Middle Stone Age lithic point experimentation for macro-fracture and residue analyses: The process and preliminary results with reference to Sibudu Cave points

M. Lombard, I. Parsons, M. M. Van Der Ryst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe the protocol in the first in a series of experiments to replicate macro-fractures, use-wear and residue distribution patterns on stone tools of the kind used in the Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa. To our knowledge, no similar experiments have previously been conducted in the region. Unretouched convergent flakes were produced from a selection of raw materials, especially quartzite and hornfels, hafted and used as hunting spears and butchery knives on parts of a Connochaetes taurinus (blue wildebeest) carcass. The hunting experiments were compared with results obtained in Europe on flint tools, and tested whether the concept of diagnostic impact fracture types can be applied to local raw materials and southern African MSA points. The differences in residue distribution patterns between hafted tools used for hunting as opposed to those employed for butchering were also replicated and documented. The preliminary results of these experiments are briefly compared with an archaeological sample from Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal. We demonstrate for local raw materials and MSA points the applicability of the diagnostic impact fracture types as described by Fisher et al.1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalSouth African Journal of Science
Volume100
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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