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2018-08-01 15:23:25   •   ID: 2013

An Upper Paleolithic Burin on Truncation from Placard

Figure 1
This a 8,5 cm long Burin, produced from a small and thin blade, which ends with an accurate concave truncation, finalized by administration of a precisely placed burin blow on the prepared striking platform at the edge of the blade. The artifact comes from an old collection of artifacts found at Le Placard (Charente). The story about this cave and the early excavations can be found here: 1633

There is a considerable functional diversity among burinated tools. A burin blow can be both: a creator of a tool or an eliminator of a used edge from a tool (Vaughan 1985).

Figure 2
Some burins (especially dihedral burins) may indeed have been used as gravers. Other burins (carinated burins from the envolved Aurignacian, polyhedral burins of the Pan-European Gravettian) can be seen as bladelet cores. Burin spalls were systematically produced at some sites and used as lamelles. On the other side, stone projectiles somtimes show a breackage pattern, called "Burin-blow like tip fracture", shown in another post: 1244 .

Burination could be a step in the rejuvenation of a tool (East African MSA, KMG-Complex in Central Europe) and an strategy in the remodeling of a stone tool into another. Therefore we should consider burination as a versatile and flexible technique and not solely as a tool class.

For very similar burins Hilbert at al. 2018 published data on three burin assemblages from the Late Paleolithic of Dhofar, southern Arabia. They found that "Functional analysis suggests that these tools have been used in woodworking activities. Traceological studies suggest that the function of the burin blow was not the creation of an active working face, as often seen in the Southwest Asian and European Upper Paleolithic; rather, the burin blow functioned “to stabilize the truncation and working edge of the tool".

A closer look: Fig 3 and 4:

Figure 3

Figure 4