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2024-05-15 11:17:13   •   ID: 2379

Vale Comprido Point from Laugerie haute

Figure 1
Figure 2
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Figure 4
This is a rare, 5 cm long, broad Vale Comprido point from Laugerie Haute.

It was made on a broad blank and shows lateral retouching together with some careless basal thinning (Figure 1-4).

The Proto -Solutrean with Vale Comprido Points was already described earlier in the Blog- see here: 1607 and seems to be the earliest manifestation of the Protosolutrean across the entire early Solutrean interaction sphere in Iberia and at a limited number of sites in S/W France, especially at Laugerie Haute.

The lithic technology of the Protosolutrean with Vale Comprido Points has been used to support the idea of an autochtoneous evolution of the Solutrean from the preceding late Gravettian in S/W Europe. Therefore it is possible that Solutrean technology is not a „sudden“ break in the succession of Technocomplexes in Franco-Iberia, as long suggested but an evolutionary process.

Based on archaeological and experimental evidence, Vale Comprido point production was in detail described first by T. Aubry some years ago.

The lithic production was oriented towards the detachment of naturally pointed flakes and blades, most often from unidirectional cores. Subsequently the blanks were transformed into points.

The points are usually directly uni- or bilateral retouched at their convergent edges (Figure 1),

Although we know points without further basal modifications, Vale Comprido points normally shown some basal thinning- best seen in Figure 4. Sometimes the technique of thinning resembles the fluting of Clovis projectiles, certainly a convergence phenomenon.

Based on observations on macrofractures, at least some Vale Comprido points were indeed used as projectiles. Both TCSA and TCSP of the point show a direct correlation with the width and thickness of the projectile.

TCSA and TCSP do not allow to proof, that a tool was used as projectile, but they allow to suggest what kind of launching system (spear, dart, arrow) fits to the presumed projectile. Regarding the point in this post, a dart or spear are the most probable launching systems, that were used.


Ex Champagne and Espitalié collection


Alcaraz-Castaño, M. (2015) Central Iberia around the Last Glacial Maximum. Journal of Anthropological Research,71, p.565-578.

Almeida, F. (2000) The terminal Gravettian of Portuguese Estremadura. (PhD Southern Methodist University)

Zilhão, J.; Trinkaus, E. (eds) Portrait of the Artist as a child. The Gravettian Human skeleton from the Abrigo do Lagar Velho and its Archaeological Context, Trabalhos de Arqueologia, vol.22, Instituto Português de Arqueologia.

Zilhão, J. & Aubry, T. (1995) -La pointe de Vale Comprido et les origines du Solutrén. L’ Anthropologie 99 (1), p.125-142.

Zilhão, J. ; Aubry, T. ; Almeida, F. (1997) – L’utilisation du quartz pendant la transition Gravettien-Solutréen au Portugal. Préhistoire et Anthropologie Méditerranéennes 6, p.289-303.

Zilhão, J. ; Aubry, T. ; Almeida, F. (1999) - Un modèle technologique pour le passage du Gravettien au Solutréen dans le Sud-Ouest de l’Europe. XXIVème Congrès Préhistorique de France. p.165-183.

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