References of "Rots, Veerle"
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See detailFingerprinting archaeological 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)

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 detailThe worked bone industry and intrusive fauna associated with the prehistoric cave burials of Abri des Autours (Belgium)
Goffette, Quentin; Rots, Veerle ULiege; Polet, Caroline et al

in Anthropozoologica (2017), 52(2), 185-201

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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 & Theory (2017)

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 detailApport de l’analyse tracéologique à la compréhension de l’assemblage lithique atérien d’Ifri n’Ammar.
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Conference (2017, November)

Parmi les technocomplexes du Middle Stone Age nord-africain, l'Atérien et le Moustérien du Maghreb actuel ont surtout été étudiés d’un point de vue typologique et, plus récemment, technologique. En ... [more ▼]

Parmi les technocomplexes du Middle Stone Age nord-africain, l'Atérien et le Moustérien du Maghreb actuel ont surtout été étudiés d’un point de vue typologique et, plus récemment, technologique. En revanche, les données fonctionnelles sont extrêmement lacunaires. Cela malgré les informations qu'elles pourraient offrir en vue d’une meilleure compréhension de ces technocomplexes. Nous présentons ici les résultats d’une première étude fonctionnelle, entreprise sur les assemblages lithiques d’Ifri n’Ammar dans le but de comprendre l’utilisation et la préhension des outils de diverses morphologies. À plus grande échelle, l’objectif principal de cette recherche est d’améliorer et d’enrichir la compréhension des assemblages du MSA nord-africain par l’apport de l’analyse morpho-fonctionnelle. La séquence stratigraphique du site d’Ifri n’Ammar a fourni une grande diversité d'outils lithiques, outre les pièces pédonculées et pièces foliacées, les assemblages sont composés de racloirs, grattoirs, denticulés ou outils sur lames. Malgré la présence fréquente d'altérations, des traces diagnostiques fiables ont pu être identifiées sur une proportion importante de pièces pédonculées et non pédonculées. Les premiers résultats de cette étude indiquent que les outils pédonculés étaient utilisés emmanchés, pour les activités de chasse ou pour le travail de matières animales. Des traces d’emmanchement ont également été observées sur des outils non-pédonculés, ce qui indique une variabilité des modes d’emmanchement et permet ainsi d'aborder le questionnement sur la variabilité et la diversité morphologique des artefacts lithiques à Ifri n’Ammar, au-delà des différences ou convergences entre assemblages « atériens » et « moustériens » et au-delà de la fonction du site. [less ▲]

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See detailTaphonomie et analyse des résidus sur les pièces lithiques
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Brugal, Jean-Philip (Ed.) TaphonomieS (2017)

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See detailThe weapon system behind the point: Early Gravettian hunting technologies at Maisières-Canal
Taipale, Noora ULiege; Coppe, Justin ULiege; Touzé, Olivier ULiege et al

Conference (2017, September 23)

Hunting and preparing for the hunt – manufacturing, using, and repairing the equipment – were undoubtedly important and time-consuming activities in the lives of Palaeolithic groups [1, 2]. Studying ... [more ▼]

Hunting and preparing for the hunt – manufacturing, using, and repairing the equipment – were undoubtedly important and time-consuming activities in the lives of Palaeolithic groups [1, 2]. Studying hunting equipment in detail is thus essential for our understanding of a crucial aspect of Palaeolithic human behaviour and allows us to understand developments in human technologies and problem-solving across wide geographical and chronological ranges. Yet, our current knowledge about the development of prehistoric hunting technologies (projecting modes, weapon design) is mainly based on a few important but isolated discoveries of organic remains in Europe, such as the Lower Palaeolithic spears or spear fragments recovered at Schöningen, Lehringen, and Clacton-on-Sea, the Solutrean and Magdalenian spear-thrower hooks, and the arrows and bow fragments from Mesolithic and Neolithic contexts [3]. In this paper we demonstrate how to exploit the full potential of a much more durable and ubiquitous type of remains, lithic armatures, in the study of Palaeolithic hunting practices. We present the results of a collaborative project that combines technological and functional analysis with experimental archaeology, and aims at understanding the manufacture and use of a specific lithic projectile type, the Early Gravettian tanged point. Our archaeological material comes from the Gravettian occupation phase of the open-air site of Maisières-Canal (Belgium), dated between 33 and 32 cal BP [4]. This stratigraphically well-isolated sequence has yielded an important collection of tanged points that are in excellent state of preservation. A combined study of the finished armatures and the related shaping waste allows us to present a new, more comprehensive view of the characteristics and constraints of the shaping method. The points were made on large, thin blades produced by hard or soft stone percussion, and subsequently shaped by several generations of direct, flat, invasive (sometimes overshot) removals with an organic hammer. These points, which all display a long, elaborately shaped tang, thus form a distinct tool type with a unique chaîne opératoire and a very particular morphology in terms of weapon design and hafting systems. Many of the points show clear macroscopic and microscopic damage from impact that can be attributed to their use as armatures. The morphology, the organisation, and the orientation of the traces allowed us to propose specific hafting modes that were tested experimentally. The experimental program focused on both the details of the hafting mode and the mode of projection. In addition, alternative tool uses such as butchering were considered, and the points were framed within the broader functional context of tanged and non-tanged tools recovered at the site. The results allow evaluating what kind of weapon system the tanged points were part of, and what their place was in the Early Gravettian technology. We argue that when approached from an experimental and techno-functional point of view, lithic projectile points can help us understand the development of hunting technologies as well as broader patterns of technological change. References:[1] Ellis, C.J., 1997. Factors influencing the use of stone projectile tips. In: Knecht, H. (Ed.), Projectile Technology. Springer Science & Business Media, pp. 37–74 [2] Greaves, R ., 1997. Hunting and multifunctional use of bows and arrows. In: Knecht, H. (Ed.), Projectile Technology. Springer Science & Business Media, New York, pp. 287–320 [3] Knecht, H., 1997. Projectile technology. Springer Science & Business Media, New York [4] Jacobi, R. M., Haesaerts, P., Jadin, I., Basell, L.S., 2010. Radiocarbon chronology for the Early Gravettian of northern Europe: new AMS determinations for Maisières-Canal, Belgium. Antiquity 84 (323), 26–40 [less ▲]

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See detailA Techno-Functional Study of the Aterian Technocomplex at Ifri n'Ammar
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Poster (2017, September)

The tanged tools of the Aterian technocomplex have generally formed the central point in debates on early indications of hafting (Clark, 1970). However, in order to obtain a true understanding of the ... [more ▼]

The tanged tools of the Aterian technocomplex have generally formed the central point in debates on early indications of hafting (Clark, 1970). However, in order to obtain a true understanding of the specificity of this technocomplex, it is essential to study entire assemblages and understand the characteristics of and the relation between the tanged and non-tanged tool component, both on a technological and on a functional level. Until today no functional studies were yet undertaken on complete Aterian tool assemblages. We present the results of the technological and use-wear analysis of the non-tanged tool component of the Aterian assemblage of Ifri n’Ammar (Morocco) and focus on aspects of tool use and hafting. The rock shelter of Ifri n’Ammar, located in the eastern Moroccan Rif, is known for its rich stratified lithic assemblages, dating to 83 ± 6 ka to 130 ± 8 ka for the upper levels and to 145 ± 9 to 171 ± 12 ka for the lower levels (Richter et al., 2010). In the framework of the recently published dating results of other maghrebian sites (Dörschner et al., 2016), Ifri n’Ammar takes an important position within discussions on the chronological attribution of the Aterian: a large time span extended from MIS 6 to MIS 3 [3]. The sequence has provided a large diversity of tool morphologies which offer the possibility to contribute to the discussion about use and hafting of tanged and non-tanged tools. Aside from the tanged tools and foliates, the material from comparable Aterian assemblages can be defined by the presence of side scrapers, end-scrapers, denticulates, such as blades, bladelets or Levallois cores (Bouzouggar and Barton, 2012). Despite the frequent presence of post-depositional surface alterations, reliable functional interpretations could be identified on a large number of tools. Previous studies had already confirmed that the tanged tools were used while hafted for hunting and animal processing activities (Tomasso and Rots, 2017). Also a variety of tasks and gestures could be identified on the non-tanged tools based on a combination of diagnostic macro- and microscopic wear traces. Interestingly, also the non-tanged tool component shows evidence of hafting, indicating the existence of a variety in hafting techniques. The integration of the functional results on the non-tanged and tanged tool component allows addressing questions on tool variability, diversity in tool morphology and site function. We argue that the results highlight the importance of the site for improving our understanding of the North African MSA. [less ▲]

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See detailA technological and functional examination of the Aurignacian end-scrapers from Grotta di Fumane
Aleo, Alessandro; Duches, Rossella; Rots, Veerle ULiege et al

Poster (2017, September)

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See detailPressure flaking to serrate bifacial points for the hunt during the MIS5 at Sibudu Cave (South Africa)
Rots, Veerle ULiege; Lentfer, Carol ULiege; Schmid, Viola C. et al

in PLoS ONE (2017), 12(4), 0175151

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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 (2017)

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 detailEmmanchement des outils du Paléolithique supérieur
Taipale, Noora ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Scientific conference (2017, March 30)

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See detailThe ballistic performance of prehistoric weapons: first results of a comparative study
Coppe, Justin ULiege; Clarenne, Valérian; Pirlot, Marc et al

Conference (2017, March 30)

Projectile points have recently taken a prominent position in debates on the complexity of Paleolithic human behavior. While the appearance of hunting weapons in the archaeological record was a central ... [more ▼]

Projectile points have recently taken a prominent position in debates on the complexity of Paleolithic human behavior. While the appearance of hunting weapons in the archaeological record was a central element in early discussions, the debate has shifted towards the appearance of specific projecting modes. Given that the organic propulsion tools (bow, spear-thrower) are only rarely preserved, energy has been invested in experiments to explore how the projecting mode can be identified based on the analysis of stone points. These experiments usually attempt to control selected parameters in projectile use (e.g., speed, target, angle of impact), but the ballistic parameters that are used are generally based on heterogeneous and not commonly reported studies. Little research has focused on the measurement of the complete ballistic performance of prehistoric weapons. We present the first results of a systematic ballistic study that quantifies and compares different modes of propulsion. [less ▲]

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See detailLearning from blind tests: Determining the function of experimental grinding stones through use-wear and residue analysis
Hayes, Elspeth H.; Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Lepers, Christian et al

in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (2017), 11

Abstract Blind tests provide an objective means to evaluate the accuracy of functional interpretations based on the presence of use-wear and residue traces on stone tools. Previous blind tests have ... [more ▼]

Abstract Blind tests provide an objective means to evaluate the accuracy of functional interpretations based on the presence of use-wear and residue traces on stone tools. Previous blind tests have highlighted interpretive errors commonly associated with use-wear and residue analyses leading to significant methodological developments in each of the respective fields. While a number of blind tests have been performed on flaked stone tools, only a single blind test has been published for use-wear on grinding tools. We present the results of a two-part blind test performed on 15 experimental grinding implements that were used in a controlled setting, designed to evaluate the relative importance of residue analysis for determining the worked material (1) when contextual information is available and (2) when contextual information is absent. We argue that use-wear and residue analyses are successful procedures to identify the use of grinding stones, and that residue analysis may be a particularly valuable means for determining the worked material on tools that have insufficient use-wear development. We suggest that residues should be sufficiently abundant to infer use, if we are to avoid the potential confusion caused by contamination. [less ▲]

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See detailWhat is the use of shaping a tang? Tool use and hafting of tanged tools in the Aterian of Northern Africa
Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

in Archaeological and Anthropological sciences (2017)

We present the results of detailed microscopic examination of tanged tools from the site of Ifri n'Ammar. The rock shelter has a particularly rich and well-preserved stratigraphy that has yielded a large ... [more ▼]

We present the results of detailed microscopic examination of tanged tools from the site of Ifri n'Ammar. The rock shelter has a particularly rich and well-preserved stratigraphy that has yielded a large variety of tanged tools, thus offering a possibility to test hypotheses on the possible links between tangs and hafting. Earlier methodological work has demonstrated that patterned wear forms on the non-active part of the tool as the result of hafted tool use, and that the characteristics of the wear traces depend on the exact hafting arrangement used. In the present study, wear analyses were combined with further experiments that involved the hafting of tanged tools with various materials and arrangements and aimed at understanding the development of this important morphological innovation. We suggest that functional data are needed to understand the relevance of the "Aterian tang" for hafting (or use), and whether this innovation was triggered by functional, cultural or environmental factors. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Upper Paleolithic site of Les Prés de Laure (France) sheds new light on Palaeolithic weaponry
Tomasso, Antonin ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege; Purdue, Louise et al

Conference (2017)

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See detailAround the fireplace: heat exposure and adhesive alteration
Cnuts, Dries ULiege; Tomasso, Sonja ULiege; Rots, Veerle ULiege

Poster (2017)

Currently, there is no agreement about the timing of the habitual use of fire in the Palaeolithic. Some researchers (Roebroeks and Villa, 2011) situate the control of fire in North-western Europe around ... [more ▼]

Currently, there is no agreement about the timing of the habitual use of fire in the Palaeolithic. Some researchers (Roebroeks and Villa, 2011) situate the control of fire in North-western Europe around 400ka and question the early claims of fire structures (before 400 ka) since these traces could also be produced by natural events. The only other available line of direct evidence, strike-a-lights, appear only to occur later in the Palaeolithic record (Stapert and Johansen, 1999; Sorensen et al., 2014; Rots, 2015). The lack of convincing evidence has forced researchers to use indirect evidence as adhesives to estimate the timing of control of fire. It is assumed that a synthetic adhesive like birch tar, which was already in use from at least 120ka (Mazza et al., 2006), cannot be produced without an extensive pyro-technological knowledge. The link between fire control and adhesive technology is evident since fire is required for a range of activities related to hafting technology: the production of birch bark, mixing of resin with other materials, dehafting of stone tools. Moreover, archaeological evidence indicates that dehafted stone tools may have been thrown into the fire when discarded. Once the tools are buried, they may be subjected to heat from an overlying fireplace. The effect of heat exposure on these fragile organic substances has never been investigated, and it is hypothesised that this might be a possible explanation for the rare survival of these adhesives in the archaeological record. Our study aims at monitoring the effect of heat exposure by combustion on a range of experimental compound adhesives on flint tools. The results of the combustion experiments are presented and it is demonstrated that the vertically transferred combustion heat is responsible for the loss of adhering adhesives. A correlation between the degree of loss and the specific adhesive mixture could be observed. The combustion experiment also leads to a wide range of accidental residues deposited on the stone tools. Our results stress the importance of identifying the processes that might be responsible for the formation or degradation of residues adhering to a stone tool surface. [less ▲]

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