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Modelling production mishaps in later Acheulian handaxes from the Area 1 excavation at Amanzi Springs (Eastern Cape, South Africa) and their effects on reduction and morphology

journal contribution
posted on 09.08.2021, 23:39 by Matthew V Caruana, Andrew HerriesAndrew Herries
Experimental research examining Later Acheulian handaxes often equates their production with expert knapping skill. Yet knapping mishaps, including step and hinge fractures, mismanaging cross-sectional proportions and transverse breaks are common throughout manufacturing stages and may represent an important source of morphological variability. Recent investigations of handaxes from the ~400 ka Area 1 locality at Amanzi Springs have suggested that the large and asymmetric proportions of these tools may relate the abundance of step and hinge fractures and excessive thick edges that impeded reduction. This study uses both geometric and traditional morphometric techniques to explore the effects of knapping mishaps on the reduction and morphology of Amanzi Springs handaxes. Results suggest that interpretations of Acheulian technological skill can benefit from examining the occurrence of production errors, which may account for some of the morphological differences in handaxes observed on both diachronic and geographic scales.

Funding

Research at Amanzi Springs is funded by Australian Research Council Discovery Project grants (DP170101139 and DP200100194) awarded to AIRH and a National Geographic grant (GR-000046142) awarded to AIRH and MVC. The Artec Space Sider scanner was funded through AIRH’s Australian Research Council Future Fellowship grant (FT120100399).

History

Publication Date

19/07/2021

Journal

Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

Volume

39

Article Number

103121

Pagination

(p. 1-11)

Publisher

Elsevier BV

ISSN

2352-409X

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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