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Classification of Burins or Gravers

  • Miles C. Burkitt

The burin is one of the commonest stone tools found in the French Cave deposits of Upper Palæolithic Age. It also occurs in England, as at Paviland, etc., though, on the whole, its occurrence in this country seems to be rarer than in France.

A classification of the various types of burin has been attempted already some years ago by the late M. Bourlon, who was a captain in the French Army, and the following note is to a very large extent founded on his work. A slight simplification has been introduced, however.

Burins or gravers (though they probably had many uses besides that of engraving) can be readily divided into two main groups:—

A. Those with a straight working edge, like that of a screwdriver.

This makes a V-shaped gutter when rubbed along a surface.

B. Those with a convex, gouge-like working edge.

This makes a U-shaped gutter when similarly used.

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Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
  • ISSN: 0958-8418
  • EISSN: -
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-prehistoric-society
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