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An investigation of the role of tool hafting for technological changes in Paleolithic hunter-gatherer context based on a functional analysis of microscopic wear traces.

The research project takes its place within the broader research theme on behavioural patterns and changes in prehistoric hunter-gatherer contexts. Knowledge is generated based on a detailed study of stone artefacts mainly, as organic material is generally absent. A functional investigation of stone artefacts allows to reconstruct the activities at prehistoric sites and to gain insight in the organic component. My close examination of hafting traces (cf. PhD research) demonstrated that knowledge surrounding hafting allows a better insight in behavioural patterning. In order to increase the interpretative potential of this method, functional data need to be generated for the Final and Upper Palaeolithic. The more frequent preservation of organic material is an important contextual advantage that will contribute to an increased interpretative potential of the method for older periods as well. Therefore, the goal of the project is to gain insight in the factors that determine hafting choices based on a functional investigation of use and hafting traces on stone tools from Final and Upper Palaeolithic sites, and to incorporate this knowledge in the existing research model. This research would result in a more elaborate and widely applicable method and it would have an important impact on our understanding of technological changes and evolutions and on our knowledge concerning prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities.
Date:1 Oct 2009 →  30 Sep 2011
Keywords:Functional research, Haftin, Paleolithic, Hunter-gatherer, Stone tools, Human behaviour, technological evolution, Use-wear
Disciplines:History, Archaeology, Theory and methodology of archaeology, Other history and archaeology