Animal processing

Lithic tools are often used to capture or kill domestic or wild species and to process all parts of the animals for consumption or craftsmanship. Activities such as hunting, butchering, food-preparation, skin-working, leather-working, sinew processing, bone, horn or antler working, are studied here.

In some cases, these activities represent very complex operations and chaînes opératoires. In order to identify more certainly the archaeological tools related to such activities, the OUP team includes faunal specialists, bone tool specialists and researchers involved in ethnographical investigation of skin processing. We can in this way construct detailed experimental protocols. Lithic tools are therefore used in a more accurate way by the operators and we can explore a wider range of technical operations using both the ethnographical and archaeological data.

Between 2001 and 2003, in the Archéodrome de Beaune, in France, the ‘Obsidian,Technology and Functions’ Project lead by L. Astruc explored a wide range of operations related to bone and skin working with the help of Amelia Rodríguez Rodríguez who carried out ethnographic researches in Canada and in Canary Islands related to skin and leather processing; also involved are Rozalia Christidou and Alexandra Legrand, specialists in bone tool manufacture and use in the Mediterranean area, Anatolia and Near-East.

This original corpus will be enlarged on the basis of the analysis of the archaeological material conducted by the members of the Obsidian Use Project. Our aims here are: to identify tool kits related to the divers technical operations, to recognize hafting practices, and, to reach a better understandingof the relation between technical processes and the organization of the human groups and their traditions.

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