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Article S. Clément “Soft-Hammer Percussion During the Acheulean: Barking Up the Wrong Tree of Technical Change?”, J.P.A., 01/2022

Sophie Clément vient de sortir un article issu de sa thèse intitulé “Soft-Hammer Percussion During the Acheulean: Barking Up the Wrong Tree of Technical Change?” dans Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology.

Voici les références complètes de l’article que vous pouvez lire chez l’éditeur dès à présent en suivant le DOI : Clément, S. Soft-Hammer Percussion During the Acheulean: Barking Up the Wrong Tree of Technical Change?. J Paleo Arch 5, 3 (2022).

Résumé :

“Lithic productions are the main source of information on human groups from early periods of the Palaeolithic. From the time of the first discoveries, prehistorians have probed these remains to try to understand how and why they were made. Percussion techniques have also been a central preoccupation, despite tenuous archaeological references. With the help of experimentation, several chaînes opératoires have been reconstructed, sketching the outlines of the technical evolution of the first human groups. Our work focuses on a major change in lithic technology, the invention of organic soft-hammer percussion. This is attested on the Isenya site (Kenya) around -960 ka, based on an experimental work. This invention represents an innovation and indicates a rupture with the technical environment known until then in which lithic technology and percussion techniques were confined solely to the mineral world. We propose to examine this rupture from another point of view, also using experimental work, based on the principle that the mineral domain offers a wide range of hardness for hammers and that the gesture plays at least an equivalent role to that of the raw material of the hammer. Without supplanting the use of soft organic hammers in bifacial shaping, we demonstrate the possibility of the use of not very tough mineral hammers with tangential motions. These results imply that the technical change that took place during the Acheulean was probably less abrupt than previously thought, and more consistent with previously mastered know-how.”

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