Bec de Perroquet burin from La Madeleine

This is a double Burin Bec de Perroquet from the Magdalenian VI at La Madeleine with one Bec broken.

Usually so called “type-fossils” are only of limited chronological value during the Paleolithic, as extensively shown during the last 60 years. On the other hand, the Burins Noailles, Raysse, and Bec de Perroquet are examples of types, that have been recognized as valuable for special time horizons during the Upper Paleolithic.  All three burin types fall within the sub-class “burin on truncation”. Of the three, the Bec de Perroquet has the most distinctive appearance but, at the same time, exhibits only minimal modification of the original blank (Demars & Laurent 1989).

The distinctiveness of a Bec de Perroquet burin lies in the selection of a large, thin flake as a blank and in the steep but non-invasive retouch around its whole edge. Interestingly Points a Cran of the late Magdalenian in S/W-France follow the same principle.  In spite of the only minor shaping, the morphological distinctiveness of the Bec de Perroquet burin, as well as its temporal and geographic parameters, make it a reasonable chronological marker for the late Magdalenian of the greater Aquitaine.

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About Katzman

During my whole life I was fascinated by stone age artefacts. Not only the aesthetic qualities of these findings, but also the stories around them and the considerations arising from their discovery, are a part of my blog. Comments and contributions are allways welcome! About me: J.L. Katzman (Pseudonym). Born in Vienna. Left Austria in 1974 and did not regret. Studied Medicine and Prehistory at a German University. Member of a Medical Department at a German University. Copyright 2010-2017 by JLK. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to use material in these posts so long as you cite the work.
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2 Responses to Bec de Perroquet burin from La Madeleine

  1. Ber says:

    Certainly a nice piece! Quite rare and hard to come by, despite the fact that it is a well-known type and “guide fossil” for the Magdalenian. I know an archaeologist, and a quite attactive one at that – sorry, that’s hardly relevant in the present context – and she says she has seen only a few of these over the last ten years, as opposed to, for example, hundreds of Magdalenian burins. — Ber C

  2. Katzman says:

    Collectors of Paleolithic artifacts are constantly frustrated, that simple small bifaces, burins and scrapers constitute the majority of artifacts, which are sold on the market. Even mediocre authentic burins on eBay are being sold for 50 $. Fossil directeurs are not easy to find and only for an incredible high prize (e.g. a Font-Robert Point in New York for 10000 $; http://mbabramgalleries.com/font_robert_point.html).
    In addition such items have been faked since the first handaxes of the Somme valley had been certified by British geologists in 1861. It would be worth while to show some examples in a post of this blog.

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