A comparison of three later stone age bone point assemblages from south africa

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of bone points in archaeological contexts has previously been interpreted as evidence for hunting. These interpretations, however, are based on the morphological similarity of the bone points with ethnographic and historical bone-tipped arrows, and not on any functional studies. Microfracture analysis has been used successfully on experimental stone- and bone-tipped hunting weapons and is applied here on a set of bone points from three Later Stone Age sites. It confirms that bone points from Nelson Bay Cave, ]ubilee Shelter and Rose Cottage Cave were indeed used for hunting activities. The results presented here suggest that there may be some patterning in the size distribution of bone points across the landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalSouth African Archaeological Bulletin
Issue number195
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone points
  • Hunting weapons
  • Later stone age
  • Macrofracture analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archeology (arts and humanities)
  • Archeology


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