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Hunting with Howiesons Poort Segments: Pilot Experimental Study and the Functional Interpretation of Archaeological Tools

TitleHunting with Howiesons Poort Segments: Pilot Experimental Study and the Functional Interpretation of Archaeological Tools
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLOMBARD, M., and J. PARGETER
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume35
Pages2523-2531
PublisherElseviers
Place PublishedLondon a.o.
Type of Articlearticle
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number0305-4403
Abstract

J. Whittaker: HP = Middle Stone Age, S Africa, ca 70-55,000 BP. Distinctive backed blade segments and blade tools. Use as barbs or tips on projectile weapons? Tested 4 configurations, look at fractures. Glued into slotted wood shafts [look real crude to me - dowels with saw cut ends, apparently taped to larger shaft]. Machine [not specified] launch, 10 per weapon, 27 weapons, 167 shots into impala carcass. 85% penetrated, 37% survived all 10 shots. Transverse hafted segments least effective. Bending fracture with step termination, or with spin-off flakes one or both faces, + burination considered diagnostic of impact. Also found notching [they seem unclear but photos show bending fract notches out of edges - probably are impact]. Burination + bending fractures common in experiment + arch specimens. Location of residue traces suggests variability in hafting as in experiment. Tip cross-sectional area values (Shea 2006) in range of ethnog arrow points, some in range of darts or spears. So HP segments make effective weapon armatures and some were used that way.