The Important Types of Tools Used During the Upper Paleolithic Era

December 25, 2018 admin 0 Comment

(a) Aurignacian End Scraper:

These are end scrapers prepared on thick but small nodules and found in association with blade and scrapers in many wests European Aurignac and sites. A medium sized core is taken and a large flake is removed from it to form a flat under surface. Calculated tapping blows are delivered around the periphery of this flat surface to result in a series of flake scars meetings at the apex of the obverse.

The special appearance of these scrapers led them being termed Marinated end scrapers. If end scrapers are so designed that the scraping end projects out in the form of a nose. Such a type is known as nose end scraper. This is achieved by delivering one or a pair of notches on the side of the working border.

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(b) Retouched Blade:

These are moderately broad, thick and long blades retouched in semi- abrupt retouches. The retouching extends all around the borders including the terminal ends. In a typical Aurignac a blade the retouching is in the manner of fish scale.

(c) Strangled Blades’:

In some instances two notches are made on the centre the opposite lateral borders. These blades are termed Strangled blades.

(d) Font-Yves Points:

A similar kind of retouching done on a smaller and slender blade character Aurignac an industries known around the Corrine valley in south west France. These called Font-Yves points after the name of the type site.

(e) Detour Bladelelts:

In the same valley another type prepared on a blade let by semi-abrupt retouching is quite common. These are called Detour blade lets. A Detour blade let is slender bracelet of 2-4 cm in length in which one lateral border is retouched from the doors; surface and the other from the ventral surface. Both these borders have semi-abrupt retouching

(f) Aurignac and Burin:

This cultural tradition is also characterized by the occurrence of a specific variety of burin. Here one of the facets forming the burin edge is made convex by preparing a notch on the lateral border.

(g) Basque Burins:

The convex edge makes the area of the surface lying above the notch weak. Hence any oblique blow delivered on the top traverses a curved path in order to emerge from the weak region. This results in a convex fracture. The other facet which intersects with this plain is simple and vertical. These burins are called Basque burins.

(h) Axial Burin:

Another variety of burins quite common in Aurignac an tradition is called the Axial or symmetrical burin. In French this burin is also referred to as Bee-de-flute burin. This is prepared at the distal end of a thick blade in such a way that the burin edge lies symmetrically along the mid-axis of the blade.

It is believed that this can be achieved by holding the (would be) working end at the corner of a fixed anvil and then hitting the rear end of the blade. This results in the removal of a vertical spall (flakes removed to obtain a burin facet). Thus, the process repeated can produce two such vertical spalls which intersect to form the burin edge.

2. Perigordian:

(a) Blade Knive:

In Perigordian industries broad flat blades have been retouched to form several kinds of knives and these by far form the most frequent typology all through this stage and the subsequent cultural traditions.

In the initial stages they are few and far between and constitute abrupt retouching of one naturally obtained sharp edge of a broad and flat blade while the opposite border acts as the knife edge. In the later stages they are made on rather thick blades with triangular cross-section in such a way that the blunting is done up to the thick mid rib.

As a result these become narrowed in appearance. Further, these backed blades show deliberate attempt at deriving a pointed distal end with flat ventral surface retouching. These latter types, as such are no longer called knives but points.

(b) Audi Knife:

Audi Knife is one of the earliest of these backed blade types. This is a rather short and broad blade where one border is blunted towards the distal end in a slanted or semi-circular manner to meet the naturally-sharp working edge.

(c) Shouldered Blade Tools:

(Perigordian to Magdalenian) Many Gravettian points show a single shoulder prepared at the butt end and along the border opposite the backed border. Most of these backed points show minor retouching on both the borders and the ventral surface of the working end.

A typical type under this category is called Font-Robert Point. This is a Gravitation point with two shallow notches at the base which gives rise to a rather elongated shoulder and a broad tang.

During the Silurian tradition similar shouldered points are recorded with shallow pressure flaking retouches. These are prepared on moderately broad blades with triangular cross- I section in which the rippled pressure flaking retouches cover one half of the breadth of the blade (usually up to the median ridge) with a single shoulder prepared. These are termed as the Silurian plane faced shouldered points.

Another variety of shouldered points is identified in the Magdalenian period. These are likewise termed Magdalenian shouldered point. These are smaller than the Silurian points and have a shoulder prepared almost at one third distance from the pointed lip. The tang, therefore, is both elongated (almost two third of the total length) and broad.

(d) Chattelperronean Knife:

Sonneville-Bordes calls it a knife point because here the blade is rather elongated and the backing is done completely along one border in such a way that it gently curves down to meet the working edge at the anterior end. Usually, even the base of these blades is rounded off by extending the abrupt lateral retouching.

(e) Gravitation Point:

These are thick blades where bold backing along one or both the borders (often from both the surfaces) renders the breadth of the blade it almost half so that the backed ends meet interiorly at an acute angle. The ventral surface around the pointed end also shows some flat retouching done in order to narrow down the thickness of the point.

(f) Silurian Leaf Point:

These are exceptionally thin and flat points which show the zenith of stone tool manufacturing technology. Their moderately long and proportionately broad shape coupled with the extreme thinness gives them the appearance of characteristic laurel leaves and hence the name.

The surfaces of the tool are covered with shallow and elongated flaking originating from both the borders and meeting along the mid-axis. This flaking show a characteristic ripple like appearance which is taken to interpret a very controlled pressure flaking technique having been employed Prof. Borders, however, had demonstrated that almost similar effect can be produced (in much lesser time) by the percussion flaking as well.

These tools can be double or single points and also can be unofficial as also bifacial. These are found restricted only in the Southern industries from southwest France and some isolated regions of northern Spain.

(g) Laurel Leaf:

This by definition is a bifacial leaf point which may be double or single. This type is described only form Upper Silurian layers. In some Spanish Silurian layers the borders of these points are characteristically serrated.

(h) Willow Leaf:

This is usually unofficial and occurs a little later than Laurel leaves in French Upper Silurian. The ventral surface is a flat flake scar which may contain a little flaking at the pointed region to reinforce the sharpness. These points are usually shorter and narrower than average laurel leaf and are also shouldered in many instances.

(i) Szeletian Leaf point:

These are bifacial retouched leaf shaped pieces which by and large lack the fineness of French Silurian retouching. Like Central European Blattspitzen these also often carry patches of flat original surface though the final shape of these pieces and their relative thickness often compare with the Silurian leaf points.

(j) Kostienki Point:

This is a type named after an Upper Paleolithic site by the river Don in European Russia. The tool in ideal form is made on a blade with a convex sharp border (suitable to obtain on bladish flakes). The point is derived by backing the opposite border which may be slightly slanting.

Flat flakings on both dorsal and ventral surfaces are removed from the pointed and the butt-end with an aim to make the point and the butt more effective. A shoulder is etched out by either straight or slightly incurved backing of the same border from around half or more length of the blade.

(k) Hamburgian Point:

This is a moderately broad blade in which one border is so backed that the anterior half slopes to give rise to a point while the posterior half slopes in a concave fashion to form the tang.

Occasionally, the backing at the butt-end may be extended a little along the second border as well. This tool type is very common in the north European flat land during late Pleistocene period. It is named after a similar site found near the city of Hamburg in W. Germany.

(l) Ahrenshurgian Point:

The same area during the closing phase of Pleistocene yielded a series of Epi-Palaeolithic industries of which Ahrensburg is a famous site. Here the points are double shouldered as a rule, (besides carrying the backing along one sloping border) to the pointed end.

(m) Truncated Blade:

This is a tool type which is taken as the type fossil of France. As the name indicates this is any blade or blade let the shorter ends of which are blunted with steep and abrupt retouch. In addition to these the lateral borders as well may be given the same blunting treatment.


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