Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (02): 208-222.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2019.0071

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An experimental research on dynamic formation of microwears on the shooting projectile points

XU Zhe1,2,3, ZHANG Xiaoling1,2, PEI Shuwen1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    2. CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2019-02-11 Online:2020-05-15 Published:2020-07-17


Projectile point, appeared in the Upper Paleolithic, includes tips and barbs of a projectile composite weapon. It’s using strategies have gotten great attention in the paleoanthropological research. Based on the environmental background and lithic raw materials of the Shizatan Paleolithic site in Shanxi, this paper focus on the use-wear analysis to explore the dynamic formation process of microwear during the process of reuse of stone projectile points. Twenty-one experimental tools were shot for 337 times in different stages, while 121 times observed by use-wear analysis. It can be considered that the repeated use of stone projectile points can be recorded by microwear, but it still needed to combine with morphological characteristics. Viewing on the morphological change process, the change of tip is more significant, indicating that the shape of excavated artefacts and its implied human behavior should be considered by dynamic thinking. From the view point of measurement data, tools with sharp edge and moderate length have better affected of using and may be reused many times. Furthermore, from the view point of microwear analysis, if the tip produces clumped large and medium break and/or step scar termination and hafting part produces run-together small break or feather scar termination, resulting in some of part produce rounding and polishing which can be considered for re-use. This study provides important clue for the study on the hunting strategies and adapted behaviors implicated from the projectile point in the hunter-gathered living history.

Key words: Projectile points, Staged shooting, Dynamic observation, Microwear experiment, Shizitan site

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