To Haft and to Hold: Evidence for the hafting of Clovis fluted points.
Alan M Slade (CAHO, University of Southampton)
Clovis fluted points vary considerably in technology and morphology, but also share a set of attributes, the most diagnostic of which are the flute scars, the remnants of the flake removals from the basal region that travelled up towards the tip. Fluting on Clovis and Clovis-like points generally extends no further than a third of the way up the face of the point. Finished points are usually ground smooth along the base and lower edges, suggesting facilitation of hafting (attachment) to a wooden shaft or handle by way of an ivory or bone socket. The points may have been hafted directly to a main shaft and used as a thrusting spear during close encounter attacks, or in the hand as a knife or butchery tool. Alternatively, an intermediary shaft, or foreshaft may have been used to secure the point. The suggestion of foreshafts being used by Clovis hunters received support after the discovery of bone rods in association with mammoth remains and Clovis points at the type site at Blackwater Draw, New Mexico in 1936. Several other Clovis-aged site across North America have yielded ivory and bevelled rods that have also been associated with foreshafts and the hafting of Clovis points. Scratches that are present on a couple of Clovis points made on varieties of obsidian, have been identified as being “hafting abrasion” evidence, this roughening of the surface would have helped in securing the point into the shaft or socket. In one example from the Hoyt site in Oregon, remains os a ‘mastic’ or hafting glue was found discovered in the hafting abrasions. This presentation will look at the evidence for Clovis hafting, the various sites where the evidence is present and as part of my current thesis research, whether the hafting of Clovis and Clovis-like fluted points affects the point’s morphology.
The transformative nature of ground stone tools: Disentangling sequences of modification and meaning in Chalcolithic to Bronze Age Cyprus (3500 – 1600BC)
Ellon M Souter (PhD, University of Manchester)
Ground stone tools, by their very nature, are a durable archaeological resource, and their association with the domestic and economic environment make them a suitable medium through which to evaluate transformations in everyday life. The Middle Chalcolithic to the late Middle Bronze Age (3500-1600BC) is a period of great change in Cyprus. Alongside many other developments, the first metal objects are used and the utilisation of metal increases. Kissonerga-Mosphilia and Kissonerga-Skalia, two neighbouring sites in southwest Cyprus, represent the only locale on the Island to demonstrate near continuous occupation over the entire time frame. These sites offer an ideal case study for assessing ground stone tool modification and meaning both temporally and spatially. This study applies a biographical approach to stone tools from both sites, seeking out sequences of making, using and maintaining from microscopic (up to 200x) and macroscopic observations. Common stages and patterns in these sequences will be used to infer human-stone relations as new technologies are introduced and ways of life change. General comparisons will also be made with published material from other contemporary sites in Cyprus. As well as explicating the methodology employed, this paper will offer some preliminary findings and thoughts on how these may be related to differing priorities within the communities of prehistoric Cyprus.
A tale of two cherts; the prehistoric use of Greensand chert and Portland chert in South West England.
Rosemary Stewart (University of Reading)
Artefacts of Greensand chert and Portland chert are found in lithic assemblages throughout the West Country in association with flint. Archaeologists have been aware of these resources but the main emphasis of research has been on flint materials. By focussing on chert geology and chert in lithic assemblages I have extrapolated an account of the use of these raw materials. Both of the chert varieties have different physical properties. Greensand chert is grainy and tough and seems to have been preferred for the production of coarser, larger tools; the qualities of Portland chert being a finer, softer material meant that it was used especially to fabricate arrowheads where fine invasive working was required. The chert varieties were utilised by Mesolithic and Neolithic communities and an awareness of these raw materials continued into the Early Bronze Age. However, there are indications of changes in attitude toward them in these different periods. The geological source of the two cherts is also distinct. Greensand chert is available widely in outcrops and as drift deposits but Portland chert occurs in a much more geographically limited area, including on the Isle of Portland, an exceptionally striking and unusual landform. These factors may also have influenced the use of these cherts as part of a ‘package’ of objects and artefacts that represented the individuality of South West England and the people who lived in its landscape.