English
 
User Manual Privacy Policy Disclaimer Contact us
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

Spatio-temporal variation in late Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthal behaviour: British bout coupé handaxes as a case study

MPS-Authors
There are no MPG-Authors available
Locator
There are no locators available
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts available
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Ruebens, K., Sykes, W., & M., R. (2016). Spatio-temporal variation in late Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthal behaviour: British bout coupé handaxes as a case study. Quaternary International, 411(Part A), 305-326. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.04.037.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-3310-C
Abstract
Recent broad-scale comparative studies of Neanderthal lithic assemblages have contrasted previous views of the Middle Palaeolithic as a period of stasis. Throughout the Middle Palaeolithic, ca. 300,000–35,000 years ago, typo-technological changes can be observed in the Neanderthal behavioural repertoire, including trends that are restricted in time and/or space. Such spatio-temporal diversity seems especially apparent in the late Middle Palaeolithic (MIS 5e–3; ca. 125–35 ka BP) and is widely, though not exclusively, expressed through differing bifacial tool types. An often-quoted example is the restricted distribution of bout coupé or flat-butted cordate handaxes in MIS-3 Britain. This paper provides a broader contextualisation of this bout coupé phenomenon; first, in relation to the general reoccurrence of handaxes in late Middle Palaeolithic Western Europe, including comparisons with the Mousterian of Acheulean Tradition (MTA); and second, as a case study to explore behavioural implications of such spatio-temporal variation. Different explanatory factors for the observed patterns are investigated together with potential links to Neanderthal population dynamics. It is concluded that bout coupés represent a genuinely distinct biface form, which was sometimes maintained through the stages of use, and is most parsimoniously explained by regionalised socio-cultural behaviour, implying specific lines of cultural transmission among late Neanderthal groups.