References of "Rots, Veerle"
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See detailBallistic study tackles kinetic energy values of Palaeolithic weaponry
Coppe, Justin; Lepers, Christian; Clarenne, Valérian et al

in Archaeometry (2019)

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See detailIntegrating SEM-EDS in a sequential residue analysis protocol: benefits and challenges
Hayes, Elspeth; Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (2019), 23

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See detailFingerprinting glues using HS-SPME GC×GC-HRTOFMS: a new powerful method allows tracking glues back in time
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Perrault, Katelynn ULiege; Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULiege et al

in Archaeometry (2018), 60(6), 1361-1376

The use of glues for stone tool hafting is an important innovation in human evolution. Compared to other organic remains, glues are preserved more frequently, though mainly in small spots. Reliable ... [more ▼]

The use of glues for stone tool hafting is an important innovation in human evolution. Compared to other organic remains, glues are preserved more frequently, though mainly in small spots. Reliable identification requires chemical molecular characterization, which is traditionally performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Current methods of extraction and derivatization prior to GC-MS are destructive and require relatively large samples, which is problematic for prehistoric glue residues. In this paper, we discuss the results of an experimental study using a new method (HS-SPME-GC×GC-HRTOFMS) that proves effective for identifying small quantities of compound glues. The method is non-destructive with an improved sensitivity in comparison to traditional GC-MS, and it has a high potential for prehistoric samples. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of hafting adhesives using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry
Perrault, Katelynn ULiege; Dubois, Lena ULiege; Cnuts, Dries ULiege et al

in Separation Science Plus (2018), 1-12

The determination of the presence and the composition of residues from organic materials on archeological objects allows the behavior of our prehistoric ancestors to be better understood. The functional ... [more ▼]

The determination of the presence and the composition of residues from organic materials on archeological objects allows the behavior of our prehistoric ancestors to be better understood. The functional analysis of tools used for daily life activities, such as hunting or hide working, represents an important source of information. However, the chemical characterization of residues from archeological artifacts represents an analytical challenge. On one hand, the residues are made of different natural materials containing hundreds of chemicals. This complexity requires advanced analytical procedures to separate and identify the constituents. On the other hand, the low quantity and the advanced degradation require sensitive and non-destructive methods. In this study, an approach employing headspace sampling (solid-phase microextraction) with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to highresolution-time-of-flight mass spectrometry was developed for the characterization of adhesive residues on simulated archeological artifacts. First, the performance of the analytical system was evaluated on a standard mixture and a pine resin sample. Next, adhesives and adhesives mixtures were analyzed that represented typical compositions that have been witnessed in archaeological applications. This analytical approach is a gateway into new potential for headspace organic residue characterization as a first step of analysis prior to altering residues for additional characterization. [less ▲]

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See detailDocumenting scarce and fragmented residues on stone tools: an experimental approach using optical microscopy and SEM-EDS
Hayes, Elspeth; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (2018)

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See detailExtracting residues from stone tools for optical analysis: towards an experiment-based protocol
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (2018), 10(7), 17171736

The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. Most residue fragments are amorphous, in the sense that they ... [more ▼]

The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. Most residue fragments are amorphous, in the sense that they lack distinguishing shapes or easily visible structures under reflected light microscopy. Amorphous residues can only be identified by using transmitted light microscopy, which requires the extraction of residues from the tool’s surface. Residues are usually extracted with a pipette or an ultrasonic bath in combination with distilled water. However, a number of researchers avoid residue extraction because it is unclear whether current extraction techniques are representative for the use-related residue that adheres to a flaked stone tool. In this paper, we aim at resolving these methodological uncertainties by critically evaluating current extraction methodologies. Attention is focused on the variation in residue types, their causes of deposition and their adhesion and on the most successful technique for extracting a range of residue types from the stone tool surface. Based on an experimental reference sample in flint, we argue that a stepwise extraction protocol is most successful in providing rep- resentative residue extractions and in preventing damage, destruction or loss of residue. [less ▲]

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See detailBreakage, scarring, scratches, and explosions: understanding impact trace formation on quartz
Taipale, Noora ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (2018)

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See detailTaphonomy and stone tool residues: understanding processes of deposition, removal and decay.
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Scientific conference (2018, September 27)

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See detailThe Aterian at Ifri n’Ammar from a functional perspective
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Abdeslam, Mikdad; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Conference (2018, September 11)

In this paper we will resume the results of a detailed functional analysis performed on the assemblage from the rock shelter of Ifri n’Ammar. The site is located in the eastern Moroccan Rif and has been ... [more ▼]

In this paper we will resume the results of a detailed functional analysis performed on the assemblage from the rock shelter of Ifri n’Ammar. The site is located in the eastern Moroccan Rif and has been settled periodically since ~170 ka. The entire assemblage has first been screened in Morocco and based on the state of preservation, the selected pieces, representative of all tool morphologies were subsequently exported for a detailed study at the TraceoLab. For the analysis of the stone tools, a technological study was combined with a functional approach that included the analysis of wear traces and residues in association with an experimental program. This integrated approach permitted the identification of knapping strategies (i.e., hammer used), tool use and hafting and an understanding could thus be obtained of the technological choices, subsistence strategies and the non-preserved organic components. Based on the technological observations of the Aterian tanged tools, a specific experimental program has also been performed to verify different hypotheses on manufacture, use and hafting. After the reproduction of the tanged tools, potentially available hafting systems were tested to examine the relevance of the Aterian tang for hafting and its effect on tool use. Based on the observed wear features and residues on the archaeological tanged and non-tanged tools, analysed using different optical microscopic techniques, further experiments have been designed to gain better insights about their life cycle and finally to build onto broader discussion about the Aterian technocomplex. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing the preservation of residues on stone tools from a North African Pleistocene context: the case of Ifri’n Ammar
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Mikdad, Abdessalaam et al

Conference (2018, September 11)

Since its introduction on the African continent nearly fifteen years ago, optical residue analysis of flaked stone tools has proven to be an effective method for generating high-resolution data that ... [more ▼]

Since its introduction on the African continent nearly fifteen years ago, optical residue analysis of flaked stone tools has proven to be an effective method for generating high-resolution data that enable the identification of tool use, tool production and hafting technology. The method focuses on the histological identification of all residues adhering to the stone tool surface by using a combination of optical microscopes (stereomicroscope, metallurgical microscope) and lighting techniques (reflected and transmitted light). So far, optical residue analysis has been mainly applied to a limited number of South African assemblages, which may create the impression that residues only preserve in these contexts. While these contexts seem to have excellent preservation conditions, it is essential to evaluate the potential of residue analysis for a wide range of contexts in order to understand the variability in residue preservation between geographical regions and across time. Here, we present the first study of stone tools from a Late Pleistocene Saharan context (Ifri’n Ammar). The study aims at gaining insight into the mechanisms of residue preservation and alteration at the site of Ifri’n Ammar and its implications for assessing the preservation potential of residues in similar contexts. Residues were analysed using a wide range of techniques: stereo-, incident and transmitted light microscopy, biochemical staining and SEM-EDS. Residue interpretations were based on an extensive reference collection available at TraceoLab, University of Liège and the results were confronted with data from use-wear analysis performed by a different analyst. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Role of Fire in the Life of an Adhesive
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (2018), 25(3), 839862

The use of fire is essential for the preparation of hafting adhesives; both are suggested to be a proxy for distinguishing the technological expertise and complex cognition among Palaeolithic populations ... [more ▼]

The use of fire is essential for the preparation of hafting adhesives; both are suggested to be a proxy for distinguishing the technological expertise and complex cognition among Palaeolithic populations. While use of fire has been argued to exist from about 1.0 Ma onwards, evidence for adhesives in the Palaeolithic record is rare and fragmented. In spite of the close link between fire places and adhesives, no study has ever focussed on examining the impact of heat on adhesive deposition and preservation. This paper discusses the results of a combustion experiment that was undertaken to understand the impact of heat exposure on hafting adhesives. The results have significant implications for archaeological interpretations. Deposition in or near a fire proves to severely impact the types of residues that preserve on a stone tool. The vertically transferred heat is responsible for the loss of adhesives but also for the incidental production of adhesives and their deposition on stone tools. It can be hypothesised that the rare survival of adhesives on archaeological stone tools might not only be the result of direct contact with the fire but also the result of degradation due to heat from overlying fireplaces. If we are to improve our understanding of the preservation of adhesives, it is important to unstand the taphonomic processes that affect these adhesives, in particular heat alteration. [less ▲]

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See detailFinding a standard procedure in impact-fractures analysis: the case of Grotta di Pozzo (L’Aquila – Italy)
Ruta, Giancarlo; Rots, Veerle ULiege; Mussi, Margareta

Conference (2018, June)

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See detailUntangling tangs: Implications of tanged stone tool morphologies for hafting and raw material use in the Palaeolithic
Taipale, Noora ULiege; Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Coppe, Justin ULiege et al

Conference (2018, May 30)

Tanged tools are the most obvious typological hint of stone tool hafting in the Palaeolithic record. As a result, their appearance has been viewed as the advent of tool hafting, and tangs in younger ... [more ▼]

Tanged tools are the most obvious typological hint of stone tool hafting in the Palaeolithic record. As a result, their appearance has been viewed as the advent of tool hafting, and tangs in younger assemblages are often taken as a sign of technological change. Despite these assumptions, the implications of tanged morphologies for hafting, overall tool design, and raw material use are only starting to become addressed in functional studies. Meanwhile the significance of morphological and technological variability among tangs from different periods has received little attention. We discuss this aspect by presenting new results on Aterian and Early Gravettian tanged tools. Our data comes from the work done on the assemblages from the rock shelter Ifri n’Ammar (Morocco, 171 000–80 000 BP) and the open-air site Maisières-Canal (Belgium, 28 000 BP). We tested different hafting alternatives for the tanged tools and used them in tasks identified in the archaeological assemblages. On the basis of these results, we argue that despite their superficial similarity, differ-ent tangs require different approaches to haft material selection and tool design, and their novelty and specificity as technological innovations can only be evaluated when these aspects are well un-derstood and the tangs placed in the broader context of morphological adaptations for hafting. The evidence of hafting on non-tanged tools from Palaeolithic sites clearly demonstrates that tool morphology can be adjusted for hafting in a variety of ways, few of which are macroscopically as visible as the tang. This calls for a need to view lithic assemblages as dynamic wholes where tool shapes are controlled by lithic and organic raw material strategies as well as learned and shared ways of tool production. [less ▲]

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See detailNew light on the variability of hunting equipment in the Gravettian
Coppe, Justin ULiege; Taipale, Noora ULiege; Touzé, Olivier ULiege et al

Conference (2018, May 30)

Hunting is commonly believed to have been one of the central aspects in the lives of Palaeolithic groups and it is therefore an integral part of almost any attempt to explain the archaeological record ... [more ▼]

Hunting is commonly believed to have been one of the central aspects in the lives of Palaeolithic groups and it is therefore an integral part of almost any attempt to explain the archaeological record. Different methods are used to understand prey selection (archaeozoology), to identify lithic or osseous armatures (use-wear analysis) and to reconstruct their production sequences (chaîne opératoire analysis). Despite these achievements, our current methods tell us little about the overall design of hunting weapons and their change through time, which would be a key aspect for a true reconstruction of Palaeolithic hunting practices. In this contribution, we argue that this methodological gap can be bridged and weapon design (projecting modes and hafting arrangements) reconstructed. As an example of exploiting the full potential of lithic armatures, we present the results of a collaborative project which aims at identifying possible changes in weapon design and use and at understanding their links with morphological variation of lithic armatures within Gravettian industries. Our approach represents a strong integration of morphological, technological and functional analyses supported by a multi-step experimental program. The archaeological material consists of tanged points from Maisières-Canal (Belgium, 28 000 BP) and microgravette points from Ormesson - les Bossats (France, 26 500 BP) and Abri Pataud (France, 24 000 BP). The results provide a more profound understanding of the weapon systems the tanged points and microgravette points were part of, including their mode of propulsion, and shed new light on the evolution of these systems during the Gravettian. We argue that detailed data on organisation and operation of hunting equipment can help us understand certain major technological changes observed in the Upper Palaeolithic. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing residue preservation and identification on stone tool assemblages from four different Late Pleistocene sites
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Peresani, Marco; Purdue, Louise et al

Conference (2018, May 30)

Residue analysis has become a widely applied procedure for reconstructing the lifecycle of prehistoric stone tools. The increasing popularity of the approach can be linked with methodological advances ... [more ▼]

Residue analysis has become a widely applied procedure for reconstructing the lifecycle of prehistoric stone tools. The increasing popularity of the approach can be linked with methodological advances, which sometimes allow taxonomic identifications of observed residues. Initially, residue analysis was performed in combination with use-wear analysis to use multiple strands of evidence and filter out recent and environmental contamination. The last decade, a paradigm shift occurred, and residue analysis is now mostly performed without use-wear analysis based on the argument that the residue distribution on the stone tool surface allows distinguishing between functional and incidental residues. Moreover, these potentially ambiguous-looking residues are often only studied when adhering to the stone tool surface and are not extracted for further analysis. This paradigm shift in residue analysis has led to its disconnection from use-wear analysis, and the integration of the two approaches has become less common. In addition, these studies often deal with small samples usually limited to one layer within one site, hampering our understanding of the variability in residue preservation between geographical regions and across time. Here, we present a large-scale study of 1500 stone tools from four Late Pleistocene sites (Fumane (IT), Les Cottés (FR), Les Près de Laures (FR), Bushman Rock shelter (SA)) from two continents. The study aims at assessing existing residue analysis protocols against these assemblages and gaining insight into the mechanisms of residue preservation and alteration in various settings. Present-day residue analysis protocols were evaluated by confronting the residue data with data from independent use-wear analysis performed by different analysts. Residues were analysed using a wide range of techniques: stereo-, incident and transmitted light microscopy, biochemical staining and SEM-EDS. Residue interpretations were based on an extensive reference collection available at TraceoLab, University of Liège. [less ▲]

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See detailAround the Fire: Understanding the effect of heat exposure on hafting adhesives
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Conference (2018, May 28)

Since several adhesive technologies require heat during their production process, fireplaces are closely linked with the use of adhesives for hafting. While fireplaces are often recognised ... [more ▼]

Since several adhesive technologies require heat during their production process, fireplaces are closely linked with the use of adhesives for hafting. While fireplaces are often recognised archaeologically, evidence for hafting adhesives in the Palaeolithic record is rare and no study has yet focussed on the effect of heat exposure on adhesive deposition, preservation and alteration. The goal of this experimental study is therefore to improve our understanding of the impact of heat exposure on adhesives that are deposited on lithic tools. Our observations demonstrate that the influence of fire should be taken into account when examining hafting adhesives. Beside the fact that heat exposure from fireplaces can be a reason for the rare presence of adhesives in the archaeological record, the study demonstrates also that the degradation might not only be a reaction of direct contact with the fire but also the result of alteration due to heat from overlying fireplaces. In addition, the fire experiment shows that incidental tar can be produced under accidental conditions, which stresses the importance of combining residue and use-wear analysis to prove that the adhesive is intentional in nature before using it as a proxy for fire production or complex cognition. [less ▲]

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See detailGravettian weaponry: 23,500-year-old evidence of a composite barbed point from Les Prés de Laure (France)
Tomasso, Antonin ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege; Purdue, Louise et al

in Journal of Archaeological Science (2018)

Understanding hunting technology is pivotal in the study of adaptive and innovative forces that influenced the evolution of prehistoric societies. The manufacture, design and use of hunting weapons ... [more ▼]

Understanding hunting technology is pivotal in the study of adaptive and innovative forces that influenced the evolution of prehistoric societies. The manufacture, design and use of hunting weapons involve technical processes such as those of tool miniaturization, blank standardization and projection modes, but also influence broader demographic structures such as human subsistence strategies, territorial organization and socio-economic structures. Here we present a unique discovery from a newly uncovered site at Les Prés de Laure (Var, France). Excavations revealed a multi-stratified open-air site with archaeological units that were rapidly buried by the alluvium of the Jabron River. In 2015, 11 backed points were discovered in direct association with the remains of a bone point in a Gravettian layer dated to 23.5 ka cal BP. Wear and residue analysis of the lithic points in combination with complimentary experimental data converge to indicate that the find represents a bone point armed with lithic barbs and used as hunting weapon. This discovery is the oldest direct evidence for the manufacture and use of a composite hunting weapon and stimulates discussion on the style, function and design of prehistoric weapons. [less ▲]

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