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The unique Solutrean laurel-leaf points of Volgu: heat-treated or not?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 June 2018

Patrick Schmidt*
Affiliation:
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, Schloss Hohentübingen, 72070 Tübingen, Germany Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Department of Geosciences, Applied Mineralogy, Wilhelmstraße 56, 72074 Tübingen, Germany
Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet
Affiliation:
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Université Paris 6, MONARIS ‘de la Molécule aux Nano-objets: Réactivité, Interactions et Spectroscopies’, UMR 8233, UPMC-CNRS, 4 place Jussieu, 75252Paris Cedex 5, France
Harald Floss
Affiliation:
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, Schloss Hohentübingen, 72070 Tübingen, Germany
*
*Author for correspondence (Email: patrick.schmidt@uni-tuebingen.de)

Abstract

The laurel-leaf points of the Volgu cache found in eastern France rank among the most remarkable examples of skilled craftsmanship known from the Solutrean period of the Upper Palaeolithic. In addition to pressure flaking, heat treatment may have helped in the making of the points, as both have been previously described in association with Solutrean assemblages. This study presents the results of an infrared spectroscopic analysis of seven artefacts from the Volgu cache conducted to test this assumption. The findings show that heat treatment was not universally applied to this particular tool type, meaning that we must rethink the reasons why such a technique was used.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2018 

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