Studies on prehistoric osseous barbed points have relied heavily on typology in linking presumed types to broader techno-complexes, and for making chronological inferences. The accumulation of both new finds and of radiocarbon dates obtained directly on such artefacts, however, has revealed that (i) shape variability defies neat typological divisions, and that (ii) chronological inferences based on typology often fail. To further query these issues and to better understand the design choices and cultural evolutionary dynamics within this artefact class, we present a 2D open-outline geometric morphometric analysis of 50 directly dated Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene osseous barbed points primarily from northern and western Europe. The results indicate that (a) different components (tip, base, and barbs) of these artefacts were subject to varying design constraints and that (b) there is no clear-cut distinction between Final Palaeolithic and Mesolithic point traditions. Different techno-functional components evolved at various rates while specimens assigned to the same type and/or techno-complex are only occasionally morphologically similar. The results reflect a relatively low level of normativity for this artefact class and likely a repeated convergence on similar design elements. We propose that interpretations linked to cultural dynamics, individual craft agency, and repeated convergence on locally optimal designs may offer more satisfying avenues for thinking about the barbed points of this period.
Barbed osseous points were integral to the tool-kit of European Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic foragers. While barbed points appear sporadically in the archaeological record from very early on (Pante, de la Torre, d’Errico, Njau, & Blumenschine, 2020), they became more common during the latter stages of the Pleistocene and especially during the Magdalenian where barbed points assume specific chrono-cultural relevance (Pétillon, 2008). This class of artefacts was also widespread during the Mesolithic (e.g. Clark, 1954; Elliott & Little, 2018; Hartz, Lübke, & Groß, 2019) where barbed points are also often argued to serve as artefactual “type fossil” of the Early Holocene (EH) occupation of Europe (Elliott & Little, 2018).
Since the pioneering studies of Grahame Clark, typological schemata have played a key role in the classification and analysis of such osseous objects (Clark, 1936; Galiński, 2013; Julien, 1982; Weniger, 1995, 2000). Numerous finds have been dated based on typological inference and related to certain broader techno-complexes such as the Penknife Groups, Maglemosian, the Kunda culture, etc. (Britnell, 1984; Clark & Godwin, 1956; Larsson, Sjöström, & Nilsson, 2019; Sheldrick, Lowe, & Reynier, 1997; Verhart, 1990). Yet, several recent lines of enquiry have raised critical questions about the robusticity of such inferences. First, recent excavations at Star Carr, a site that yielded numerous barbed osseous points, underscore the insufficiency of classifying these artefacts on existing taxonomies (Elliott & Little, 2018). Second, an increasing number of radiocarbon (14C) dates has been directly obtained on barbed points highlighting just how unreliable the chronological inferences based on typology can be. For example, the redating of a barbed point from Sproughton, that was typologically assigned to the Mesolithic, revealed that the specimen dates back to the Late Pleistocene (LP) (Jacobi, Higham, & Lord, 2009). Similarly, a newly obtained 14C date on a uniserial barbed point from Orzysz (Poland) resulted in an age range of 8105–7935 cal BP, much younger than expected based on established typologies (Philippsen et al., 2019). Complementing this work Orłowska & Osipowicz (2021) have recently also demonstrated that typology is a decidedly problematic indicator of age in a substantial additional sample of LP/EH barbed points from Poland. Third, theoretically motivated work on Late Palaeolithic barbed points by Dobres (2000) has made visible the craft signatures of individual makers and how they mould and in part defy normative typological categories.
Typological classification in general has been subject to renewed critical attention in Palaeolithic studies recently (e.g. Ivanovaitė, Serwatka, Hoggard, Sauer, & Riede, 2020; Reynolds & Riede, 2019; Shea, 2014; Wilkins, 2020). Together, these studies highlight that typological classifications often fail to account for the morphological variability in prehistoric material, and that understanding this variability linked to both specific idiosyncrasies and broad trends is central to interpretations of past demography, social networks, and cultural transmission.
Stimulated by these convergent critiques, we collected morphological information from a sample of 50 published and directly dated barbed osseous points from the final stages of the LP and into the EH (16–9 ka BP). Our main objective is to reconstruct the cultural evolution of barbed points over time; in contrast to typological reasoning or a strict focus on individual agency, cultural evolutionary theory offers an explicit model for understanding material culture change over time (Mesoudi & O’Brien, 2009; Riede, Hoggard, & Shennan, 2019; Shennan, 2008). By decomposing each point into distinct design elements, and focusing on the variability within each of these elements, we explore to what extent barbed point design aligns with the presumed techno-complexes, typologies, and traditional chronological schemas of this period (Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003) including the distinction between Palaeolithic and Mesolithic point traditions. We also query how cultural dynamics of diversification and convergence are expressed in barbed point design over time (cf. Manninen et al., 2021) and whether we can identify individual craft agency or regional idiosyncrasies.
We seek to answer these questions through an evolutionary perspective employing cultural transmission models (Eerkens & Lipo, 2005; Mesoudi & O’Brien, 2008; Riede et al., 2019; Shennan, 2008, 2020; Tehrani & Riede, 2008; Walsh, Riede, & O’Neill, 2019). Our aim is to understand whether information transmission related to barbed point manufacture took place within the context of more or less conformist social environments (emphasis on social learning, i.e. copying, vs emphasis on individual learning, i.e., experimentation and innovation) (Eerkens & Lipo, 2007), taking also into consideration possible fluctuations of population over time. Cultural transmission concepts have been proven robust in addressing artefact variation both temporally and spatially. To avoid the use of non-consistent criteria for the definition of various Final Palaeolithic and Mesolithic archaeological cultures (Reynolds & Riede, 2019; Sauer & Riede, 2019; Serwatka & Riede, 2016), we employ geometric morphometric (GMM) analysis, that decomposes each barbed point into three functionally distinct modules (tip, barbs, and base). Such approaches have been widely used for the study of lithic artefacts (e.g. Buchanan, O’Brien, & Collard, 2014; Ivanovaitė et al., 2020; Matzig, Hussain, & Riede, 2021; Mesfin, Leplongeon, Pleurdeau, & Borel, 2020; Riede et al., 2019; Serwatka, 2014; Serwatka & Riede, 2016) and ceramics (Selden, 2017; Topi, 2016; Wang & Marwick, 2020). However, GMM has been rarely employed on prehistoric organic artefacts (Doyon, 2019, 2020; Manríquez, Salazar, Figueroa, Hartz, & Thomas, 2017) and never on barbed points. In interpreting the morphological variation observed in our sample of barbed points, we therefore place the changes and diversity in component shapes in a wider framework that connects artefact variation with patterns and processes of cultural transmission within socio-ecological networks.
2 Materials and Methods
For our GMM analyses, we collected a dataset comprising the photographs or drawings and their associated metadata of 50 barbed points made out of bone and antler from 34 sites in northern, central, and western Europe (Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, England, The Netherlands, Poland, Germany, France, and Spain) that date within the LP and EH (Figure 1, Table 2). The sample mainly consists of fragmented artefacts with only 11 specimens preserved in their entirety (Table 1). The selected specimens have been directly dated by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to the LP or EH (Table 2) and date into the timeframe of ∼16–9 ka cal BP. When more than one AMS date was available for a given specific specimen, we chose the most recently conducted dating. We re-calibrated all collected 14C dates to calendar years BP (1950, at 95.4% confidence and rounded to the nearest ten) in OxCal v.4.3.2 (Bronk Ramsey, 2017) employing the recent IntCal20 atmospheric calibration curve (Reimer et al., 2020).
|Ved Halleby A||VHA_1||—||1||3|
|Leman and Ower Banks||LOB_1||1||1||18|
|Hoek van Holland||HVH_1||1||—||2|
Note: Specimen IST_1 shows only broken barbs and base; only the tip was integrated to the analysis. Specimens (N complete = 11) listed in italics show complete bases, tips, and barbs.
|Site name||Country||ID||Lab. Code||14C age (BP)||SD||Age in cal (BP)||Material||Techno-complex||Type||Reference|
|Aggarp Mose||Sweden||AGG_1||OxA-2789||8360||90||9534–9038||Bone||Maglemosian||Type7/Skee-type1||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Abelskov||Denmark||ABL_1||AAR-6266||8570||65||9694–9454||Bone||Maglemosian||Type 8/Atypical base1||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Rönneholms Mose||Sweden||RNM_1||OxA-2792||8610||90||9895–9458||Bone||Maglemosian||Type 5/Vallensgard-type1||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Ved Halleby A||Denmark||VHA_1||KA-6333||8610||90||9895–9458||No information||Maglemosian||Type 4/Torning-type1||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Tunebjerg Ost||Denmark||TNO_1||AAR-8800||9050||40||10260–10160||No information||Maglemosian||Type 3/Trunderup-type1||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Wyk Föhr||Germany||WKF_1||KIA-53547||9115||60||10405–10200||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Skalbjerg||Denmark||SKL_1||AAR-8796||9250||60||10569–10253||Bone||Maglemosian||No information||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Skellingsted Mose||Sweden||SKM_1||OxA-38342||9261||46||10571–10278||Bone||Maglemosian||No information||Jensen et al., 2020|
|Vallensgard Mose||Denmark||VLM_1||AAR-9297||9280||65||10650–10252||Antler?****||Maglemosian||Type 5/Vallensgard-type1||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Seedorf||Germany||SEE_1||KIA-53541||9280||40||10578–10295||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Rendsburg||Germany||REN_1||KIA-53540||9415||45||10758–10510||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Travenhorst||Germany||TRV_2||KIA-53542||9420||45||10988–10510||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Groß Rönnau||Germany||GRR_1||KIA-53544||9455||40||11063–10573||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Travenhorst||Germany||TRV_1||KIA-53546||9465||45||11068–10572||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Mölln||Germany||MLL_1||KIA-52810||9521||43||11078–10604||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Woltersdorf||Germany||WOL_1||KIA-53545||9525||45||11084–10605||Bone||No information||Kunda-type 62||Hartz et al., 2019|
|Ageröds Mosse||Sweden||AGM_1||Ua-46486||9546||76||11166–10603||Bone||No information||Type 13||Larsson et al., 2019|
|Lake Lubans||Latvia||LKL_2||KIA-46260||9780||38||11256–11166||Bone||Ahrensburgian*||Type I4||Meadows, Eriksen, Zagorska, Dreves, & Simpson, 2014|
|Lake Lubans||Latvia||LKL_4||KIA-46262||9884||43||11400–11203||Bone||Ahrensburgian*||Type I4||Meadows et al., 2014|
|Sandlyng Mose||Denmark||SNM_1||AAR-9296||9905||65||11683–11201||No information||Ahrensburgian||Type 1/Sandlyng-type1||Andersen & Petersen, 2009|
|Lake Lubans||Latvia||LKL_1||KIA-46261||9918||73||11689–11205||Bone||Ahrensburgian*||Type I4||Meadows et al., 2014|
|Lake Lubans||Latvia||LKL_3||KIA-46259||9993||44||11697–11268||Antler?****||Ahrensburgian*||Type II4||Meadows et al., 2014|
|Victoria Cave||England||VCV_1||OxA-2607||10810||100||13054–12619||Antler||No information||No information||Lord, O’Connor, Siebrandt, & Jacobi, 2007 (date),|
|Lord & Howard, 2013 (image)|
|Leman and Ower Banks||North Sea||LOB_1||OxA_1950||11740||150||14013–13312||Antler||Maglemosian**||Kunda-type 62/Duvensee 2 ***||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003 (date),Clark & Godwin, 1956 (image)|
|Hoek van Holland||Netherlands||HVH_1||GrM-19226||8260||40||9417–9033||Bone||No information||No information||Dekker et al., 2021|
|Maasvlakte||Netherlands||MSV_4||GrM-19229||8295||40||9432–9134||Human bone||No information||No information||Dekker et al., 2021|
|Bützsee||Germany||BTZ_3||OxA-8744||9195||65||10555–10234||Bone****||No information||Pritzerbe2||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003|
|Earls Barton||England||ERB_1||OxA-500||9240||160||11074–9960||Antler||No information||No information||Cook & Barton, 1986|
|Maasvlakte||Netherlands||MSV_2||GrM-19219||9415||40||10752–10513||Bone||No information||No information||Dekker et al., 2021|
|Maasvlakte||Netherlands||MSV_1||GrM-19218||9495||40||11070–10587||Antler||No information||No information||Dekker et al., 2021|
|Maasvlakte||Netherlands||MSV_3||GrM-19230||9505||40||11072–10595||Bone||No information||No information||Dekker et al., 2021|
|Bützsee||Germany||BTZ_4||OxA-8726||9505||80||11141–10574||Bone?****||No information||Duvensee2||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003|
|Bützsee||Germany||BTZ_2||OxA-8841||10020||60||11802–11272||No information||Ahrensburgian||Havel 12B2||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003|
|Bützsee||Germany||BTZ_5||OxA-8743||10185||65||12426–11404||No information||No information||Duvensee2||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003|
|Bützsee||Germany||BTZ_1||OxA-8742||10480||75||12682–12059||Antler?****||Ahrensburgian||Havel 12B2||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003|
|Dinslaken||Germany||DIN_1||Hv||10790||105||12996–12498||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003 (date)|
|Street, 1995 (image)|
|Dinslaken||Germany||DIN_2||Hv||10790||105||12996–12498||Bone||No information||Duvensee2||Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003 (date),|
|Street, 1995 (image)|
|Sproughton||England||SPR_1||OxA-15219||10960||50||13060–12757||Antler||Maglemosian**||No information||Jacobi et al., 2009|
|Bergkamen||Germany||BER_1||MAMS-11813||11107||42||13104–12909||Bone||Federmesser||No information||Baales, Birker, & Mucha, 2017|
|Sproughton||England||SPR_2||OxA-14943||11485||60||13484–13192||Bone||Maglemosian**||Duvensee2||Jacobi et al., 2009|
|Węgliny||Poland||WEG_1||Poz-10674||12120||60||14129–13803||Bone||Federmesser||No information||Cziesla & Masojć, 2007|
|Bois Ragot||France||BRT_1||OxA-2754||11640||55||13600–13355||Antler||Azilian||Class 15||Dujardin & Oberlin, 2005 (date),|
|Christensen & Chollet, 2005 (image)|
|Saint Michel||France||STM_1||OxA-28088||11965||55||14036–13614||Antler||Magdalenian||H26||Barshay-Szmidt et al., 2016 (date)|
|Pétillon et al., 2015 (image)|
|Isturitz||France||IST_1||OxA-28085||12440||55||14951–14285||Antler||Magdalenian||H26||Barshay-Szmidt et al., 2016 (date)|
|Pétillon, 2016 (image)|
|Morin||France||MOR_2||OxA-26670||12470||60||14992–14305||Antler||Magdalenian||H16||Barshay-Szmidt et al., 2016|
|Morin||France||MOR_1||OxA-26667||12705||55||15308–14976||Antler||Magdalenian||H26||Barshay-Szmidt et al., 2016 (date)|
|Pétillon, 2016 (image)|
|Plantade||France||PLT_1||GifA-96326||12740||120||15614–14604||Antler||Magdalenian||H26||Tisnerat-Laborde, Valladas, & Ladier, 1997|
|Isturitz||France||IST_2||OxA-19833||13095||55||15889–15511||Antler||Magdalenian||H16||Szmidt, Pétillon, Cattelain, Normand, & Schwab, 2009 (date)|
|Pétillon, 2016 (image)|
|Espalungue||France||ESP_1||OxA-28086||13120||55||15935–15558||Antler||Magdalenian||H16||Pétillon et al., 2015|
Note: Superscripted numbers indicate previous typological assessment of these artefacts. 1. The southern Scandinavian typology of single-row large-barbed harpoons (Andersen & Petersen, 2009); 2. Typology of Mesolithic Northern European notched and barbed points (Clark, 1936); 3. Schematic types of leister points from central Scania (Larsson et al., 2019); 4. Typology of harpoons from the East Baltic (Zagorska, 2006); 5. Subdivision of Azilian harpoons (Thompson, 1954); 6. Magdalenian barbed points (pointes barbelées magdaléniennes) with one (H1) or two (H2) rows of barbs (Julien, 1982); 7. Subtype of Magdalenian barbed points with perforated base distributed along the coast of Cantabrian Spain (Weniger, 1987).
* The affiliation with the Ahrensburgian techno-complex should be viewed with caution.
** These specimens have been previously linked to the Maglemosian techno-complex (e.g. Bonsall & Smith, 1990; Clark, 1936).
*** The specimen from Leman and Ower Banks has been classified to the Duvensee type by different authors (i.e. Cziesla, 1999).
**** The probable raw material as stated by the authors (Andersen & Petersen, 2009; Cziesla & Pettitt, 2003; Meadows et al., 2014).
Most of the specimens have been classified as belonging to a specific techno-complex and/or type by the original investigators, while others are stray finds or derive from unstratified contexts. The specimens that lack contextual information or assessments regarding both type and techno-complex have nonetheless been incorporated in our GMM analysis. Their dates and shapes still contribute to our investigation of whether there is a salient link between specific shapes and chronological patterns. To study the potential spatio-temporal patterning in our sample, we first divided the specimens into three groups by latitude (Table 2), which also broadly reflects the chronological ordering of most of the specimens.
2.1 Sample Provenance
Within each geographic group, specimens are ordered by their 14C dates from youngest to oldest. The first group includes all specimens found at the highest latitude, which for our sample is between 57°N and 53°N and corresponds to present-day Sweden, Denmark, northern Germany, northern England, and Latvia. The second group encompasses specimens found between 53°N and 50°N (The Netherlands, Poland, central Germany, and southern England) and the final group includes all specimens found below 49°N (France and Spain), and includes the oldest specimens in the present sample.
2.2 Shape Analysis
To assess the shape changes in barbed osseous points from the LP and EH, we employed 2D open-outline GMM. This allows us to conduct a comparative analysis that circumvents existing typologies whose respective classification criteria differ by investigator, region, and research tradition. For our data collection, we were agnostic in regard to labels such as harpoons, leisters, fine-barbed points, or toothed/notched points (e.g. Hartz et al., 2019; Jensen et al., 2020; Street et al., 2001), which often combine functional and morphological aspects.
Following earlier scholars such as Julien (1982), Langley (2014), and Weniger (1995) we split all barbed point images into three components (Figure 2): the tip (distal/penetrative), barbs (medial/prey retention), and base (proximal/attachment). The images were manually prepared in GIMP 2.10.22 (www.gimp.org) in a similar manner as described by Matzig et al. (2021). Then, the three components from each artefact were cut out and saved as .jpg files (N barbs = 445, N tips = 30, N bases = 22). The selection of these techno-functional components to evaluate shape variation aligns with functional considerations coming together in the total tool shape: the attachment to the shaft, the penetration of the point through the prey’s hide, and the weapon’s ability to remain lodged following penetration. These different functional requirements are expected to have exerted differential shape constraints and selective pressures. The distal end of the point would likely have been subjected to fairly uniform functional demands (cf. Friis-Hansen, 1990) and been more exposed to projectile impact damage. Any given variation may thus primarily capture recurring cycles of damage and repair (Doyon, 2020; Langley, 2014). Recent studies focused on lithic armatures have argued that the base holds most information linked to various cultural transmission mechanisms (O’Brien & Bentley, 2020). By the same token, many typologies employ barb morphology as one of the principal classification criteria (Clark, 1936; Larsson et al., 2019; Meadows et al., 2014), alluding to the manifold ways in which barbs can be manufactured and shaped. Furthermore, many barbed points in our sample have more than one barb, allowing us to not only compare between-object but also within-object variability.
2.3 Classification and Comparison
All analyses were conducted in R 4.2.1 (R Core Team, 2022). The outlineR package (Matzig, 2021) and a custom R script were used to prepare the images and extract the open outlines in Momocs’ opn format (Bonhomme, Picq, Gaucherel, & Claude, 2014) for all three artefact components separately. The open outlines of the tips, barbs, and bases, each were separately subjected to discrete cosine transforms, and then to a principal component analysis (PCA). As we are not, in this analysis, interested in the main body of the points, we consider open-outline analysis to be most appropriate since it provides us with the possibility to analyse the shape of each techno-functional component separately (cf. Leplongeon, Ménard, Bonhomme, & Bortolini, 2020). Visualisations were created using ggplot2 (Wickham, 2016) and ggtree (Yu, Smith, Zhu, Guan, & Lam, 2017).
In addition, we performed hierarchical cluster analysis to further explore potential patterns of interrelations within our three subsamples, and to identify potentially meaningful groupings. Divisive hierarchical clustering was applied to tips, barbs, and bases separately using Ward’s method on a Euclidean distance matrix derived from all principal component (PC) scores for each of the three datasets. Using the R package NbClust (Charrad, Ghazzali, Boiteau, & Niknafs, 2014) we calculated silhouette plots to assess the optimal number of clusters for each derived dendrogram.
For the barb subsample, we further explored their variability through disparity measurements for all barbs combined (N artefacts = 49 and N barbs = 445) between the LP and EH, as well as across major chronozones and latitudinal zones. Disparity is defined here as the amount of total morphological variation, measured as the sum of variances within the PCA, and offers insights about changing levels of normativity and experimentation. We calculated disparity using the dispRity R package (Guillerme & Cooper, 2018).
In the following, we report the main outcomes of the GMM analysis carried out for each techno-functional component (tip, barbs, and base) of our barbed point sample. We present the results of the PCA for tips, barbs, and bases and the associated cluster analyses. Concerning the barbs, we additionally summarise the outcome of the disparity analysis linked to this component.
A total of 30 specimens in our analysis preserved a complete tip for morphometric analysis. Regarding the PCA, 99.3% of this dataset’s total variation is explained by the first two PCs. PC1 (88.6%) reflects the width, mainly of the proximal part of the tip, PC2 (10.7%) captures the angle of convergence towards the tip, while PC3 corresponds to the symmetry of the tip (Figure 3). The dendrogram indicates that, overall, shape variation is limited concerning this component (Figure 4). This is especially evident in clusters 1 and 2 that represent more than 60% of the total sample. In addition, many specimens from both periods are grouped together regardless of their typological classification.
For the 445 barbs from the 49 artefacts studied, the greatest shape variation is captured by PC1 (52.2%), differentiating between wide and rounded (Figure 5), and narrow and slanted barbs. PC2 (30.9%) represents the same general tendencies (differentiating between roundedness and skewness), however, now with reversed proportions (narrow and rounded vs wide and skew). Regarding the overall shape space mapped in the scatterplot of the first two PCs, the LP barbs occupy the upper right quadrant, which reflects represents wide and slanted barbs, whereas the EH specimens are strongly represented in the areas describing more rounded barbs without overhang.
When comparing the disparity between LP and EH barbs, Figure 6 shows that LP specimens display a drastically higher diversity in barb morphology compared to the EH. This stark contrast between the LP and EH turns out to be more gradual when comparing the barb disparity separated into time bins of higher resolution based on the re-calibrated dates (Figure 7). For further interpretation, we disreg the five specimens older than the Bølling/Allerød Complex as they consist of only eight barbs in total. Barb disparity declines from the Bølling/Allerød Complex across the Younger Dryas Complex to the Preboreal. The lowest disparity is reached in the Boreal.
Comparing barb disparity across the three latitudinal zones (Figure 8), it is evident that the sum of variances is lowest in the most northern region (57° N–53° N), followed by the most southern one (<49° N). The highest disparity was measured in our central region between 49° N and <53° N. Do note that the Northern European artefacts not only represent the clear majority in terms of number of artefacts in this dataset, but also in terms of digitised barbs per artefact.
The PCA indicates (cf. Figure 5) that specimens which date to the same period and derive from the same site display considerable internal variety of barb designs. The same also applies at regional levels since specimens from the same wider region only occasionally display pronounced morphological similarity. Moreover, we observe that while a substantial number of Duvensee-type specimens overlap (i.e. they are characterised by low overall variability) they are morphologically similar to specimens assigned to types I and II from Latvia, unclassified specimens from the Netherlands, and to a lesser extent to some southern Scandinavian artefacts (Andersen & Petersen, 2009; Meadows et al., 2014).
The total shape variability of the 22 artefact bases available is to 96.4% described by PC1, which differentiates between needle-shaped forms with a high degree of symmetry along their central axis, and shorter but very wide shapes with an asymmetrical bulbous feature (shield). PC2, capturing only 1.4% of the dataset’s total variation, describes the extent of this particular base feature (Figure 9). The dendrogram derived from all PC scores using Ward’s method (Figure 10) captures these features as well. Clusters 2, 4, and 7 contain artefacts which could be described as needle-shaped and which were located as outliers on the lower left of the PCA plot. The other extreme shapes are captured in clusters 1 and 6. These are the bases with a distinctive and asymmetrical bulbous feature. Cluster 5 includes two artefacts with an almost equal length to width ratio, and cluster 3 – containing the majority of specimens – includes long but wider shapes with high lateral symmetry.
The dendrogram in Figure 10 shows that specimens which have previously been assigned to a specific techno-complex and/or type rarely cluster together. This is most clearly reflected in cluster 3. In particular, those LP specimens classified as belonging to the Magdalenian share design principles with EH specimens thought to belong to the Maglemosian and Ahrensburgian. Yet, some that have been assigned to the same techno-complex based on earlier assessments do not share the same typological assignment. Parochial divisions such as the one for Southern Scandinavian types derived exclusively on the base shape of large-barbed uniserial points (Andersen & Petersen, 2009) are therefore not strongly supported by this morphometric analysis.
Our aim has been to exploratively interrogate the cultural evolution of LP and EH barbed osseous points through a quantitative shape analysis. In doing so, and to obtain maximum chronological control, we have focused on only directly dated artefacts. That said, the LP specimens cover a ∼4000 year time-span and contain three times fewer artefacts when compared to the EH subset. Moreover, the recalibrated dates indicate that n = 11 EH specimens – a third of the entire sample – date to a rather narrow window of 11000–10500 cal BP, while four fall into the similarly narrow range of 9500–9000 cal BP. The EH dataset is therefore rather focused chronologically, not a contiguous series. Based on functional and design considerations, each artefact was divided into modular components reflecting the tripartite demands of efficient penetration (tip), prey retention (barbs), and robust hafting (base). Our analysis suggests a design diversity that defies rigid typological schemata. Specimens dating to the Late Palaeolithic and Early Mesolithic, respectively, occasionally cluster in distinct groups, hinting at rather variable or ephemeral barbed point traditions within each period.
By the same token, the diversity of designs observed even in our limited sample also underlines the idiosyncratic and individualistic aspects related to point manufacture (Dobres, 1995). Indeed, most specimens combine different design elements; no clear linear trajectory of change exists in the total sample, or regionally. We suggest that this combination of design choice indexes complex cultural transmission processes that speak against simple whole-object classification. This is most clearly reflected in the design of the barbs and bases that seem to constitute the most evolutionary informative units, whereas tip design is likely to have been subject to the narrowest functional constraints. Evidently, the various techno-functional components making up each artefact evolved asynchronously (cf. Doyon, 2019; Riede, 2008).
Moreover, our analysis indicates that, overall, shape variation between barbed points decreased from the LP to the EH. While the low population densities (e.g. Kretschmer, 2012; Lundström, Peters, & Riede, 2021) and fragile social networks (e.g. Riede, 2014) of the Late Palaeolithic may have limited the cultural transmission of cumulatively adaptive designs (cf. Derex & Mesoudi, 2020; Fernández-López de Pablo et al., 2022), the observed decrease in barbed point shape variability during the Mesolithic may relate to the general increase in population driven by the global increase in net primary productivity (e.g. Bocquet-Appel, Demars, Noiret, & Dobrowsky, 2005; Schmidt et al., 2021). Furthermore, a greater degree of experimentation with different designs is expected to occur in periods of socio-ecological uncertainty (Fitzhugh, 2001) such as the Pleistocene.
Barbs here form the elements of greatest interest: Regional and local barbed point typologies grounded in barb morphology (Clark, 1936; Galiński, 2013) should be treated with caution and certainly qualified through detailed analysis of barb shape variability. The results indicate a high level of design diversity that is especially evident among LP specimens compared to those dating to the EH. In our view, the overall diversity signifies relatively low levels of normativity within this craft domain, or that barbs positioned differently along the shaft followed consistently varying design constraints; the latter possibility in particular remains to be systematically evaluated. Since strongly conformist social transmission would suppress such variability (Eerkens & Lipo, 2005; Kohler, VanBuskirk, & Ruscavage-Barz, 2004), barbed points from the LP and EH in Europe appear to have been a medium also for craft experimentation and the expression of idiosyncratic preferences, perhaps even a medium for social negotiations (cf. Dobres, 1995, 2000).
4.1 Convergence on Optimal Designs
With reference to established frameworks of cultural transmission (Eerkens & Lipo, 2007) and given the overall relatively limited morphological variation in the sample at hand, one may infer that a certain degree of biased transmission characterised barbed points, leading to relatively normative and conservative evolutionary trajectories. Yet, as recently pointed out by Manninen et al. (2021) specifically for slotted bone points of the LP/EH, it is not straightforward to distinguish between biased transmission dynamics within one macro-evolutionary tradition and repeated convergence amongst different communities of practice (Jochim, 2018; O’Brien, Buchanan, & Eren, 2018; O’Brien & Bentley, 2020). Barbed points are functional objects, and different design constraints acted on the hafting, prey retention, and penetration components. As carefully and laboriously crafted implements (for instance, David, 2006), they are made to minimise failure and its associated costs (Bleed, 1986; Eerkens, 1998) in the context of seasonal hunting of more or less predictable game animals (Torrence, 1989). Such reliable technologies are thought to be favoured for specialised activities (Bleed, 1986). In the case of the barbed points of the Late Palaeolithic and Early Mesolithic, this may have been the hunting of marine mammals or swimming land mammals (Cziesla, 2007; Petersen, 2009), although their primary use context may also have shifted over time.
Barbed points are only very occasionally directly associated with the prey hunted (e.g. Pettitt, Rowley-Conwy, Montgomery, & Richards, 2017) making it difficult to confidently infer their specific use. The convergence on shapes of considerable similarity in certain times and places may relate to the repeated but also only periodic formation of less mobile populations living at higher densities pursuing less variable hunting strategies. This aligns with an observed standardisation of manufacturing techniques in periods such as the Early Mesolithic in southern Scandinavia (David, 2003, 2006, 2009), although the recent study by Jensen et al. (2020) also cautions against all too rigid models of cultural continuity in the EH of this region.
4.2 Individual Craft Agency
In contrast to processes leading to standardised point designs, some of the variability in barb design may also be interpreted in terms of individual agency. Stylistic variation is considered to be the prima facie artisanal hallmark (Whittaker, 1987). Arguably, “unlike flint products, items made of bone and antler are much more expressive of clan tradition and individual personality of the maker” (Galiński, 2013, p. 93). This could be especially the case for barbed osseous points that constitute a highly curated class of artefacts (Riede, 2008). These implements are characterised by complex manufacturing phases, a rather time-consuming chaîne opératoire (Elliott & Milner, 2010; Langley, 2014), long-term use and often careful curation and maintenance (Langley, 2015).
Artefact variability is generated by individuals (Foulds, 2010). Assuming that “individual signatures are expressed both intentionally and accidentally in artifact variation” (Whittaker, 1987, p. 476), we view individual craft agency as the conscious/unconscious actions of the manufacturers and we interpret our results based on the individual practices that arise in the context of specific social transmission processes (Eerkens & Lipo, 2005). We propose that the evident inter- and intra-variability in barb design could partially reflect crafters with varying perceptual abilities, motor skills, and intentions, parameters that contribute to the shaping of unconscious idiosyncratic traits. More importantly, idiosyncratic signatures could be generated from the different decisions made by individuals in relation to how barbs should be shaped and maintained. Studies on Magdalenian organic artefacts from France, that included barbed points, in some cases revealed intra-site variability in barb manufacture techniques and barb designs, while the techniques employed for the former were specific to particular sites (Dobres, 1995). In this light, some of the variability seen in our sample could indeed mark the presence of idiosyncratic individual choices. Thus, depending on how many agents were involved in the manufacture and/or curation processes, diversified barb designs might capture the cumulative variation generated by different individual crafters, or the personal expression of one agent over time.
When comparing the three techno-functional units, barbs form the elements that allow a greater level of personal experimentation and creativity, since the base and especially the tip entail more design constraints tied to their function. Such a level of experimentation could have only taken place within low conformist social environments. In line with previous studies of French Magdalenian osseous artefacts stressing their technical and stylistic variability (Dobres, 1995), we also suggest that barb variation could at least partially represent the expression of individual craft agency.
Artefacts of bone and antler were key components of prehistoric toolkits. Barbed points and harpoons made of osseous raw materials constitute a particularly vital technological innovation for past forager groups. While relatively rare, these objects have also played an important role as artefactual index fossils thought to register cultural evolutionary changes. GMM analysis forms a powerful approach for the study of chorological variation in artefacts. It has previously been applied to Palaeolithic osseous projectile points (Doyon, 2019, 2020), yet ours is the first study that employs 2D open-outline GMM analysis on directly dated barbed points.
In line with many GMM studies on both lithics and ceramics, our results suggest caution in using typological approaches. These can evidently not adequately capture the morphological variability seen in the barbed osseous points of the LP and EH, thus placing any chronological, cultural, or agentive inferences on an uncertain footing. At the same time, the sample size of the analysis presented here is also limited and our results are therefore preliminary at best. Future studies could profitably include both directly dated specimens as well as those not associated with secure chronological information. Equally, morphometric analyses of barbed points would facilitate novel functional understandings of this artefact class via so-called finite element analysis that can model strains and stresses on object design in silico (e.g. O’Higgins et al., 2011). At the same time, analytical methods combining morphological and technological data may offer novel insights on craft traditions. An extended sample size would facilitate a more robust evaluation of their status as artefactual type fossil of LP and EH foragers, or the degree to which these artefacts can be used to understand individual craft choices. Moreover, future research should consider in more detail the usage of, for instance, modelling or experimental approaches and the cultural processes that led to such a complex blending of morphological traits in this artefact class.
K.T. is grateful to Aarhus University and Dr Felix Riede, director of the CLIOARCH project, in the frame of which this research was conducted.
Funding information: K.T. thanks the Erasmus + programme for the financial support provided for traineeships by the European Commission. F.R. and D.N.M. gratefully acknowledge funding from the European Research Council (Consolidator Grant agreement 817564 under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme).
Author contributions: We applied the SDC approach for the sequence of authors. K.T.: collection, analysis, interpretation of data, writing – original draft, table, and figure production. D.N.M: methodology, code development, programming, figure production, and writing – critical review and editing. F.R.: conceptualisation, supervision, methodology, and writing – critical review and editing.
Conflict of interest: We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
Data availability statement: The dataset and code generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available on Zenodo (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7244044).
Andersen, S. H., & Petersen, P. A. V. (2009). Maglemosekulturens stortandede harpuner. Aarbøger for nordisk Oldkyndighed og Historie, 2006, 7–41.Search in Google Scholar
Baales, M., Birker, S., & Mucha, F. (2017). Hafting with beeswax in the Final Palaeolithic: A barbed point from Bergkamen. Antiquity, 91(359), 1155–1170. doi: 10.15184/aqy.2017.142.Search in Google Scholar
Barandiarán, I. (1988). Datation C 14 de l’art mobilier magdalénien cantabrique. Préhistoire Ariégeoise, 43, 63–84. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb34365451w/date.Search in Google Scholar
Barshay-Szmidt, C., Costamagno, S., Henry-Gambier, D., Laroulandie, V., Pétillon, J.-M., Boudadi-Maligne, M., … Mallye, J.-B. (2016). New extensive focused AMS 14C dating of the Middle and Upper Magdalenian of the western Aquitaine/Pyrenean region of France (ca. 19–14 ka cal BP): Proposing a new model for its chronological phases and for the timing of occupation. Quaternary International, 414, 62–91. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.12.073.Search in Google Scholar
Bleed, P. (1986). The optimal design of hunting weapons: Maintainability or reliability. American Antiquity, 51(4), 737–747. doi: 10.2307/280862.Search in Google Scholar
Bocquet-Appel, J.-P., Demars, P.-Y., Noiret, L., & Dobrowsky, D. (2005). Estimates of Upper Palaeolithic meta-population size in Europe from archaeological data. Journal of Archaeological Science, 32(11), 1656–1668. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2005.05.006.Search in Google Scholar
Bonhomme, V., Picq, S., Gaucherel, C., & Claude, J. (2014). Momocs: Outline analysis using R. Journal of Statistical Software, 56, 1–24. doi: 10.18637/jss.v056.i13.Search in Google Scholar
Bonsall, C., & Smith, C. (1990). Bone and antler technology in the British Late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic: The impact of accelerator dating. In P. M. Vermeersch & P. Van Peer (Eds.), Contributions to the Mesolithic in Europe. Papers presented at the fourth international symposium ‘The Mesolithic Europe’, Leuven 1990 (pp. 359–368). Leuven: Leuven University Press.Search in Google Scholar
Britnell, W. (1984). A Barbed Point from Porth-y-waen, Llanyblodwel, Shropshire. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 50(1), 385–386. doi: 10.1017/S0079497X00007611.Search in Google Scholar
Bronk Ramsey, C. (2017). Methods for summarizing radiocarbon datasets. Radiocarbon, 59(6), 1809–1833. doi: 10.1017/RDC.2017.108.Search in Google Scholar
Buchanan, B., O’Brien, M. J., & Collard, M. (2014). Continent-wide or region-specific? A geometric morphometrics-based assessment of variation in Clovis point shape. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 6(2), 145–162. doi: 10.1007/s12520-013-0168-x.Search in Google Scholar
Charrad, M., Ghazzali, N., Boiteau, V., & Niknafs, A. (2014). NbClust: An R package for determining the relevant number of clusters in a data set. Journal of Statistical Software, 61(1), 1–36. doi: 10.18637/jss.v061.i06.Search in Google Scholar
Christensen, M., & Chollet, A. (2005). L’industrie sur bois de cervidé et os des niveaux magdaléniens et aziliens du Bois-Ragot: Étude préliminaire. Mémoires de la Société préhistorique française, 38, 223–257. http://www.prehistoire.org/515_p_46800/memoires-de-la-spf.html.Search in Google Scholar
Clark, J. G. D. (1936). The Mesolithic settlement of Northern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar
Clark, J. G. D. (1954). Excavations at Star Carr: An early Mesolithic site at Seamer near Scarborough: Yorkshire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar
Clark, J. G. D., & Godwin, H. (1956). A Maglemosian Site at Brandesburton, Holderness, Yorkshire. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 22, 6–22. doi: 10.1017/S0079497X0001714X.Search in Google Scholar
Cook, J., & Barton, N. E. (1986). Dating Late Devensian-Early Flandrian barbed points. In J. A. J. Gowlett & R. E. M. Hedges (Eds.), Archaeological results from accelerator dating: Research contributions drawing on radiocarbon dates produced by the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator based on papers presented at the SERC sponsored conference” Results and Prospects of Accelerator Dating” held in Oxford on October 1985 (pp. 87–89). Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology.Search in Google Scholar
Cziesla, E. (1999). Zur Territorialität mesolithischer Gruppen in Nordostdeutschland. Ethnographisch-Archäologische Zeitschrift, 40(4), 485–512. https://www.hsozkult.de/journals/id/zeitschriften-609.Search in Google Scholar
Cziesla, E. (2007). Einige Hypothesen zur Verwendung zweireihiger Widerhakenspitzen des nordeuropäischen Flachlandes. In M. Masojc, T. Plonka, B. Ginter, & St. K. Kozlowski (Eds.), Contributions to the Central European Stone Age: Papers dedicated to the late Professor Zbigniew Bagniewski (pp. 19–32). Wroclaw: Uniwersytet Wrocławski.Search in Google Scholar
Cziesla, E., & Masojć, M. (2007). A single barbed point from Wȩgliny (Lower Lusatia, Poland) and its chronocultural significance. Archaologisches Korrespondenzblatt, 37(4), 457–469. https://web.rgzm.de/publikationen/verlagsprogramm/zeitschriften/archaeologisches-korrespondenzblatt/.Search in Google Scholar
Cziesla, E., & Pettitt, P. B. (2003). AMS-14C-Datieirungen von spätpaläolithischen und mesolithischen Funden aus dem Bützsee (Brandenburg). Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt, 33(1), 21–38. https://web.rgzm.de/publikationen/verlagsprogramm/zeitschriften/archaeologisches-korrespondenzblatt/.Search in Google Scholar
David, É. (2003). The contribution of a technological study of bone and antler industry for the definition of the Early Maglemose culture. In L. Larsson, H. Kindgren, K. Knutsson, D. Loeffler, & A. Åkerlund (Eds.), Mesolithic on the Move. Papers Presented at the 6th International Conference in the Mesolithic in Europe, Stockholm 2000 (pp. 649–657). Exeter: Oxbow Books.Search in Google Scholar
David, É. (2006). Contributions of the bone and antler industry for characterizing the early mesolithic in Europe. In Cl.-J. Kind (Ed.), After the Ice Age. Settlements, Subsistence and Social Development in the Mesolithic of Central Europe. Proceedings of the International Conference 9th to12th of September 2003 Rottenburg/Neckar, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (pp. 135–145) Stuttgart: Theiss.Search in Google Scholar
David, É. (2009). Show me how you make your hunting equipment and I will tell you where you come from: Technical traditions, an efficient means of characterizing cultural identities. In S. McCartan, R. Schulting, G. Warren, & P. Woodman (Eds.), Mesolithic Horizons. Papers presented at the Seventh International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe, Belfast 2005 (pp. 362–367). Oxford: Oxbow Books.Search in Google Scholar
Dekker, J., Sinet-Mathiot, V., Spithoven, M., Smit, B., Wilcke, A., Welker, F., … Soressi, M. (2021). Human and cervid osseous materials used for barbed point manufacture in Mesolithic Doggerland. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 35, 102678. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102678.Search in Google Scholar
Derex, M., & Mesoudi, A. (2020). Cumulative cultural evolution within evolving population structures. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 24(8), 654–667. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2020.04.005.Search in Google Scholar
Dobres, M.-A. (1995). Gender and prehistoric technology: On the social agency of technical strategies. World Archaeology, 27(1), 25–49. doi: 10.1080/00438243.1995.9980291.Search in Google Scholar
Dobres, M.-A. (2000). Technology and social agency: Outlining a practice framework for archaeology. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher.Search in Google Scholar
Doyon, L. (2019). On the shape of things: A geometric morphometrics approach to investigate Aurignacian group membership. Journal of Archaeological Science, 101, 99–114. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2018.11.009.Search in Google Scholar
Doyon, L. (2020). The cultural trajectories of Aurignacian osseous projectile points in Southern Europe: Insights from geometric morphometrics. Quaternary International, 551, 63–84. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2018.12.010.Search in Google Scholar
Dujardin, V., & Oberlin, C. (2005). Les datations sur os du Bois-Ragot. Mémoires de la Société Préhistorique Française, 38, 401–404. http://www.prehistoire.org/515_p_46800/memoires-de-la-spf.html.Search in Google Scholar
Eerkens, J. W. (1998). Reliable and maintainable technologies: Artifact standardization and the early to later mesolithic transition in Northern England. Lithic Technology, 23(1), 42–53. doi: 10.1080/01977261.1998.11720937.Search in Google Scholar
Eerkens, J. W., & Lipo, C. P. (2005). Cultural transmission, copying errors, and the generation of variation in material culture and the archaeological record. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 24(4), 316–334. doi: 10.1016/j.jaa.2005.08.001.Search in Google Scholar
Eerkens, J. W., & Lipo, C. P. (2007). Cultural transmission theory and the archaeological record: Providing context to understanding variation and temporal changes in material culture. Journal of Archaeological Research, 15(3), 239–274. doi: 10.1007/s10814-007-9013-z.Search in Google Scholar
Elliott, B., & Little, A. (2018). Barbed points. In N. Milner, C. Conneller, & B. Taylor (Eds.), Star Carr Volume 2: Studies in technology, subsistence and environment (pp. 273–296). York: White Rose University Press.Search in Google Scholar
Elliott, B., & Milner, N. (2010). Making a point: A critical review of the barbed point manufacturing process practised at Star Carr. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 76, 75–94. doi: 10.1017/S0079497X00000451.Search in Google Scholar
Fernández-López de Pablo, J., Romano, V., Derex, M., Gjesfjeld, E., Gravel-Miguel, C., Hamilton, M. J., … Lozano, S. (2022). Understanding hunter–gatherer cultural evolution needs network thinking. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 37(8), 632–636. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2022.04.007.Search in Google Scholar
Fitzhugh, B. (2001). Risk and invention in human technological evolution. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 20(2), 125–167. doi: 10.1006/jaar.2001.0380.Search in Google Scholar
Foulds, F. W. F. (2010). Investigating the individual? An experimental approach through lithic refitting. Lithics: The Journal of the Lithic Studies Society, 31, 6–19. http://www.lithics.org/lithics/lithics31non.html.Search in Google Scholar
Friis-Hansen, J. (1990). Mesolithic cutting arrows: Functional analysis of arrows used in the hunting of large game. Antiquity, 64(244), 494–504. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X0007839X.Search in Google Scholar
Galiński, T. (2013). Typological, chronological and cultural verification of Pleistocene and Early Holocene bone and antler harpoons and points from the southern Baltic zone. Przegląd Archeologiczny, 61, 93–144. https://journals.iaepan.pl/pa.Search in Google Scholar
Guillerme, T., & Cooper, N. (2018). Time for a rethink: Time sub-sampling methods in disparity-through-time analyses. Palaeontology, 61(4), 481–493. doi: 10.1111/pala.12364.Search in Google Scholar
Hartz, S., Lübke, H., & Groß, D. (2019). Early Mesolithic bone points from Schleswig-Holstein. In D. Groß, H. Lübke, J. Meadows, & D. Jantzen (Eds.), Working at the sharp end: From bone and antler to early mesolithic life in northern europe (pp. 203–238). doi: 10.23797/9783529018619-7.Search in Google Scholar
Ivanovaitė, L., Serwatka, K., Hoggard, C. S., Sauer, F., & Riede, F. (2020). All these Fantastic Cultures? Research History and Regionalization in the Late Palaeolithic Tanged Point Cultures of Eastern Europe. European Journal of Archaeology, 23(2), 162–185. doi: 10.1017/eaa.2019.59.Search in Google Scholar
Jacobi, R. M., Higham, T. F. G., & Lord, T. C. (2009). Improving the chronology of the human occupation of Britain during the Late Glacial. In M. Street, N. Barton, & T. Terberger (Eds.), Humans, Environment and Chronology of the Late Glacial of the North European Plain, Proceedings of Workshop 14 (Commission XXXII) of the 15th U.I.S.P.P. Congress, Lisbon, September 2006 (pp. 7–25). Mainz: Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums.Search in Google Scholar
Jensen, T. Z. T., Sjöström, A., Fischer, A., Rosengren, E., Lanigan, L. T., Bennike, O., … Collins, M. J. (2020). An integrated analysis of Maglemose bone points reframes the Early Mesolithic of Southern Scandinavia. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 17244. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74258-8.Search in Google Scholar
Jochim, M. (2018). Environmental Change and Technological Convergence in Southern Germany. In E. Robinson & F. Sellet (Eds.), Lithic Technological Organization and Paleoenvironmental Change: Global and Diachronic Perspectives (pp. 189–202). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-64407-3_9.Search in Google Scholar
Julien, M. (1982). Les harpons magdaléniens. https://www.persee.fr/doc/galip_0072-0100_1982_sup_17_1.Search in Google Scholar
Kohler, T. A., VanBuskirk, S., & Ruscavage-Barz, S. (2004). Vessels and villages: Evidence for conformist transmission in early village aggregations on the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 23(1), 100–118. doi: 10.1016/j.jaa.2003.12.003.Search in Google Scholar
Kretschmer, I. (2012). Palaeodemography of the Magdalenian—Estimating population density of hunter-gatherer during the Late Upper Palaeolithic in Europe. Quaternary International, 279–280, 256. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2012.08.621.Search in Google Scholar
Langley, M. C. (2014). Magdalenian antler projectile point design: Determining original form for uni- and bilaterally barbed points. Journal of Archaeological Science, 44, 104–116. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.01.013.Search in Google Scholar
Langley, M. C. (2015). Investigating maintenance and discard behaviours for osseous projectile points: A Middle to Late Magdalenian (c. 19,000–14,000 cal. BP). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 40, 340–360. doi: 10.1016/j.jaa.2015.10.001.Search in Google Scholar
Larsson, L., Sjöström, A., & Nilsson, B. (2019). Lost at the bottom of the lake. Early and Middle Mesolithic leister points found in the bog Rönneholms Mosse, southern Sweden. In D. Groß, D. Jantzen, H. Lübke, & J. Meadows (Eds.), Working at the sharp end: From bone and antler to early mesolithic life in northern europe (pp. 255–262). Kiel: Wachholtz Verlag. doi: 10.23797/9783529018619-9.Search in Google Scholar
Leplongeon, A., Ménard, C., Bonhomme, V., & Bortolini, E. (2020). Backed pieces and their variability in the later stone age of the horn of Africa. African Archaeological Review, 37(3), 437–468. doi: 10.1007/s10437-020-09401-x.Search in Google Scholar
Lord, T. C., O’Connor, T. P., Siebrandt, D. C., & Jacobi, R. M. (2007). People and large carnivores as biostratinomic agents in Late Glacial cave assemblages. Journal of Quaternary Science, 22(7), 681–694. doi: 10.1002/jqs.1101.Search in Google Scholar
Lord, T., & Howard, J. (2013). Cave archaeology. In T. Waltham & D. Lowe (Eds.), Caves and Karst of the Yorkshire Dales (Vol. 1, pp. 239–251). Great Hucklow, Buxton: British Cave Research Association.Search in Google Scholar
Lundström, V., Peters, R., & Riede, F. (2021). Demographic estimates from the Palaeolithic–Mesolithic boundary in Scandinavia: Comparative benchmarks and novel insights. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 376(1816), 20200037. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0037.Search in Google Scholar
Manninen, M. A., Asheichyk, V., Jonuks, T., Kriiska, A., Osipowicz, G., Sorokin, A. N., … Persson, P. (2021). Using radiocarbon dates and tool design principles to assess the role of composite slotted bone tool technology at the intersection of adaptation and culture-history. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 28(3), 845–870. doi: 10.1007/s10816-021-09517-7.Search in Google Scholar
Manríquez, G., Salazar, D. R., Figueroa, V., Hartz, S., & Thomas, T. (2017). Archaeological fish hooks from the coast of Antofagasta (northern Chile) and from northern continental Europe: a geometric morphometric analysis. In B. V. Eriksen, A. Abegg-Wigg, R. Bleile, & U. Ickerodt (Eds.), Interaktionen ohne Grenzen/Interaction without borders: Beispiele archeologischer Forschungen am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts/Exemplary archaeological research at the beginning of the 21st century (pp. 91–99). Schleswig: Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen.Search in Google Scholar
Matzig, D. (2021). yesdavid/outlineR: An R package to derive outline shapes from (multiple) artefacts on JPEG images version 0.1.0 from GitHub. https://rdrr.io/github/yesdavid/outlineR/.Search in Google Scholar
Matzig, D. N., Hussain, S. T., & Riede, F. (2021). Design space constraints and the cultural taxonomy of European final palaeolithic large tanged points: A comparison of typological, landmark-based and whole-outline geometric morphometric approaches. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, 4(4), 27. doi: 10.1007/s41982-021-00097-2.Search in Google Scholar
Meadows, J., Eriksen, B. V., Zagorska, I., Dreves, A., & Simpson, J. (2014). Dating Late Paleolithic Harpoons from Lake Lubāns, Latvia. Radiocarbon, 56(2), 581–589. doi: 10.2458/56.16957.Search in Google Scholar
Mesfin, I., Leplongeon, A., Pleurdeau, D., & Borel, A. (2020). Using morphometrics to reappraise old collections: The study case of the Congo Basin Middle Stone Age bifacial industry. Journal of Lithic Studies, 7(1), 1–38. doi: 10.2218/jls.4329.Search in Google Scholar
Mesoudi, A., & O’Brien, M. J. (2008). The cultural transmission of great basin projectile-point technology I: An experimental simulation. American Antiquity, 73(1), 3–28. doi: 10.1017/S0002731600041263.Search in Google Scholar
Mesoudi, A., & O’Brien, M. J. (2009). Placing archaeology within a unified science of cultural evolution. In S. J. Shennan (Ed.), Pattern and process in cultural evolution (pp. 21–32). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. doi: 10.1525/9780520943360-003.Search in Google Scholar
O’Brien, M. J., & Bentley, R. A. (2020). Learning strategies and population dynamics during the pleistocene colonization of North America. In H. S. Groucutt (Ed.), Culture history and convergent evolution: Can we detect populations in prehistory? (pp. 261–281). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-46126-3_13.Search in Google Scholar
O’Brien, M. J., Buchanan, B., & Eren, M. I. (Eds.). (2018). Convergent evolution in stone-tool technology. Cambridge, Massachusett: The MIT Press.10.7551/mitpress/11554.001.0001Search in Google Scholar
O’Higgins, P., Cobb, S. N., Fitton, L. C., Gröning, F., Phillips, R., Liu, J., & Fagan, M. J. (2011). Combining geometric morphometrics and functional simulation: An emerging toolkit for virtual functional analyses. Journal of Anatomy, 218(1), 3–15. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2010.01301.x.Search in Google Scholar
Orłowska, J., & Osipowicz, G. (2021). Accuracy of the typological classifications of the Late Glacial and Early Holocene osseous projectile points according to the new AMS dates of selected artifacts from Poland. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 14(1), 8. doi: 10.1007/s12520-021-01483-1.Search in Google Scholar
Pante, M., de la Torre, I., d’Errico, F., Njau, J., & Blumenschine, R. (2020). Bone tools from Beds II–IV, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and implications for the origins and evolution of bone technology. Journal of Human Evolution, 148, 102885. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2020.102885.Search in Google Scholar
Petersen, P. A. V. (2009). Stortandede harpuner—Og jagt på hjortevildt til vands. Aarbøger for Nordisk Oldkyndighed Og Historie, 2005, 43–53.Search in Google Scholar
Pétillon, J. M. (2008). Des barbelures pour quoi faire? Réflexions préliminaires sur la fonction des pointes barbelées au Magdalénien supérieur. Recherches sur les armatures de projectiles du Paléolithique supérieur au Néolithique. Actes du colloque C83, XVe congrès de l’UISPP, Lisbonne, 4–9 septembre 2006, 1, 69–102. https://blogs.univ-tlse2.fr/palethnologie/en/2009-04-petillon/.Search in Google Scholar
Pétillon, J. M. (2016). Technological evolution of hunting implements among Pleistocene hunter–gatherers: Osseous projectile points in the middle and upper Magdalenian (19–14 ka cal BP). Quaternary International, 414, 108–134. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.08.063.Search in Google Scholar
Pétillon, J. M., Langlais, M., Kuntz, D., Normand, C., Barshay-Szmidt, C., Costamagno, S., … Marsan, G. (2015). The human occupation of the northwestern Pyrenees in the Late Glacial: New data from the Arudy basin, lower Ossau valley. Quaternary International, 364, 126–143. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.09.022.Search in Google Scholar
Pettitt, P., Rowley-Conwy, P., Montgomery, J., & Richards, M. (2017). A cold case closed: New light on the life and death of the Late Glacial elk from Poulton-le-Fylde (Lancashire, UK). Quartär, 64, 179–202. doi: 10.7485/QU64_8.Search in Google Scholar
Philippsen, B., Ivanovaitė, L., Makhotka, K., Sauer, F., Riede, F., & Olsen, J. (2019). Eight New Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene AMS Dates from the Southeastern Baltic. Radiocarbon, 61(2), 615–627. doi: 10.1017/RDC.2018.153.Search in Google Scholar
R Core Team. (2022). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.R-project.org/.Search in Google Scholar
Reimer, P. J., Austin, W. E. N., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Blackwell, P. G., Ramsey, C. B., … Talamo, S. (2020). The IntCal20 Northern Hemisphere Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curve (0–55 cal kBP). Radiocarbon, 62(4), 725–757. doi: 10.1017/RDC.2020.41.Search in Google Scholar
Reynolds, N., & Riede, F. (2019). House of cards: Cultural taxonomy and the study of the European Upper Palaeolithic. Antiquity, 93(371), 1350–1358. doi: 10.15184/aqy.2019.49.Search in Google Scholar
Riede, F. (2008). Maglemosian memes: Technological ontogeny, craft traditions and the evolution of Northern European Barbed points. In M. J. O’Brien (Ed.), Cultural Transmission and Archaeology: Issues and Case Studies (pp. 178–189). Washington, DC: Society for American Archaeology Press.Search in Google Scholar
Riede, F. (2014). Eruptions and ruptures – a social network perspective on vulnerability and impact of the Laacher See eruption (c. 13,000 BP) on Late Glacial hunter-gatherers in northern europe. Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 29(1), 67–102. http://arc.soc.srcf.net/.Search in Google Scholar
Riede, F., Hoggard, C., & Shennan, S. (2019). Reconciling material cultures in archaeology with genetic data requires robust cultural evolutionary taxonomies. Palgrave Communications, 5(1), 1–9. doi: 10.1057/s41599-019-0260-7.Search in Google Scholar
Sauer, F., & Riede, F. (2019). A critical reassessment of cultural taxonomies in the central European late palaeolithic. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 26(1), 155–184. doi: 10.1007/s10816-018-9368-0.Search in Google Scholar
Schmidt, I., Hilpert, J., Kretschmer, I., Peters, R., Broich, M., Schiesberg, S., … Maier, A. (2021). Approaching prehistoric demography: Proxies, scales and scope of the Cologne Protocol in European contexts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1816), 20190714. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0714.Search in Google Scholar
Selden, R. (2017). Asymmetry of Caddo Ceramics from the Washington Square Mound Site: An Exploratory Analysis. CRHR: Archaeology, 262, 1–18. doi: 10.1016/j.daach.2017.04.003.Search in Google Scholar
Serwatka, K. (2014). Shape variation of Middle Palaeolithic bifacial tools from southern Poland: A geometric morphometric approach to Keilmessergruppen handaxes and backed knives. Lithics: The Journal of the Lithic Studies Society, 35, 18–32. http://www.lithics.org/.Search in Google Scholar
Serwatka, K., & Riede, F. (2016). 2D geometric morphometric analysis casts doubt on the validity of large tanged points as cultural markers in the European Final Palaeolithic. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 9, 150–159. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.07.018.Search in Google Scholar
Shea, J. J. (2014). Sink the Mousterian? Named stone tool industries (NASTIES) as obstacles to investigating hominin evolutionary relationships in the Later Middle Paleolithic Levant. Quaternary International, 350, 169–179. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.01.024.Search in Google Scholar
Sheldrick, C., Lowe, J. J., & Reynier, M. J. (1997). Palaeolithic Barbed Point from Gransmoor, East Yorkshire, England. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 63, 359–370. doi: 10.1017/S0079497X00002486.Search in Google Scholar
Shennan, S. (2008). Evolution in archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 37(1), 75–91. doi: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.37.081407.085153.Search in Google Scholar
Shennan, S. (2020). Style, Function and Cultural Transmission. In H. S. Groucutt (Ed.), Culture history and convergent evolution: Can we detect populations in prehistory? (pp. 291–298). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-46126-3_15.Search in Google Scholar
Street, M. (1995). Dinslaken. In G. Bosinski, M. Street, & M. Baales (Eds.), The Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of the Rhineland. In: W. Schirmer (Ed.), Quaternary Field Trips in Central Europe. International Union for Quaternary Research, XIVth International Congress, August 3-19, 1995, Berlin, Germany (pp. 984–986). München: Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil.Search in Google Scholar
Street, M., Baales, M., Cziesla, E., Hartz, S., Heinen, M., Jöris, O., … Vollbrecht, J. (2001). Final Paleolithic and Mesolithic Research in Reunified Germany. Journal of World Prehistory, 15(4), 365–453. doi: 10.1023/A:1014332527763.Search in Google Scholar
Szmidt, C., Pétillon, J.-M., Cattelain, P., Normand, C., & Schwab, C. (2009). Premières dates radiocarbone pour le Magdalénien d’Isturitz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). Bulletin de La Société Préhistorique Française, 106(3), 588–592. doi: 10.3406/bspf.2009.13880.Search in Google Scholar
Tehrani, J. J., & Riede, F. (2008). Towards an archaeology of pedagogy: Learning, teaching and the generation of material culture traditions. World Archaeology, 40(3), 316–331. doi: 10.1080/00438240802261267.Search in Google Scholar
Thompson, M. W. (1954). Azilian Harpoons. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 20(2), 193–211. doi: 10.1017/S0079497X00017679.Search in Google Scholar
Tisnerat-Laborde, N., Valladas, H., & Ladier, E. (1997). Nouvelles datations carbone 14 en SMA pour le Magdalénien supérieur de la vallée de l’Aveyron. Bulletin de La Société Préhistorique de l’Ariège-Pyrénées, 52, 129–136. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb34365451w/date.Search in Google Scholar
Topi, J. (2016). A geometric morphometric approach to Casas Grandes ceramic specialization (Doctoral dissertation) University of Missouri, Columbia. https://hdl.handle.net/10355/65941.Search in Google Scholar
Torrence, R. (1989). Tools as optimal solutions. In R. Torrence (Ed.), Time, energy, and stone tools (pp. 1–6). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar
Verhart, L. (1990). Stone Age Bone and Antler Points as Indicators for « Social Territories » in the European Mesolithic. In P. M. Vermeersch & P. Van Peer (Eds.), Contributions to the Mesolithic in Europe Papers presented at the fourth international symposium ‘The Mesolithic in Europe’ Vol. 5, (pp. 139–151). Leuven: Leuven University Press.Search in Google Scholar
Walsh, M. J., Riede, F., & O’Neill, S. (2019). Cultural transmission and innovation in archaeology. In A. M. Prentiss (Ed.), Handbook of evolutionary research in archaeology (pp. 49–70). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-11117-5_3.Search in Google Scholar
Wang, L.-Y., & Marwick, B. (2020). Standardization of ceramic shape: A case study of Iron Age pottery from northeastern Taiwan. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 33, 102554. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102554.Search in Google Scholar
Weniger, G. C. (1987). Der kantabrische Harpunentyp. Uberlegungen zur Morphologie und Klassifikation einer magdalénienzeitlichen Widerhakenspitze. Madrider Mitteilungen, 28, 1–43. https://www.dainst.org/-/madrider-mitteilungen.Search in Google Scholar
Weniger, G. C. (1995). Widerhakenspitzen des Magdalénien Westeuropas: Ein Vergleich mit ethnohistorischen Jägergruppen Nordamerikas. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern.Search in Google Scholar
Weniger, G. C. (2000). Magdalenian barbed points: Harpoons, spears and arrowheads. Anthropologie et Prehistoire, 111, 79–87. https://biblio.naturalsciences.be/associated_publications/anthropologica-prehistorica/anthropologie-et-prehistoire#b_start=0.Search in Google Scholar
Whittaker, J. C. (1987). Individual variation as an approach to economic organization: Projectile points at Grasshopper Pueblo, Arizona. Journal of Field Archaeology, 14(4), 465–479. doi: 10.1179/jfa.19188.8.131.525.Search in Google Scholar
Wickham, H. (2016). ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-24277-4.Search in Google Scholar
Wilkins, J. (2020). Is it time to retire NASTIES in Southern Africa? moving beyond the culture-historical framework for middle stone age lithic assemblage variability. Lithic Technology, 45(4), 295–307. doi: 10.1080/01977261.2020.1802848.Search in Google Scholar
Yu, G., Smith, D. K., Zhu, H., Guan, Y., & Lam, T. T.-Y. (2017). GGTREE: an R package for visualization and annotation of phylogenetic trees with their covariates and other associated data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8(1), 28–36. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12628.Search in Google Scholar
Zagorska, I. (2006). The Earliest antler and bone harpoons from the East Baltic. Archaeologia Baltica, 7, 178–186.Search in Google Scholar
© 2023 the author(s), published by De Gruyter
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.