© 2016

Osseous Projectile Weaponry

Towards an Understanding of Pleistocene Cultural Variability

  • Michelle C. Langley

Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Africa

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Lucinda Backwell, Francesco d’Errico
      Pages 15-29
  3. Europe

  4. Southeast Asia & Australia

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Nimal Perera, Patrick Roberts, Michael Petraglia
      Pages 173-188
    3. Ken Aplin, Sue O’Connor, David Bulbeck, Philip J. Piper, Ben Marwick, Emma St Pierre et al.
      Pages 189-208
  5. The Americas

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 219-219
    2. Michael J. O’Brien, R. Lee Lyman, Briggs Buchanan, Mark Collard
      Pages 221-235

About this book


This volume presents the current state of knowledge on the osseous projectile weaponry that was produced by Pleistocene cultures across the globe. Through cross-cultural and temporal comparison of manufacturing methods, design, use methods, and associated technology, chapters in this volume identify and discuss differences and similarities between these Pleistocene cultures. The central research questions addressed in this volume include: (a) how did osseous weaponry technology develop and change through time and can these changes be tied to environmental and/or social influences?; (b) how did different Pleistocene cultures design and adapt their osseous weaponry technology to their environment as well as changes in that environment?; and (c) can we identify cultural interaction between neighboring groups through the analysis of osseous weapons technology — and if so — can we use these items to track the movement of peoples and/or ideas across the landscape? Through addressing these three central research questions, this volume creates an integrated understanding of osseous technology during a vital period in Modern Human cultural development which will be useful for students and advanced researchers alike. 


osseous projectile technology projectile weaponry upper paleolithic hunter gatherers osseous hunting weapons archaeological cultures antler, bone and ivory Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia & Australia, and the Americas late pleistocene cultural variability spear, harpoon, fishhook ethno-archaeology

Editors and affiliations

  • Michelle C. Langley
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordAustralia

About the editors

Michelle is a Post Doctoral researcher in the School of Archaeology & Natural History at Australian National University. She received her PhD from the Institute of Archaeology at the The University of Oxford. 

Her current research is focused on the use of marine sourced raw materials for technology manufacture in early human communities. Her previous research has centered on investigating the maintenance (resharpening, repair, reuse, recycling) of Magdalenian barbed and unbarbed osseous projectile points; exploring the evidence for advanced and symbolic cognition in the Pleistocene archaeological records of Eurasia and Sahul (Greater Australia); and identifying the impact of taphonomic processes on these records. Issues surrounding the development and use of symbolic behaviour and social signalling technologies within Pleistocene Neanderthal and Modern Human populations remains the underlying focus of her research. 

Bibliographic information