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Osseous Hunting
Weapons of
Early Modern Humans in Eur
asia

FWF Meitner Program

Research Project

 

THE PROJECT

Osseous Hunting Weapons of Early Modern Humans in Eurasia

The research project proposes a multidisciplinary approach to analyse one of the most significant innovations of Eurasian early anatomically modern humans (AMH): the use of a complex projectile technology manufactured from animal raw material and its potential role in AMH’s successful colonisation of Eurasia. The emergence of complex projectiles propelled by mechanical aids is a phenomenon that is critical to assess the appearance of symbolically mediated behaviour (SMB), subsistence aspects and dispersals of AMH out of Africa. However, at present it is poorly understood as research on the Early Upper Palaeolithic (EUP) (c. 45,000-30,000 years ago) has mainly focused on chronology and lithic technology. Osseous artefacts were most intensely studied when in the context of symbolism and less in related to hunting technologies, although complex projectile technology is also assumed to be a critical proxy to assess SMB.

 

split-based and simple based points from Abri Poisson, Manot Cave and Satsurblia (© José-Miguel Tejero)

Aims of the project

The main aim of the project is to build an inferential model on the role played by osseous projectile technology in the adaptative success of the AMH in Eurasia at the EUP by combining data of the following specific goals:
 

  • To characterise the technology of EUP osseous hunting weapons in Eurasia.

  • To identify the raw material (bone/antler) and the animal species exploited to fabricate them.

  • To refine the chrono-cultural context of the emergence of complex hunting weapon technology.

sampling projectile points for DNA (© Olivia Cheronet and José-Miguel Tejero)

Archaeological
Sites

SouthWestern Europe

 

Isturitz

La Quina-aval

La Ferrassie

Abri poisson

Cro-Magnon

Les Rois

Caucasus

Satsurblia

Dzudzuana

Kotias Klde

Central Europe

 

Willendorf II

Mladec

Tischofehole

The Levant

 

Manot Cave

Hayonim Cave

Kebara

Ksar Akil

Nahal Rahaf II

Satsurblia Cave. Georgia (© Anna Belfer-Cohen)

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TEAM MEMBERS

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José-Miguel TEJERO
University of Vienna

Principal Investigator

  Bone tools technology;
Ancient DNA applied to organic tools study
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Ron
PINHASI

University of Vienna

Co-Applicant of
the FWF project

Archaeology;
Ancient DNA
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Omry
BARZILAI
Israel Antiquities Authority

Collaborator

Archaeology of the Levant 


 
TEAM MEMBERS
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Anna
BELFER-COHEN
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Collaborator

Archaeology of the Levant and the Caucasus
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Elisabetta
BOARETTO
Weizmann Institute of Science

Collaborator

Chronology
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Matthew
COLLINS
University of Cambridge

Collaborator

Palaeoproteomics
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Olivia
CHERONET
University of Vienna

Collaborator

Ancient DNA analyses
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Pere
GELABERT
University of Vienna

Collaborator

Ancient DNA analyses
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Nino
JAKELI
Georgian National Museum

Collaborator

Archaeology of the Caucasus
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Ofer
MARDER
Ber-Sheva University

Collaborator

Archaeology of the Levant
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Tengiz
MESHVELIANI
Georgian National Museum

Collaborator

Archaeology of the Caucasus
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Philip
NIGST
University of Vienna

Collaborator

Archaeology of Central Europe
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Rivka
RABINOVICH
Te Hebrew University
of Jerusalem
Collaborator

Zooarchaeoology of the Levant
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Catherine
Schwab

Musée d'Archéologie National de France

Collaborator

French Archaeology
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Reuven
YESHURUN

University of Haifa

Collaborator

Zooarchaeology of the Levant
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Brina
ZAGORC
University of Vienna

Collaborator

Ancient DNA analyses
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Aman
KANG
University of Cambridge

Collaborator

Palaeoproteomics
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Frido
WELKER
University of Copenhagen

Collaborator

Palaeoproteomics
Libro sobre mesa

 

  • Tejero, J.-M., Bar-Oz, G., Meshveliani, T., Jekeli, N., Mastkevich, Z., Pinhasi, R., Belfer-Cohen, A. 2021. New insights on Upper Palaeolithic personal ornaments of the Caucasus. Teeth and bones pendants from Satsurblia and Dzudzuana caves (Imereti. Georgia). PLOS ONE 6 (11): e0258974.

        https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/authors?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258974

  • Tejero, J.-M., Cheronet, O., Gelabert, P., Zagorc, B., Alvarez, E., Averbouh, A.,  Bar-Oz, G., Belfer-Cohen, A., Bosch, M. D., Brück, F., Cueto, M., Dockner, M., Fullola, J. M., Gáraten, D., Giannakoulis, M., González, C., Jakeli, N., Managado, X., Meshveliani, T., Jekeli, N., Neruda, P., Nigst, P. R., Simkova, P., Tapia, J., Sánchez dde la Torre, M., Schwab, C., Weber, G., Pinhasi, R. 2023. A minimally-invasive method for ancient DNA sampling of Prehistoric bone and antler tools and hunting weapons.Biorxiv.

​     https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2023.04.02.535282v1

  • Yeshurum, R., Doyon, L., Tejero, J.-M., Walter, R., Huber, H., Andrews, R., Kitagawa, K. 2024. Identifcation and quantifcation of projectile impact marks on bone: new experimental insights using osseous points. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 16:43

      https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-024-01944-3

 

PUBLICATIONS

PUBLICATIONS

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Image by Viktoria Spokojna

CONTACT
 

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ADDRESS

José-Miguel Tejero

Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

Faculty of Life Sciences

University of Vienna

Djerassiplatz 1. 1030 Vienna (Austria)

Email: jose.miguel.tejero@univie.ac.at

Tel: 0043-1-4277-54708

For general questions, please complete the following form:

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