This study focuses on the correlation between the production of backed microliths in the Levant during the late Upper Palaeolithic and their use as side elements of composite projectile weapons. The investigation is based on assemblage sample of microliths from Ohalo II, a 23,000 years old submerged campsite, and involves analyses of diagnostic impact fractures, location of adhesive remains and morpho-metric characteristics of the tools. Two distinct adhesive materials have been also analyzed, and the preliminary results indicate the use of both calcareous and organic substances.The use of backed microliths as side elements of composite projectiles has been followed for scalene triangles - a microlithic type unknown from the earlier Upper Palaeolithic in the Levant. The reconstruction of their use has been established based upon all the three evidence lines, i.e., patterns of impact fractures, as well as the location of adhesive remains and the morpho-metric characteristics of the microliths. The results of the study show an Upper Palaeolithic - Epipalaeolithic continuity in the approach to the design of hunting weapons and hafting technologies. It is also suggested that the origins of composite projectiles in the Levant may be found in the earlier phases of the Upper Palaeolithic.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Alex Berner and Larissa Popilevsky from the Electron Microscopy Centre at the Faculty of Materials Engineering, Technion, and Elisabetta Boaretto from the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science, Weizmann Institute of Science, for the analyses of the adhesive materials. Special thanks are given to Daniel Kaufman for the comments on an earlier draft of the paper and his continuous support, and to Sharon Ben Yehuda for preparing the location map. Field work was supported by grants from the Irene-Levi Sala CARE Archaeological Foundation ; the Israel Science Foundation (No. 831/00); the Jerusalem Center for Anthropological Studies , the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation ; the Stekelis Museum of Prehistory in Haifa , the MAFCAF Foundation , the National Geographic Society and the Israel Antiquities Authority .
- Adhesive composition
- Composite projectiles
- Impact fractures
- Lateral hafting
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