Selected find spots along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea are presented, in order to illustrate different ways in which hunter-gatherer societies related to the coast during the Mesolithic. Transformations of the landscape were mainly due to isostatic

LIVIJA IVANOVAITĖ, MATHIAS BJØRNEVAD, BENTE PHILIPPSEN, CHRISTIAN HOGGARD, JAN J. ENGHILD, CARSTEN SCAVENIUS, ASTA VASILIAUSKAITĖ, GERARDA DRUČKUVIENĖ, PETER JENSEN, RIKKE MARING, JAMES DODD, KAMIL SERWATKA, FELIX RIEDE

Abstract


Orphaned osseous tools are very often perceived as having a high aesthetic value, but are usually under-examined. This article illustrates the research potential of these artefacts, with a case study of Mesolithic stray finds from Lithuania. Four bone points from the River Šventoji, Vaikantonys, Obšrūtai and Kamšai were subjected to AMS dating, tandem mass spectrometry for animal species identification, and technological and use-wear analysis. The results revealed that all four bone points could be dated to the Boreal period, and imply an Early to Middle Mesolithic date. Harpoons from the River Šventoji and Kamšai were most likely made of aurochs bones. All of the bone points were produced from long sections of tubular long bones, and three of the points show signs of reuse. Overall, the analysis revealed similarities with contemporaneous material in northern Europe. Within the context of the present research, the paper briefly describes other scientific methods which could be applied to orphaned bone and antler tools, including biomolecular and stable isotope analysis. Digital recording methods can be useful for bone artefact recording. This is relevant today, as the demand for good-quality digital representations is increasing, in order to apply software for further analysis, such as geometric morphometrics. As a result, more widespread and systematic applications of these new methods to orphaned osseous finds would lead to a significant activation of these finds in a scientific and outreach context.

Key words: Mesolithic, osseous tools, AMS dates, protein-based analysis, use-wear.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15181/ab.v25i0.1830


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