References of "Rots, Veerle"
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See detailTaphonomie et analyse des résidus sur les pièces lithiques
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Brugal, Jean-Philip (Ed.) TaphonomieS (2017)

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See detailThe weapon system behind the point: Early Gravettian hunting technologies at Maisières-Canal
Taipale, Noora ULiege; Coppe, Justin ULiege; Touzé, Olivier ULiege et al

Conference (2017, September 23)

Hunting and preparing for the hunt – manufacturing, using, and repairing the equipment – were undoubtedly important and time-consuming activities in the lives of Palaeolithic groups [1, 2]. Studying ... [more ▼]

Hunting and preparing for the hunt – manufacturing, using, and repairing the equipment – were undoubtedly important and time-consuming activities in the lives of Palaeolithic groups [1, 2]. Studying hunting equipment in detail is thus essential for our understanding of a crucial aspect of Palaeolithic human behaviour and allows us to understand developments in human technologies and problem-solving across wide geographical and chronological ranges. Yet, our current knowledge about the development of prehistoric hunting technologies (projecting modes, weapon design) is mainly based on a few important but isolated discoveries of organic remains in Europe, such as the Lower Palaeolithic spears or spear fragments recovered at Schöningen, Lehringen, and Clacton-on-Sea, the Solutrean and Magdalenian spear-thrower hooks, and the arrows and bow fragments from Mesolithic and Neolithic contexts [3]. In this paper we demonstrate how to exploit the full potential of a much more durable and ubiquitous type of remains, lithic armatures, in the study of Palaeolithic hunting practices. We present the results of a collaborative project that combines technological and functional analysis with experimental archaeology, and aims at understanding the manufacture and use of a specific lithic projectile type, the Early Gravettian tanged point. Our archaeological material comes from the Gravettian occupation phase of the open-air site of Maisières-Canal (Belgium), dated between 33 and 32 cal BP [4]. This stratigraphically well-isolated sequence has yielded an important collection of tanged points that are in excellent state of preservation. A combined study of the finished armatures and the related shaping waste allows us to present a new, more comprehensive view of the characteristics and constraints of the shaping method. The points were made on large, thin blades produced by hard or soft stone percussion, and subsequently shaped by several generations of direct, flat, invasive (sometimes overshot) removals with an organic hammer. These points, which all display a long, elaborately shaped tang, thus form a distinct tool type with a unique chaîne opératoire and a very particular morphology in terms of weapon design and hafting systems. Many of the points show clear macroscopic and microscopic damage from impact that can be attributed to their use as armatures. The morphology, the organisation, and the orientation of the traces allowed us to propose specific hafting modes that were tested experimentally. The experimental program focused on both the details of the hafting mode and the mode of projection. In addition, alternative tool uses such as butchering were considered, and the points were framed within the broader functional context of tanged and non-tanged tools recovered at the site. The results allow evaluating what kind of weapon system the tanged points were part of, and what their place was in the Early Gravettian technology. We argue that when approached from an experimental and techno-functional point of view, lithic projectile points can help us understand the development of hunting technologies as well as broader patterns of technological change. References:[1] Ellis, C.J., 1997. Factors influencing the use of stone projectile tips. In: Knecht, H. (Ed.), Projectile Technology. Springer Science & Business Media, pp. 37–74 [2] Greaves, R ., 1997. Hunting and multifunctional use of bows and arrows. In: Knecht, H. (Ed.), Projectile Technology. Springer Science & Business Media, New York, pp. 287–320 [3] Knecht, H., 1997. Projectile technology. Springer Science & Business Media, New York [4] Jacobi, R. M., Haesaerts, P., Jadin, I., Basell, L.S., 2010. Radiocarbon chronology for the Early Gravettian of northern Europe: new AMS determinations for Maisières-Canal, Belgium. Antiquity 84 (323), 26–40 [less ▲]

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See detailA Techno-Functional Study of the Aterian Technocomplex at Ifri n'Ammar
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Poster (2017, September)

The tanged tools of the Aterian technocomplex have generally formed the central point in debates on early indications of hafting (Clark, 1970). However, in order to obtain a true understanding of the ... [more ▼]

The tanged tools of the Aterian technocomplex have generally formed the central point in debates on early indications of hafting (Clark, 1970). However, in order to obtain a true understanding of the specificity of this technocomplex, it is essential to study entire assemblages and understand the characteristics of and the relation between the tanged and non-tanged tool component, both on a technological and on a functional level. Until today no functional studies were yet undertaken on complete Aterian tool assemblages. We present the results of the technological and use-wear analysis of the non-tanged tool component of the Aterian assemblage of Ifri n’Ammar (Morocco) and focus on aspects of tool use and hafting. The rock shelter of Ifri n’Ammar, located in the eastern Moroccan Rif, is known for its rich stratified lithic assemblages, dating to 83 ± 6 ka to 130 ± 8 ka for the upper levels and to 145 ± 9 to 171 ± 12 ka for the lower levels (Richter et al., 2010). In the framework of the recently published dating results of other maghrebian sites (Dörschner et al., 2016), Ifri n’Ammar takes an important position within discussions on the chronological attribution of the Aterian: a large time span extended from MIS 6 to MIS 3 [3]. The sequence has provided a large diversity of tool morphologies which offer the possibility to contribute to the discussion about use and hafting of tanged and non-tanged tools. Aside from the tanged tools and foliates, the material from comparable Aterian assemblages can be defined by the presence of side scrapers, end-scrapers, denticulates, such as blades, bladelets or Levallois cores (Bouzouggar and Barton, 2012). Despite the frequent presence of post-depositional surface alterations, reliable functional interpretations could be identified on a large number of tools. Previous studies had already confirmed that the tanged tools were used while hafted for hunting and animal processing activities (Tomasso and Rots, 2017). Also a variety of tasks and gestures could be identified on the non-tanged tools based on a combination of diagnostic macro- and microscopic wear traces. Interestingly, also the non-tanged tool component shows evidence of hafting, indicating the existence of a variety in hafting techniques. The integration of the functional results on the non-tanged and tanged tool component allows addressing questions on tool variability, diversity in tool morphology and site function. We argue that the results highlight the importance of the site for improving our understanding of the North African MSA. [less ▲]

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See detailA technological and functional examination of the Aurignacian end-scrapers from Grotta di Fumane
Aleo, Alessandro; Duches, Rossella; Rots, Veerle ULiege et al

Poster (2017, September)

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See detailPressure flaking to serrate bifacial points for the hunt during the MIS5 at Sibudu Cave (South Africa)
Rots, Veerle ULiege; Lentfer, Carol ULiege; 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 ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

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 ULiege; 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 ULiege; 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 ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

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 detailThe Upper Paleolithic site of Les Prés de Laure (France) sheds new light on Palaeolithic weaponry
Tomasso, Antonin ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege; Purdue, Louise et al

Conference (2017)

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See detailAround the fireplace: heat exposure and adhesive alteration
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Poster (2017)

Currently, there is no agreement about the timing of the habitual use of fire in the Palaeolithic. Some researchers (Roebroeks and Villa, 2011) situate the control of fire in North-western Europe around ... [more ▼]

Currently, there is no agreement about the timing of the habitual use of fire in the Palaeolithic. Some researchers (Roebroeks and Villa, 2011) situate the control of fire in North-western Europe around 400ka and question the early claims of fire structures (before 400 ka) since these traces could also be produced by natural events. The only other available line of direct evidence, strike-a-lights, appear only to occur later in the Palaeolithic record (Stapert and Johansen, 1999; Sorensen et al., 2014; Rots, 2015). The lack of convincing evidence has forced researchers to use indirect evidence as adhesives to estimate the timing of control of fire. It is assumed that a synthetic adhesive like birch tar, which was already in use from at least 120ka (Mazza et al., 2006), cannot be produced without an extensive pyro-technological knowledge. The link between fire control and adhesive technology is evident since fire is required for a range of activities related to hafting technology: the production of birch bark, mixing of resin with other materials, dehafting of stone tools. Moreover, archaeological evidence indicates that dehafted stone tools may have been thrown into the fire when discarded. Once the tools are buried, they may be subjected to heat from an overlying fireplace. The effect of heat exposure on these fragile organic substances has never been investigated, and it is hypothesised that this might be a possible explanation for the rare survival of these adhesives in the archaeological record. Our study aims at monitoring the effect of heat exposure by combustion on a range of experimental compound adhesives on flint tools. The results of the combustion experiments are presented and it is demonstrated that the vertically transferred combustion heat is responsible for the loss of adhering adhesives. A correlation between the degree of loss and the specific adhesive mixture could be observed. The combustion experiment also leads to a wide range of accidental residues deposited on the stone tools. Our results stress the importance of identifying the processes that might be responsible for the formation or degradation of residues adhering to a stone tool surface. [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 ULiege; Salomon, Hélène ULiege; 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 ULiege; Coppe, Justin ULiege; Taipale, Noora ULiege 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 ULiege

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 ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

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 ULiege; Perrault, Katelynn ULiege; Dubois, Lena ULiege 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 ULiege; Lentfer, Carol ULiege; Schmid, Viola et al

Conference (2016, September)

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