“Point de Tursac” / “Lame de Tursac”

tursac point blade aggsbach

These are broken Tursac Points from Vigne brun (1) and Pataud (2) . The apical part of both examples  has been lost, but the remaining fragments have the characteristic traits for a proper designation of the tools. If unbroken, the lenght of the points would have been about 7-8 cm.

The Tursac point is an armature made from a long (ca 6-8 cm), narrow blade, with a maximum thickness as low as 4mm. Such artifacts have been shaped by very fine direct (semi) abrupt retouches. Typically the retouche on the right margin is continous or present on the basal and apical parts only and the left sided retouche is limited to the medial parts of the artifact. The contour may be foliated or bipointed and has affinities both to a Flechette and a large Gravette point.

At the type-site Tursac (Abri du Facteur), such points have been detected in stratum 15, a niveau which was deposited immediately in an area in front of the rockshelter.  Stratum 15 has been interpreted by the excavator Delporte as an “Aurignaco-Perigordien”, because elements of both Aurignacian and Gravettian (Perigordian IV) were present.
Delporte interpreted the stratum 15 at Tursac as mainly undisturbed, bearing a transitional industry between the Aurignacian and Gravettian, but this interpretation remains doubtful, because such transition has not been documented elsewhere and because postdepisitional disturbances and mixing of artifacts by older “excavations” were present as documented by Delporte himself.

Tursac points have been documented from Vigne Brun (early Gravettian) and Pair-Non-Pair (Gravettian) and are generally interpreted as rare markers of an early stage of this technocomplex.

Excavation report from Tursac (1968). To my knowledge new excavations are just ungoing:




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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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