Daily technologies - Upper Palaeolithic

The everyday life of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers demanded making useful tools that served to enhance their survival strategies. These tools would be made ​​on different materials but only have survived to today the rocks and bones. Among the rocks, the most commonly used for the manufacture tools were flint, quartzite and limestone. With them were manufactured as weapons to hunt arrowheads of flint or bone points; useful for grooving, such as chisels, which served to make the objects of bone, antler or wood; scrapers for preparing animal skins and shelter or turn them into containers; flint chips that cut like knives, bone sewing needles, harpoons for fishing or hanging adornment.

For flint tools used size by percussion. It hits the core of rock with a hammer, which can be a stone, a piece of wood or a piece of deer antler, and each of the fragments obtained is tweaked or not useful function to be obtained. There are other techniques such as pressure flaking for narrow and thin sheets. Although most men are always carving representations, it is impossible to determine who did it.

Surely there were other resources such as wood, plant fibers or animal skin itself, but these materials have not survived to the present. The technologies are made ​​with organic materials in the conservation difficult Paleolithic archaeological record. Still sewing, basketry, weaving and braiding plant fibers or strips of skin are documented by some findings. Bone needles are documented for more than 30,000 years ago, and are common in prehistoric sites from 20,000 years ago, coinciding with the increase of the cold and the complexity of the garments. Then and now is used to sew clothes, bags and leather shops. Recent studies on these instruments offer different tissue types depending on the morphology of the needles. So the thicker needles and triangular tip, would have served to sew hard materials (skin), others, the finest and oval tip for sewing soft materials (plant fibers) and even dual bore needles might have served to sew some kind of decorative fabric with double thread. Not found any other Paleolithic tissue. However, there is indirect evidence of working with plant fibers: it is negative footprints in fossilized remains of cords or ropes and nets woven and knotted. Also, some of the most famous Paleolithic female figures look clothes and hats that clearly represent sewn plant tissues.

Talla de sílex y hueso - Paleolitico superior

Talla de sílex y hueso - Paleolitico superior

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Archaeological traces


The Pastwomen Network co-organizes the International Seminar "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Gender Archaeology" at the University of Tübingen.

July 4-10, 2022

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