Magdalenian osseous projectile points have the highest morpho-technical diversity in terms of size, technical design and hafting systems of all European Upper Paleolithic systems. A few years ago, some of these points, based on morphological and metrical criteria, were designated as ‘points with a shortened base’ (or “with a shrunken base”, “nibbled”, “stemmed”, “unworked”, or “flaked and broken”), and interpreted as a distinct projectile point type. Recent technological and functional analyses of these “points with a shortened base”, however, have enabled us to replace them within their chaîne opératoire and reclassify them as pointed waste-products. The only common feature of these artefacts is their specific segmentation, which occurs in different phases of the production sequence (blank extraction, shaping and recycling), and corresponds to objectives attained through the use of various techniques, tools and actions. This same stigmata is observed on other artefact types (baguettes demi-rondes), not all of which are hunting implements (pierced batons and needles). In this chapter, the variability of these pointed waste-products is described and the real quantitative proportions of ‘true’ projectile points in Magdalenian assemblages and the European Upper Paleolithic is outlined.
Chauvière, F. X. (2016). Osseous projectile points in the Magdalenian: ‘True’ points versus pointed waste-products. In Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology (pp. 161–169). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-0899-7_11