Laboratoire méditerranéen de préhistoire Europe Afrique (LAMPEA) — UMR 7269 — Université d’Aix-Marseille, CNRS, INRAP

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Retouching the Palaeolithic : Becoming Human and the Origins of Bone Tool Technology

[Congrès, colloques, réunions]

21-24 octobre 2015
Hannovre : Herrenhausen Palace

It is the use of tools, together with our unique biology, which makes us human. From the Stone Age to the Digital Revolution, the human narrative is written in the technologies we have developed to meet the challenges of everyday life. How we accomplished increasingly complex tasks reflected the skills, materials and methods available at the time. For over two million years of the human lineage, stone and bone tools preserve the only record of our technological heritage and struggle for survival. Studying the origins and development of these prehistoric tools plays a vital role in retracing our evolutionary footsteps toward becoming human.

Bone retouchers are particularly intriguing in this regard, as they combine elements of both bone and stone tool technology, and hold great research potential for understanding the origins and development of bone tool use during the Palaeolithic. At the core of this issue is where and when our human ancestors began to use bones to create and modify stone tools. More importantly, we seek to better understand how and why prehistoric humans ceased to consider bones as a sterile by-product of the hunting and butchery process and began to recognize bone’s technological utility for making stone tools.


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Aritza Villaluenga Martínez