“Hunting is one of the areas of human activity that sees the most significant changes in the period from 40 000–35 000 BP in Europe. In this respect, the Aurignacian technocomplex shows technical innovations, notably with the fabrication of split-based points (SBP) in antler and the mass production of bladelets, arguably to serve as weapon armatures. Yet, little experiment work has been dedicated to this question. To begin to fill this gap, we have designed an experimental program devoted to testing and assessing the design, manufacture and use of Aurignacian weaponry.
In this paper, we present the very first stage of this project, focused on the fabrication of SBP’s and particularly the question of the creation of the basal splits, an issue much-debated since the 1920’s. From our replicative experiments and comparisons with the rich collections from Abris Castanet and Blanchard, we conclude that the incision, flexion and cleavage procedure (IFC) applied to SBP’s combines the techniques proposed by previous authors. The use of the IFC procedure has been identified in at least 23 sites in SW Europe. Importantly, because this procedure is rigidly conditioned by the physical and mechanical properties of antler, it is unlikely that another technical solution was possible to create the basal splits.
► Production of the split on split based points (SBP’s) has been debated since the 1920’s. ► We have conducted experimental replication of SBP’s from Abris Castanet and Blanchard. ► The basal split was created by the procedure of incision, flexion, cleavage (IFC). ► The unique properties of antler allow only one possible way of making SBP’s” (read more).
(Source: Journal of Archaeological Science 40(6): 2723–2745, 2013)