Shouldered Points during the Upper Paleolithic

This is a shouldered point found during the 19th century in the Provence with no contextual information.

 Shouldered points during the Upper Paleolithic appeared first in the context of the French Perigordian / Gravettian. They are known from the Périgord (Laussel, Vignaud, Ferrassie), the Rhone valley (Vigne brun, Solutre) and are dated to the Tursac Interstadial. Shouldered points never make more than 1% of these ensembles.

Around 25-20 k.a. PB the so called Willendorf-Kostenki complex is found over a vast area between the middle Danube and the Don (Willendorf 21-Nord, Willendorf 2/9, Spadiza, Moravany, Trencin, Nitra, Avdeevo, Kostenki, Chotylewo, Zaraïsk, Molodova, Mitoc). There are several different local “styles” in the production of shouldered points with unknown significance. It has to be noted that these ensembles never comprise more than 2-3% of this “fossile directeur” and that, according to microtrace studies, some points were used as projectiles and other as knifes.

Around the LGM, the late Solutrean and the Salpetrien ancien are characterized by an abundance of shouldered points. They are also common during the “Arenian” of Mediterranean France and the Italian “Epigravettien ancien”, dated to 20-16 k.a. BP combined with backed pieces and Microgravettes (at Arene Candide, Mochi, Paglicci).

At the Balkans and in Greek a similar Epigravettian technocomplex has been dated to 21-15 k.a. BP at Sandalja,  Kadar, Orphel, Kastrisa and Klisoura. Some scholars suggest, that the Epigravettian of South-East Europe is deeply rooted in the Willendorf-Kostenki complex and that the occurrence of shouldered points during the late Solutrian is also connected with these phenomena.

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