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Understanding the ballistics of osseous projectiles in southern Vietnam without the aid of direct experimentation
, Jennifer Hull  1, *@  
1 : School of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Australian National University
* : Auteur correspondant

Comprehensive analyses of osseous implements in later Holocene contexts of Southeast Asia is still developing, and there is great potential for the development of methodological frameworks in bone technologies that are particular to this geographic region. This is especially true of the Neolithic and Metal Age periods of the region where there has been almost no comprehensive research into the diverse range of bone implements that have been recovered. In this paper I discuss osseous technologies from three settlement sites excavated in southern Vietnam. The archaeology produced a range of osseous artefacts with clear manufacturing and hafting evidence. These implements would have required a high level of technological skill to produce, and some were quite elaborately designed. The use-wear analysis reveals impact damage suggesting use as projectile points, but they seem to have a variety of functions, which are difficult to determine with certainty. This raises some important questions: what reasoning was there to produce such a variety of projectile forms, was there selective function? How can ballistics analysis assist in better understanding this technological system, especially without the aid of experimental studies?


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