacturers and therefore play a key role in the debate on human evolution [1], [2]. These adhesives are ... [more ▼]

Hafting adhesives can be seen as an indication of the cognitive and technical capabilities of the manufacturers and therefore play a key role in the debate on human evolution [1], [2]. These adhesives are mainly from plant origin (resins, gums or tar) and are often mixed with beeswax and other additives in order to make them less brittle. Archaeological evidence indicates that these adhesives were already in use in the Paleolithic from at least 120.000 years ago [3]. Discoveries for this period are however very rare and only become abundant from the Neolithic onwards [4]. Their longer exposure to biochemical alteration processes limits the chance of survival in the archaeological record. If they are present on Paleolithic stone tools, they appear often in such small quantities that they are challenging to identify by traditional gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or even to remove them effectively from the stone tool. The destructive nature of traditional GC-MS analysis can damage these rare samples for other analyses. Our study aims to overcome this problem by using headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) for sample extraction and analysis by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography –high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-HRTOFMS), which has the benefit of analyzing the volatile organic compound (VOC)s from the substance and it does not destroy the complete matrix of the adhesive. We present the results of a pilot study intended to examine the potential of this technique for analyzing Palaeolithic adhesives. The study involved (1) an examination of experimental compound adhesives (containing pine and spruce resin, acacia gum and birch tar; beeswax and additives like charcoal, flax or ochre), (2) a blind test on experimental samples to test the reliability of the method and to determine the minimal quantity necessary for analysis, and (3) the analysis of different Palaeolithic adhesives and of experimental samples of at least 15 years old. The analysis was done on extracted and non-extracted adhesives. A unique chromatographic fingerprint was obtained for all experimental adhesive samples. The VOC profile of these adhesives proved to be extremely complex and therefore benefitted significantly from multidimensional separation techniques. GC×GC-HRTOFMS provided an optimal chromatographic separation of adhesive components. HRTOFMS data was used in order to obtain high-resolution mass spectral data to contribute to compound identification. Our study demonstrates that GC×GC-HRTOFMS is a well suited method for identifying small quantities of compound adhesives with significant potential for Palaeolithic contexts. The additional sensitivity afforded by this technique in comparison to traditional GC-MS is a substantial benefit for these quantities. Furthermore, by only analyzing the VOCs of the adhesives, these rare archeological samples are not destroyed and can still be used for other types of analysis. [1] L. Wadley, ‘Compound-Adhesive Manufacture as a Behavioral Proxy for Complex Cognition in the Middle Stone Age’, Curr. Anthropol., vol. 51, no. s1, pp. S111–S119, Jun. 2010. [2] L. Barham, From Hand to Handle: The First Industrial Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. [3] P. P. A. Mazza, F. Martini, B. Sala, M. Magi, M. P. Colombini, G. Giachi, F. Landucci, C. Lemorini, F. Modugno, and E. Ribechini, ‘A new Palaeolithic discovery: tar-hafted stone tools in a European Mid-Pleistocene bone-bearing bed’, J. Archaeol. Sci., vol. 33, no. 9, pp. 1310–1318, Sep. 2006. [4] M. Regert, ‘Investigating the history of prehistoric glues by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.’, J. Sep. Sci., vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 244–54, Feb. 2004. [less ▲]

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See detailThere is more to life than subsistence: use-wear and residue analyses on pre-Still Bay stone tools at Sibudu
Rots, Veerle ULg; Lentfer, Carol ULg; Schmid, Viola et al

Conference (2016, September)

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See detailFiber technology, rope-making, textiles and the Lochstäbe from the Aurignacian of the Swabian Jura
Conard, Nicholas; Rots, Veerle ULg

Conference (2016, September)

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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 ULg; Conard, Nicholas J.; Rots, Veerle ULg

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 ULg; Dubois, Lena ULg; Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULg 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 ULg et al

Conference (2016, June)

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