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Woodworking sites from the Late Paleolithic of South Arabia: Functional and technological analysis of burins from Dhofar, Oman

AuthorsHilbert, Yamandú Hieronymus; Clemente-Conte, Ignacio ; Geiling, Jeanne M.; Setien, J.; Ruiz-Martinez, E.; Lentfer, Carol; Rots, Veerle; Rose, Jeffrey I.
KeywordsSouth Arabia
Functional analysis
Late Paleolithic
Issue Date2018
CitationJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports (20) : 115–134 (2018)
AbstractBurins are a geographic and time-transgressive tool type, found in lithic industries throughout the world. The defining feature of a burin is the administration of a precisely placed blow (i.e., burin blow) on a natural or prepared striking platform at the edge of a blank. Burins were used for various activities, such as fashioning hunting equipment, figurines, musical instruments, or other decorative objects manufactured from wood, antler, or bone. In other settings, researchers have observed burins that were also used as cores, demonstrating the flexibility and utility of this tool type. Here we present the results of technological, typological and functional analyses of three burin assemblages from the Late Paleolithic of Dhofar, southern Arabia. Technological analysis indicates a significant degree of standardized production. Functional analysis suggests that these tools have been used in woodworking activities. Traceological studies suggest that the function of the burin blow was not the creation of an active working face, as often seen in the Southwest Asian and European Upper Paleolithic; rather, the burin blow functioned to stabilize the truncation and working edge of the tool. Traces of use have been identified mainly on the wide truncations, indicating that the artifacts were likely used to plane broad wooden surfaces. From these observations, we infer that woodworking was a significant component of Late Paleolithic human activity in Dhofar.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.04.010
Appears in Collections:(IMF) Artículos
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