Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Friday, July 11, 2008

Peche de l'Aze

The Afarensis blog(a worthwhile read, all on its own), had a post on what it called "interesting paleoanthropoligcal sites" yesterday. Due to a problem I had with the Compose Mode here(since solved), I wasn't able to post this, but there are links in the blog post to the archaeological sites of Sunghir, Russia and Peche de l'Aze Peche del'Aze is an especially important Neandertal site for two reasons: first, it appears to have been occupied over a long period of time, whether or continuously or not, and second, for the tool types found in some of its occupational layers.

These tool types are called "asinopodean" and are what archaeologists call "microtools" They are, as one would expect from their designation, rather small, flaked tools. These are of a type usually associated with "modern" humans, however and the archaeologists who are currently superivising the digs there, seem to think such tools may be present at other Neandertal sites, but either overlooked or unrecognized. In any case, there are a variety of these scrapers and "denticulated" tools, presumably used for a variety of tasks. There are a number of pictures, too, at the dig site. Here is one of them:

Note the tool that has a sharp point in the middle of the bottom row. This looks as if it might have been used as an awl or something similar --- perhaps to punch holes in skins for garmeents(n0, I don't think Neandertals wore fur kilts all the time, despite whatever pictures you might have seen) or to make skin bags for carrying, etc. If you look closely, some of the tools have notched "denticulate" appearances, as if they were used for smoothing wood. I wonder what that might have been for? I can guess, but I'll let you use your imaginations!

Anne G

No comments: