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2020-03-20 09:52:54   •   ID: 2165

An interesting Artifact from Les Cottés (Vienne, France)

Figure 1
Figure 2
This is a thic Flake from Les Cottés (Vienne, France)-see here: 1483 and here: 1492 (Presumably from the Aurignacian layers)-maybe used as a bec or as a percoir.

While the distal side of the artifact side is formed by coarse truncations–The adjacent side at a 75 degree angle accounts for a needle like working edge (Figure 1-3).

The piece is an exception from the rule, that Paleolithic European becs are usually made on blades- see here. 1097 and here: 1478 . Percoirs also have a quite different Design .

This brings me to another suggestion: Maybe this is an "ad hoc" tool, not classified in the "Sonneville-Bordes" list. Such tools are not rare during the Paleolithic - see examples from Abri Pataud here: 1619

Researchers have done a lot of work for a unified terminology of stone tools. But we should remember, that every type-list has its limitations.

The tool shown in this post is a good example for this flaws:

  • Researchers often suppose, that a tool found during an excavation is the desired end-product


  • Researchers often suppose, that "ideal" fossil directeurs of a class of specific tools exist. Every deviation from this ideal is quoted as "atypical" or falls under the "diverse" label


  • There is only a loosely connection between the designation of a stone tool and its function


  • Figure 3
    Of course Archeologist will have to continue to work with Type-lists and they are well aware of their many limitations.

    A close look on the working edge in Figure 3 suggest, that the artifact was most probably used for perforating purposes- but the even limited and, by the way- highly appealing patination of the brown local flint will make a microtraceological approach difficult or impossible.

    Suggested Reading:

    Pierre Laurent et al: Types d'outils lithiques du paléolithique supérieur en Europe; 2000. - the e–Book can be bought at Amazon with cheap money.