Skip to main content
×
×
Home

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

  • Patrick Schmidt (a1) (a2), Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet (a3) and Harald Floss (a1)
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.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence (Email: patrick.schmidt@uni-tuebingen.de)
References
Hide All
Armand-Calliat, L. 1950. Catalogue des collections archéologiques: 19. Chalon-sur-Saône: Editions du Musée de Chalon-sur-Saône.
Aubry, T., Walter, B., Robin, E., Plisson, H. & Ben-Habdelhadi, M.. 1998. Le site solutréen de plein-air des Maitreaux (Bossay-sur-Claise, Indre-et- Loire): un faciès original de production lithique. Paléo: 163–84.
Aubry, T., Peyrouse, J.-B. & Walter, B.. 2003. Les feuilles de laurier de Volgu (Saône-et-Loire): une énigme en partie résolue? Paléo 15: 251–54.
Aubry, T., Bradley, B., Almeida, M., Walter, B., Joao Neves, M., Pelegrin, J.M.L. & Tiffagom, M.. 2008. Solutrean laurel leaf production at Maîtreaux: an experimental approach guided by techno-economic analysis. World Archaeology 40: 4866. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438240701843538
Blake, E.C. 2010. Stone ‘tools’ as portable sound-producing objects in Upper Palaeolithic contexts: the application of an experimental study: 332. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge.
Bonnet, G. 1904. Étude sur le Charollais préhistorique. Annales de l'Académie de Mâcon IX: 336419.
Bordes, F. 1967. Considérations sur la typologie et les techniques dans le Paléolithique. Quartär 18: 2555.
Bordes, F. 1968. The old Stone Age. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Bordes, F. 1969. Traitement thermique du silex au Solutréen. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française 66: 197.
Breuil, A.H. 1908. La cachette de La Goulaine. Bulletin Diana 15: 268.
Brown, K.S., Marean, C.W., Herries, A.I.R., Jacobs, Z., Tribolo, C. Braun, D., Roberts, D.L., Meyer, M.C. & Bernatchez, J.. 2009. Fire as an engineering tool of early modern humans. Science 325: 859–62. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1175028
Cabrol, M.A. 1940. À propos de la découverte des pointes solutréennes de Volgu (Saône-et-Loire). Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française 37: 186–89.
Chabas, F. 1874. Les silex de Volgu. Découverte d'armes de silex à Volgu près Digoin (Saône-et-Loire). Rapport à la société d'histoire et d'archéologie de Chalon-sur-Saône: 24.
Crabtree, D.E. & Butler, B.R.. 1964. Notes on experiment in flint knapping: 1 heat treatment of silica materials. Tebiwa 7: 16.
Darmark, K. 2011. Surface pressure flaking in Eurasia: mapping the innovation, diffusion and evolution of a technological element in the production of projectile points, in Desrosiers, P.M. (ed.) The emergence of pressure blade making, from origin to modern experimentation: 261–83. New York & Dordrecht & Heidelberg & London: Springer.
Fernandes, P., Morala, A., Schmidt, P., Séronie-Vivien, M.R. & Turq, A.. 2012. Le silex du Bergeracois: état de la question. Paper presented at the Quaternaire continental d'Aquitaine: un point sur les travaux récents. Excursion AFEQ—ASF en Aquitaine du 30 mai au 1 juin 2012.
Flenniken, J. 1987. The Paleolithic Dyuktai pressure blade technique of Siberia. Journal of Arctic Anthropology 24: 117–32.
Inada, T. 2014. Restitution et caractéristiques des processus de faconnage des ‘feuilles de laurier’ solutréennes de Volgu (Saône-et-Loire). Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française 111: 433–52.
Inizan, M.L. & Tixier, J.. 2001. L’émergence des arts du feu: le traitement thermique des roches siliceuses. Paléorient 26: 2336. https://doi.org/10.3406/paleo.2000.4707
Jost, J.-B. 1927. La préhistoire dans la région digoinaise. Digioin: Galimard.
Kilby, J.D. 2014a. Direction and distance in Clovis caching: the movement of people and lithic raw materials on the Clovis-age landscape, in Huckell, B.B. & Kilby, J.D. (ed.) Clovis caches: recent discoveries and new research: 201–16. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico.
Kilby, J.D. 2014b. A regional perspective on Clovis blades and blade caching, in Smallwood, A. & Jennings, T. (ed.) Clovis: on the edge of a new understanding: 145–59. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.
Masson, A. 1984. Pétrographie et muséologie: un ‘faux Volgu’. Nouvelles archives du Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Lyon, 22ème supplément: 5557.
Pelegrin, J. 1981. Experiments in bifacial work. About ‘laurel leaves’. Flintknappers Exchange 4: 57.
Peyrouse, L.-B. & Desbrosse, R.. 2007. De nouvelles pièces solutréennes à Volgu (Saône-et-Loire). Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire Naturelle et des amis du Muséum d'Autun 195: 13–18.
Peyrouse, J.-B., Aubry, T., Pelegrin, J., Desbrosse, R., Mangado Llach, X. & Walter, B.. 2013. Volgu revisité!: de nouveaux indices sur les déplacements solutréens dans le Bassin ligérien. Actes du colloque le Solutréen, 40 ans après Smith ‘66, Preuilly-sur-Claise, 26 octobre–1 novembre 2007: 225–31.
Roqué-Rosell, J., Torchy, L., Roucau, C., Lea, V., Colomban, P., Regert, M., Binder, D., Pelegrin, J. & Sciau, P.. 2010. Influence of heat treatment on the physical transformations of flint used by Neolithic societies in the Western Mediterranean. International conference, Materials Research Society, November 2010, Boston.
Rutot, A. 1905. À propos de la découverte des pointes de Volgu. Bulletin de la Société Anthropologique de Bruxelles 24: 8488.
Schmidt, P. & Morala, A.. 2018. First insights into the technique used for heat treatment of chert at the Solutrean site of Laugerie-Haute, France. Archaeometry, first published online 4 February 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/arcm.12358
Schmidt, P., Badou, A. & Fröhlich, F.. 2011. Detailed FT near-infrared study of the behaviour of water and hydroxyl in sedimentary length-fast chalcedony, SiO2, upon heat treatment. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 81: 552–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2011.06.050
Schmidt, P., Masse, S., Laurent, G., Slodczyk, A., Le Bourhis, E., Perrenoud, C., Livage, J. & Fröhlich, F.. 2012. Crystallographic and structural transformations of sedimentary chalcedony in flint upon heat treatment. Journal of Archaeological Science 39: 135–44.
Schmidt, P., Léa, V., Sciau, P. & Fröhlich, F.. 2013. Detecting and quantifying heat treatment of flint and other silica rocks: a new non-destructive method applied to heat-treated flint from the Neolithic Chassey culture, southern France. Archaeometry 55: 794805. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4754.2012.00712.x
Smith, P. 1966. Le Solutréen en France. Bordeaux: Delmas. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2011.09.012
Tiffagom, M. 1998. Témoignages d'un traitement thermique des feuilles de laurier dans le Solutréen supérieur de la grotte du Parpalló (Gandia, Espagne). Paléo 10: 147–61. https://doi.org/10.3406/pal.1998.1134
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Schmidt et al. supplementary material 1
Schmidt et al. supplementary material

 PDF (399 KB)
399 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed