Abstract

This article examines the direction of tool movement of end scrapers used by Palaeolithic peoples for hide-working in the Japanese Islands. Specimens are approximately 400 end scrapers from three sites dated to the first half of the late Palaeolithic in Hokkaido, northern Japan. As a result of examination using a method combining the high-power approach of lithic use-wear analysis with a replication technique for measuring the edge angle and the use angle, it was clarified that end scrapers were used only for hideworking. They were classified into four groups: (1) relatively short end scrapers used in a pulling motion (group A); (2) relatively short end scrapers used in a pushing motion (group B); (3) relatively long and large end scrapers used in a pulling motion (group C); and (4) relatively long and large end scrapers used in a pushing motion (group D). Groups B and D (i.e., for pushing motion) are dominant among whole specimens. This study will contribute significantly to the investigation of tool use strategies, curation systems, and the reduction sequences of end scrapers when compared with results of techno-morphological research. At the same time, the methodology performed for this article enabled to change of needs for hide products in prehistoric society.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 363-379
Launched on MUSE
2012-03-10
Open Access
No
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