Programmes > Par auteur > Antolinos-Basso Eugène

Ballistic properties of lithic arrowheads of the GS-1 / Preboreal transition. Comparative approach of terminal ballistics of the trapezoidal bitroncatures and straight back (Blanchères) points.
Eugène Antolinos-Basso  1@  , Nicolas Naudinot  2, *@  
1 : Cultures et Environnement, Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge  (CEPAM)  -  Site web
Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis
24, avenue des Diables Bleus F - 06357 Nice Cedex 4 -  France
2 : Cultures et Environnements, Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge  (CEPAM)  -  Site web
Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis
24, avenue des Diables Bleus F - 06357 Nice Cedex 4 -  France
* : Auteur correspondant

Recent studies initiated in Western France and Northern Italy suggest that cutting edge arrowheads are not an innovation of the last Mesolithic communities but were already developed at the end of the Lateglacial in Western Europe both in the Late Epigravettian and Post-Azilian assemblages. This result is particularly interesting since it raises the question of the significance of the development of this new type of weapon. It also raises the question of the reason of the abandonment of this solution during the first Mesolithic and redevelopment during the second Mesolithic. Is the development of this type of weapon the result of the development of new hunting strategies targeting particular resources? How to interpret the appearance of this new type of arrowhead in different environmental and socio-economic contexts? To answer this question it is essential to develop use wears analysis but also, preliminary, to seek for the wound properties of these weapons comparing to classical piercing points of this period (straight back points called Blanchères points). For more than half a century experiments in natural or controlled environments, have studied cutting edge arrowheads. Nevertheless, the majority of the studies have focused on the use wear potential of experimental archaelogy. Ballistic studies offers a new functional approach allowing a better understanding of techno-economical aspects of prehistoric projectiles. Through a comparative study of terminal ballistic carried out in a controlled environment conducted in collaboration with the CEPAM and the CEMEF, it was possible to start to evaluate the wound capacities of the trapezoidal bitroncated arrowheads and Blanchères points known in the same lithic assemblages attributed to the last stages of the GS1 and first half of the Preboreal. While ballistic gelatin at 10% demonstrated the lethal potential through the dynamic observation of lesions during the penetration, the addition of skin and bones in front and into the gelatin suggests differences in their penetration ability. We think that wound ballistics approach constitutes a interesting way in complement of use wear study to evaluate properties of weapons and seek for their function. The study of prehistoric projectiles in a controlled environment and on simulated organic matter now allows us to evaluate quantitatively the wounding mechanisms of projectiles in order to develop a research about function diversity of prehistoric weaponry.

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